Decision Maker

Department of Education

Does Department of Education have the power to decide or influence something you want to change? Start a petition to this decision maker.Start a petition
Petitioning Mayor Bill de Blasio

Help NYC Teachers Fight for Paid Maternity Leave

New York City Department of Education currently offers their teachers who have just become mothers NO PAID maternity leave. These are women who devote their lives to helping raise other people's children. After getting pregnant in 2012, I went to a maternity workshop to help understand my maternity benefits. It began as a room full of bubbly, pregnant women, and ended with many of us in tears. Here is what we learned: In order to get paid for up to SIX WEEKS (you read that right-not months, weeks) we would have to use our own small number of saved sick days. If we had none, or few (which was the case for most of us, being around children all day long) we learned that we could borrow up to 20 days that we would eventually have to repay or rebuy.   Most women never make it out of their negative balance. If you have more than one child, forget it! You have likely borrowed all you can for the first.  When I had my second daughter, even after two years of excellent attendance, I only was able to get paid for seven days after I gave birth. This is completely common among teaching mothers.  For all our union fights for, I'm asking Michael Mulgrew, our Union President: When will the fight begin for our teaching mothers? As an education system, we are well aware of the importance a parent's presence has on his/her child. Yet why don't we value that? Why do women who spend day in and day out educating, nurturing, and supporting other people's children, continue to suffer for having a family of their own? We are the teachers and the mothers of this city-- a city that prides itself on being one of the most progressive and socially conscious cities in the world- and we deserve to be fought for.      *                         *                                 *                           *                       * Click below to watch an amazing documentary done by Broadly where the terrible state of maternity leave in our country is explored and exposed How America Is Failing Its Mothers

Emily James
84,853 supporters
Petitioning United States Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education

Allergy procedures in schools HAVE to change!!!

Two weeks ago, my daughter was given a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at school. This was with the school (by direct conversations with me - the principal, cafeteria manager, teachers and Nurse) being fully aware of her allergies to peanuts and treenuts. I took every step I could to ensure an incident like this didn’t happen to her, and it still happened. The teacher caught her after only one bite and realized the mistake made, but I was contacted rather than paramedics and her epipen wasn’t administered immediately. This was because her school administration and Nurse did not know that you should immediately give epipen, and when I arrived 40 minutes after she had the bite, I watched as the school nurse fumbled with the epipen obviously unaware of how to administer it properly. This lack of education and awareness could have cost my 4 year old her life. Thankfully it didn't turn out worse than it did. I called and emailed the school board about the procedures and events that took place before and after she had the bite of the sandwich. I have not heard anything back from anyone and I think it is time for change. The system is failing parents of children with allergies. I just read an article where a 3-year old with known and reported dairy allergies was given a grilled cheese sandwich at school last week, and died. All this because the proper procedures were not taken, and a trusted, informed adult, fed him something he couldn't have. I have been assured by my daughter's school and administration that this will never happen again and they are being extremely proactive about the situation, even though it never should have taken my child being traumatized for these proactive steps to be taken. Proactivity is a must in every situation, BEFORE a child dies or is traumatized.  I know that teachers and administrators are required to watch compliance videos and be educated about allergies and such, but how many of them actually know how to administer Epinephrine when needed? Do they know how to tell when it is needed or what some of the symptoms are? Did you know that someone falling asleep is one of many signs of anaphylactic shock? So is fever, vomiting, sneezing, itching, coughing.. hives, choking, and throat swelling seem to be the only symptoms that most people know to look for. Why would the school, or school nurse especially, call the parents before administering epinephrine and calling 911 when a child is given a known allergen? These should be the first steps! Why didn’t the school nurse know that she was supposed to have epipen immediately? If you do not have a child that has allergies like this, or have never seen what a child looks like when they go into anaphylactic shock, then you cannot imagine the wave of panic and fear that sweeps through a parent when they get a call stating that their child, in an environment that is supposed to be safe for them, was given something that is poison to their body. You can't think straight to remember to verify that the school is doing their job correctly, and quite frankly there are many parents who could be unaware of just how severe their child will react. They may not know that 911 should be called JUST IN CASE, if nothing else. They are trained to deal with a situation and can get the child to the hospital a lot faster than a parent can which is sometimes vital to the survival of the child. My daughter got worse on the ambulance ride to the hospital, I live in Dallas and cannot imagine what I could have done had I got stuck in traffic on the way there.  My daughter is protected where she is right now, but what if we have to move and she changes schools? Is she going to end up in the same traumatizing situation at another school because the administration is, again, uneducated on the proper procedures to follow? Am I going to have to keep reading articles about children dying because of a severely flawed school/child care system? I am only doing what I feel is best for my daughter and the large and growing community of children with allergies attending school in the United States. I never want to read an article that a child died again because the school didn't know any better, or didn't do the right thing by a child after they were introduced to something they are allergic to, especially when I know there is something I can do to prevent it. Please sign this petition so we can take the steps and get to the people who can make a difference in the lives of children with allergies. I am petitioning to make it a standard in all schools and child care facilities that educators and administrators as well as school nurses are educated in the proper procedures to take when presented with a child with severe allergies that has ingested their allergen. They all need to be educated on proactive steps to avoid the child receiving their allergen, and that in the event that they are given said allergen, the proper steps are taken. Epinephrine first, THEN 911, THEN parents should be contacted. This should be the standard. Let’s make it so. Thank you!

Erin Burch
53,390 supporters
Petitioning Department of Education

Change in Education System of India !

Indian Schools were designed 100 years ago by British Rulers . During those days the students were not actually educated but were trained to work in factory which was established by Rulers But the same design the same method is continued since 100 years . I feel like School is a factory in which students wear uniform, bell rings, students enter with those sad faces, teacher teaches in old traditional way, again bell rings students move out to have breakfast . Everything is same. Students 100 years ago were taught so that they would listen to instructions, they were not told to be creative, no individual freedom. Everything is same,only the thing which is changed is ' TIME '. In India, 20 students commit suicide everyday due to stress means after every 90 minutes a student commits suicide. If I would be education minister of India I would have done may things. I would make education more interactive and more interesting. I would have introduced new technologies to students.I would have focused more on science subjects because world needs more of that . I would have arranged workshops and science exhibition and would make it compulsory for each and every student. The money that students will get by visitors will be used for trips to places that the students have in their geography books. It will be practical and students will enjoy it. There are many things that can be done to the education system. The Nation just needs a Innovative Education Minster.  

Sanket Ardekar
26,724 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Educ...

Bring WHOLE Milk Back to School! Whole Milk 4 Healthy Kids

This a an effort to bring the option of whole milk back to our schools. Did you know the federal government only allows fat-free and 1% low-fat milk to be served or even offered at school? We need your support and signatures to make an impact. Our children and grandchildren are depending on us to bring Whole Milk back to school!  Please support U.S. House Bill 832 Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act and Senate Bill 1810 Milk in Lunches for Kids. Ask for Whole Milk at your school. And urge your local school boards and other groups to pass resolutions supporting Whole Milk being allowed in schools.  Health, well-being and learning readiness are vital for our schoolchildren to succeed. Children need proper nutrition to grow, develop, and be ready to learn. Whole Milk (standardized to just 3.25% fat) plays a role. Since 2008, Whole Milk has been prohibited for children over 2 years of age in public schools and daycare centers because of Federal Dietary Guidelines that restrict their milk to fat-free or low-fat (1% fat). The science, and our children, say it's time for this to change. For starters, studies show the average child drinking Whole Milk had higher vitamin D status, lower body fatness and less risk of obesity.  USDA reports show fat-free and low-fat school milk is a most frequently discarded item. Children replace it with ala carte fruit juices, flavored waters, diet teas, diet colas, sports drinks and energy drinks, formulated by beverage corporations to meet federal school calorie regulations using concentrated blends of high fructose corn syrup and sucralose. They meet the "Smart Snacks" calorie requirement, but the concentrated sweetness conditions the palate to crave more, while providing little to no nutrition and no satiety.  Whole Milk has a benefit called ‘satiety’ -- helping children feel fuller longer. It tastes better, so children drink it -- helping reduce classroom distractions from hunger and cravings and helping children actually get the unmatched bevy of protein, calcium, potassium, and other vitamins and nutrients milk naturally provides. Whole Milk has zero added sweeteners and less than half the natural sugar found in most juices. Flavored milk has less sugar when the milk is Whole. The fat delays absorption of the natural sugar, so blood sugar rises more slowly over a longer period, and it's easier for individuals with digestive sensitivity to digest. There is so much to say on this issue of Whole Milk for Healthy Kids. Please look at this letter, where supporting details and documentation are on pages 3 through 6.  

Grassroots Citizens for Whole Milk for Healthy Kids
17,420 supporters
Petitioning American Offices of Higher Education, Department of Education

Reduce the tuition of America's public colleges

What is the purpose of going to college? Isn’t it to further the education of America’s next generation in something that they’re passionate about? While this may be the case, it’s pretty difficult to think of the so-called “bright” future when you’ll end up graduating with over $20,000 worth of college debt. Public Four-Year Tuition Costs in the United States: 1987-1988: $3,190 1997-1998: $4,740 2007-2008: $7,280 2017-2018: $9,970 (213% increase) Most likely, the student would pay the tuition fee themselves, with much difficulty as the rising cost of higher education has led to a collective $1.4 trillion in student loan debt. In 2012, 71 percent of graduates from four-year colleges carried debt, with students at public schools owing an average of $25,550. With these thoughts in mind, it’s not surprising that many young Americans choose to not pursue a higher education. Even though financial aid may be provided to some, not every single college attendee is able to be covered by scholarships or aid. Our goals are: To bring attention to the high college costs that continue to increase annually Gain your support in demanding for lower college prices Lower the tuition of America's public colleges America’s future doctors, lawyers, business people, and architects lie in the next generation, but the only way to bring these workers out is to give them the education that they need and desire for at a fair and reasonable cost. Without this future generation, the future of America may cease to exist. There needs to be cheaper or lower cost for the futures of tomorrow. The future lies in the hands of the present. Don’t let them down.

David A., Evelyn C., Sarah Joy G.
16,859 supporters
Petitioning Department of Transport


On 13th November 2014 my son, Christopher, died on his way home on the school bus.  Christopher was my beautiful 13 year old boy. He loved playing rugby and was always laughing and making jokes and inspired people around him with his fun loving nature and zest for life. His ambition was to be a comedian!  Christopher had an epileptic seizure but the bus driver failed to stop the bus. It took over 10 minutes for an ambulance to be called and during this time Christopher was not put in a recovery position, helped or attended to in any way! There are currently no requirements nationally for drivers of school buses to hold a basic life support qualification or to have any first aid training! There are no protocols in place nationally to assist drivers as to what to do in an emergency situation whilst driving the bus! As a parent you would never leave your child with someone that you know isn't qualified to look after them even at high school age. Bus companies currently have no legal responsibility if anything happens to your child whilst under their care!  At my son's inquest, the Coroner issued a regulation 28 report to prevent future deaths stating the following concerns: There is no requirement for bus companies tendering for contracts from Local Authorities to transport pupils/students to ensure all their drivers have undergone training in Basic Life Support. There is no requirement for drivers transporting pupils/students to hold a Basic Life Support qualification. No protocols were in place to assist a driver as to what to do in an emergency situation whilst driving a bus including the need to call the emergency services at the earliest opportunity. The school were unable to inform the bus company concerned without a formal diagnosis and to put protective measures in place. Basic Life Support training is not taught as a matter of course to young adults in secondary education and is not part of the national curriculum.   I am calling on the Department for Transport to review school bus driver emergency training and make it law for them to be trained in life support. Please help to change the law to protect our children, we can't let this happen again!  Thank you, Christel xx    

Christel Baumker
16,648 supporters
Petitioning Department of Education

Sanitary napkin vending machines in schools is an exemplary step, but is it enough?

enty-three per cent of adolescent girls drop out of school since proper facilities are not provided to them when they are menstruating. In schools, girls don't have access to functional toilets, access to clean water and proper sanitation and disposable facilities. In India, there have been schemes put in place by the government for women, but a quick glance would show you that a significant number of those schemes essentially revolve around women either belonging to the reproductive age bracket, or young girls and infants. Somewhere around the age of 10 or 11, the girl seems to disappear from the schemes. She resurfaces in the schemes only as a young woman, married and ready to produce children. Menstruation is a natural, physiological function. A lot of women however, grow up being ashamed of their bodies. A large section of society considers women during menstruation as ‘impure’ or ‘dirty’. In India, about 23 per cent of girls drop out of school when they start menstruating. A large percentage of women are forced to use old cloth, newspapers and even mud during menstruation. Sanitary pads are expensive and about 70 per cent of women cannot afford them. Kerala became the first state to ensure the installation of sanitary napkin vending machines in government schools. That’s a big boost for the country, for it empowers the young, school-going women. In as much as 150 government schools in Thiruvananthapuram, the vending machines known as VENDIGO, will dispense a pack of three sanitary pads when the student inserts a coin into the machine. VENDIGO will be seen at schools across Palode, Nedumangad, Vithura, Neyyatinkara and Kattakada, among other regions in the district. Under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, HLL, the manufacturer of VENDIGO, has installed about 200 vending machines in Kerala, including colleges, hostels, hospitals, the High Court and the Kochi Naval base. While a number of girls learn about menstruation from their mothers, the onus should not entirely rely on them. A study performed by WaterAid revealed that in certain parts of the country, often it is the mother or grandmother who tells her daughter not to use the family toilet, since she is ‘impure’ during her menstrual cycle. Or a girl is given the same set of clothes to wear for years at an end, when she is menstruating.Schools therefore, have a significant responsibility to talk about these bodily functions as well, and help adolescent girls regain their dignity. A student spends approximately eight hours of her life at school, every day. Unfortunately, several teachers shy away from discussing menstruation, hygiene and reproductive health in schools. Menstrual hygiene in South Asia reads, “Focus-group discussions with girls revealed that teachers generally avoided teaching reproductive health. One girl reported that her teacher had said: This topic need not be taught, you can self-study at home. It’s like knowing to go to toilet with slippers/shoes’ (WaterAid in Nepal 2009a, 6). The girls in this study also reported that the information they received was mainly regarding use of cloth, the practice of rituals, the concept of (cultural) pollution, and cautions about behaviour towards men and boys.” The crucial issue at hand is to change the psychological landscape of the country – and that begins at schools. Girls should be encouraged to openly speak about menstruation without feeling burdened by fear or shame. Therefore, while the installation of sanitary napkin vending machines in government schools in Kerala is an exemplary step, and should be replicated throughout India, a lot more still needs to be done at multiple levels.This is just the tip of the iceberg. Mansi Ugale Petitioner.

Mansi Ugale
16,238 supporters
Petitioning Pakistan, Humanity, Human Rights Campaign, Department of Education, International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, equalmeansequal

Justice For Zainab - Stop Child Abuse in Pakistan & Educate the Population on SEX.

It is time to take a stand for all the Zainab's of the world. It is time for the world to become Zainab's voice. It is time for us to protect our daughters, mothers, sisters, and children. Take a stand against Child Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Child Molestation, Child Rape, Domestic abuse and Murder.  Zainab (age 7) was brutally raped, murdered and dumped to die a painful death in Kasur, Pakistan. Her family left shattered. Her memories left raw and her childhood left incomplete.  It's time that we challenge the Pakistani Culture. The discrimination and neglect towards women and children must come to an end. Women are constantly used as a pawn. Example: In 2002, 30-year-old Mukhtaran Bibi was gang-raped on the orders of the village council as an "honor rape" after allegations that her 12-year-old brother had sexual relations with a woman from an opposing cast. It is time that Pakistani's globally (residing within Pakistan or overseas) take a stand against what is happening within our nation and with our people.  Let's educate our men to treat women equally. Let's educate our population on SEX. Let us talk about sex with our children and educate our future generations to come.  If you think Zainab deserves justice please sign this petition. If you think Pakistan should start treating women with dignity, please sign this petition. We can only stop abuse, neglect, murder, and rape from happening if we start educating the population now. With a population greater than 170 million, Pakistan bears the most illiterate country in Asia. This only adds to the problem. We need our government to invest in our children and the future of the country. We need to raise MEN. We need to raise HUMANS. The youth of the country needs to be educated on gender equality.  If we want to give Zainab Justice, Let's start with raising awareness. Let's hold hands in solidarity for Zainab and make a promise to better our children and our country. #Zainab  

Pakistani Child Abuse Protection
15,671 supporters