No one makes more outrageous demands than a child, and no one has his rights abused more either--especially at school. This week let's consider the rights of children at school.

Every child has the right to:

* Respect from every adult in school, janitor to principal, so the child can respect them too.

* Acceptance, for what and who she is, and the knowledge that her family is accepted, whatever their background, eccentricities, accents, income or beliefs.

* Leadership from adults who realize that a child will do almost any job that's requested, if she knows the reason why.

* A faculty that doesn't gossip about the child, or his family, either among themselves or with other parents.

* A principal who will listen to a child's complaints, even about a teacher, without prejudice.

* A principal who can resist the school microphone almost all the time.

* A PTA that listens to the needs, problems and concerns of the students too.

A child should have a teacher who:

* Can call him and every child by name within the first few days of school.

* Believes that each child is at school because he wants to learn.

* Invites confidences--and keeps them.

* Has no pets, or targets, among the class.

* Can control the class without mocking or spanking any child.

* Helps children get along with each other.

* Tries to stay in the background, rather than take center stage.

* Listens to what the child says, the tone of his voice and how he moves when he talks, for a child speaks in many languages.

* Talks with a child, rather than to him.

* Stimulates independence.

* Encourages questions, choices and original work.

* Knows enough about the whole child--his interests and goals--to open special vistas just for him, especially in junior high and high school.

* Expands the curriculum if it suits interests of the class, or skills of the teacher.

* Gives homework and does her own, by planning lessons for each day.

* Grades homework within a day or two, but certainly no longer than a week.

* Takes as little leave as possible, so substitutes aren't needed.

* Doesn't drink or use drugs during class time, or suffer the effects of either.

A child is entitled to:

* Work that is hard enough to be challenging, and easy enough to be achieved.

* A chance to shine every day in whatever she does best, for the child who thinks well of herself in one area will do better in everything.

* An explanation of what is expected to be learned by Thanksgiving, Christmas, spring, by the last day of school, and to have these goals reviewed periodically, not as a threat but as an objective.

* An understanding of why in the world she should learn these things.

* Math and science and reading taught in ways that both enrich and explain her life.

* The satisfaction of writing some reports all alone and doing others in small groups, so teamwork can be learned.

* The chance to learn by seeing, hearing, touching, and especially by doing.

* Achievement at her own pace, without ridicule.

* Psychological and learning tests (administered to one child at a time) if there is an emotional or academic problem.

* A conference with parents to hear these results and plan special lessons that teach to her strengths and not her weaknesses, either in her own class or in a special one.

* The recognition, by parent, teacher and child, that if an intelligent child cannot learn, it is because a teacher cannot teach, if only that particular subject to that particular child.

A child also has the right to have:

* School rules clearly listed, reviewed and explained when school begins, not when the misbehavior occurs.

* Emotions, however angry, but expressed without hurting the feelings, or possessions, of anyone else.

* Unspoken permission to make a damn fool of himself--and accept the consequences.

* Discipline in private and with dignity, so he can profit from it.

*Enough exercise to keep the oxygen flowing, so his mind is clear and he has the energy to study.

* A break after a test.

* An occasional field trip, movie or assembly, but only if it's interesting, for a child's time is important.

* A drink of water or trip to the bathroom when necessary, without embarrassment.

* A special diet if his health requires it, and special holidays if his religion does.

* Supervision at lunch and on the playground, as well as in the classroom.

* Cafeteria food without additives and preservatives and unnecessary sugar and salt.

* A free lunch, if his family can't provide it, so he has the chance to learn as well as anyone else.

* Vending machines stocked with only fruits, nuts, yogurt, milk, and sugarfree juice, at least until the lunch hour is over.

* A clean classroom and a clean bathroom, knowing he must do his share to keep it that way.

* A school with radiators that work, windows that are glazed, fluorescent lights that don't flicker, furniture to suit the size of the child, a well-supplied bathroom with stall doors that lock, a playground with enough space and equipment for all ages and a pleasant place to eat.

* A sense of safety anywhere in the school building or on the grounds.

Along with all of these shoulds, let's not forget that a child--like all of us--has one special need: the need to do absolutely nothing at least some time during the school day.