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Petitioning Department of Education, UK Parliament, Global Partnership for Education, Department for Education

Battle racism by updating GCSE reading lists

Petition to get Good Immigrant (Nikesh Shukla) and Why I’m No longer Talking to White People About Race (Reni Eddo-Lodge), on the GCSE reading list. The current English GCSE reading list consists of authors ranging from 19th Century writers such as; Charles Dickens, George Elliot and Charlotte Bronte. Shakespeare dominates a large portion of reading lists, and modern prose shows a little more diversity with Meera Syal and Maya Angelou amongst George Orwell and John Steinbeck. Although these lists of literature span a wide range of content, they do very little to reflect our current society. Current books on the curriculum - https://schoolreadinglist.co.uk/tag/gcse/ With recent events in America (the murder of George Floyd by a police officer), we need to look closer to home on how we can learn from these acts of horror, and how we can lead by example to be the change we want to see, so we can prevent these events from happening again.  Education is where it starts. Although you can have debates and go on marches in the hope of battling closed minds, school is where minds are opened and where we should grasp the opportunity to teach students about diversity and our current society, including the injustices.  That is why I am proposing the following books be added to the GCSE reading lists -  The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shukla - A collection of essays written by a wide range of the BAME personalities voicing their experiences of racism in this country. The contributors range from actors, to journalism, musicians and writers.  Each essay offers a different perspective and view point.  Why I am no longer talking to white people about Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge - This books spans a wide range of issues relating to the institutional racism of this country. It confronts British history, feminism and the class system. This book started out as a blog post and after such a wide response, Eddo-Lodge decided to expand her response. It’s had international success.  These two books wouldn’t only contribute diversity to the current GCSE reading lists, they would also highlight our current society’s diversity, inequalities and opportunities for change. Highlighting this to young adults will hopefully ignite a desire to be part of the change and also stamp out ignorance towards diversity.

Molly Crossley
497,136 supporters
Petitioning SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EDUCATION, Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP, Gavin Williamson, Department of Education, Jonathon slater, The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP, Department for Education

Make Black British History Compulsory in Schools

This petition is to call for British Black History to be made mandatory throughout schools in the UK. Many people today do not know that black communities have been in the UK from the beginning and as the growing population of people of colour and mixed children continues, it is a shock that it is not part of our education system. In Primary school and First Year of secondary education, we are taught of Black History in American and the slave trade that occurred there. We are taught the names of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., yet many people have never heard the names of Ignatius Sancho and Stuart Hall. They have never heard of the slave trade that occurred in Britain. It is only fair that children be educated on the heritage of black and brown people and make it part of the curriculum. The history of POCs have been erased in our country and it is not right, people in our country are not being taught about the racism that occurred here, e.g. the murder of Stephen Lawrence, and that is still occurring here making people believe that the UK is exempt to racism when that is not the case. As well as teaching black history, it is important to teach black culture (this will include all races and culture, including Asia). If we are taught different religions in our RE classes, we can be taught different African and Asian cultures in our history classes. By teaching our children at a young age, it will bring awareness to the oppression, discrimination and lack of protection that these community face in their day to day life in the hopes of making this country a more understanding, knowledgeable and equal one.

Black British History
296,761 supporters
Victory
Petitioning ICE , US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Donald J. Trump, Department of Education, Student and Exchange Visitor Program

LET INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS STAY

On Monday, July 6, 2020, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that International Students in the United States whose schools have ruled for online-only classes in the Fall 2020 semester must leave the United States, or may face immigration consequences. More information may be found here: https://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/bcm2007-01.pdf International students, who make up about ~5.5% of students enrolled in US higher education and contributed about $41 billion dollars to the US economy in the 2018-2019 school year, are being forced to travel home where they may not have access to proper resources in order to continue their education (ie: high-speed Internet). These students should not only be looked at as a statistic or a positive contribution to the US economy.  Many of these students leave their family and friends back home, and come to the United States in hopes of receiving a quality education. These students deal with culture shock, financial issues, and many other challenges. Forcing these students to return home will negatively impact their education, finances, as well as their mental and physical health. Many of these students have already signed leases and will be forced to pay for housing which they will not be residing in. Furthermore, with the time differences overseas, attending live classes will be difficult for these students.  With COVID-19, traveling back home may risk having these students come in contact with the virus.  Another important note to consider is that many countries have placed travel bans which will force these students to stay in the United States illegally.  With this Petition, we are requesting ICE to rescind their decision to send International Students back to their home countries and allow them to stay in the US while being enrolled in online courses. 

Noor R
137,885 supporters
Petitioning DELHI GOVT., Change​.​org, Department of Education

Schools should not start until 0 COVID Cases in India

People need to understand that safety is obviously the No. 1 priority. Taking a risk like opening schools in Delhi where the numbers are consistently high and hospital running out of beds is not only a risk but also a threat towards a higher number. It has to be our moral obligation to look at the brighter side first. Parents are opposing the Ministry of Home Affairs’ suggestion that schools reopen in July. The petition has described the idea of re-starting school as “playing with fire”. “Opening of schools in July will be the worst decision by the Govt. It’s insane. It’s like playing with fire when we ought to douse it with full force. The parents should fight against this stupidity with tooth n nail, not a single child to be sent to the schools for their own safety.“Children might not be conscious of sanitizing hands or constantly maintaining physical distance, it is not a good idea to call them back to schools,” said Garima Taneja, a parent whose child goes to a school in Bengaluru.  Some parents also said it will be acceptable to them if their children even lose an academic year.“I don’t mind if my son has to miss a school year. My wife and I can homeschool him. I am more worried about him being exposed to infections when he goes back to school,” said Santosh Sharma, whose eight-year-old son goes to a private school in Delhi.       

Aryan Sharma
117,629 supporters
Petitioning Department of Education, U​.​S. Senate, U​.​S. House of Representatives

Create a Code of Ethics for Students Attending Public Schools

My son spent his 17th birthday being hand fed liquids through a syringe. He is the victim of an assault that left him with a broken jaw in 3 places, a severe concussion, and whiplash. And while my son has been at home with his mouth wired shut, his attackers and those who applauded and cheered his attack, continue to attend school and play Varsity sports. On July 21, 2021 I received the call that every parent dreads. My son Nicholas had been assaulted and was severely injured. Upon arrival at our local hospital, my son was rushed into a CT scan. Given the baseball size lump that had now formed on the back of Nick’s head, the doctor had concern that there might be internal bleeding in his brain. He also needed X-Rays to rule out a broken neck and ribs because Nick was unable to turn his head, and even the slightest movement caused a great deal of pain. His mouth was bleeding so profusely, doctors couldn't identify the source. Words do very little to adequately express the emotional turmoil a mother goes through while awaiting the results of tests such as these. As the daughter of an Emergency Room nurse, I had heard the stories of blunt-force brain trauma.  It wasn’t until the police officer arrived at the Emergency Room, that I gained full understanding of the attack my son had endured. Watching the video playback of my son’s assault is something that will forever be etched into my mind. My son's head had been slammed onto the hardwood floor so hard that it bounced. He had been punched to the point of unconsciousness, and hit his head against a concrete wall as he collapsed on the ground. It is both horrific and heartbreaking. That heartache was multiplied a hundred-fold when I heard the laughter and cheering from those who videotaped his assault. This was not an accident caught on camera. This was a blatant and hate-filled attack on a victim that had no idea it was coming, and no chance to defend himself. My son's attackers found joy in his pain, and posted it on their social media accounts for all to see. The days and weeks following the assault are hands-down the hardest we have ever had to endure as a family. Nick’s mouth was so swollen and misshapen that he had to wait 3 days before surgery could even be performed to correct it.  My son has endured things I would not wish on my worst enemy, including multiple bouts of vomiting through his broken jaw on his first night home due to the severity of his concussion. I held his shattered jaw in my hands as his teeth chattered from the adrenaline crash hours after his attack. His whole body was shaking uncontrollably, and there was quite literally nothing I could do to ease his pain. For 3 days, I fed him one child’s syringe of liquid at a time. His mouth was so swollen, he could not swallow more than a ¼ teaspoon at a time. Surgery to fix the 3 breaks in his jaw was 2.5 hours long, and will require my son to have his mouth wired shut for 6 weeks. Nick, who is claustrophobic, is quite literally living his worst nightmare. Watching your child struggle to breathe through nostrils that are inflamed as a result of surgical intubation, unable to open his mouth, and pleading for you to help him is the most traumatizing thing I have ever experienced. I have never felt so helpless in all my life. The depth of physical damage as a result of this assault continues to unfold. My son is unable to play baseball, his beloved sport, due to on-going concussion protocol. We have no set date on when he will be cleared to resume full athletic activity. His jaw, once unwired, will need additional weeks of bands to strengthen and retrain his bite. He also faces 6 months to a year of braces to realign his teeth, several of which were knocked and twisted out of place. While the physical injuries will heal... the emotional burden is far more complex. And if the aforementioned isn't torturous enough, it's the lack of support from our educational system that leaves me utterly appalled. Although I have pleaded my case directly to the 2 high schools my son's attackers attend, and made countless calls to the local Superintendent's Office, neither school has rescinded the student's participation in Varsity sports or extracurricular activities. While my son is still unable to do more than 15 minutes of "light physical activity like walking" due to his ongoing concussion symptoms, these students are living life as usual, without consequence. My son, an athlete himself, is missing his entire fall season of his elite baseball team, while the students who laughed, danced and cheered my son's assault continue to receive college scholarship offers to play sports at NCAA schools. The high schools, citing a recent Supreme Court Case - Levy vs The State of PA - say they are unable to issue consequences for behavior that happens outside of school property. The problem? The Levy case was a matter of freedom of speech. My son's story is a matter of violence. Sadly, we are not the only family fighting this very same battle at this very moment. Just weeks after my son's assault, a teen in AZ was lured into the woods where he was beaten by 2 Varsity football players. He too, was rushed to the hospital, and in eerily similar fashion, he also required a 6 hour surgery to wire his jaw shut. Much like our case, the school is refusing the suspend those athletes from participating in sports or extracurricular activities. I understand and respect that our 14th Amendment ensures the right to a public education. However, I fervently oppose that our tax payer dollars be spent on extracurricular activities for students who commit violent, hate-filled, bullying or otherwise offensive acts. I hereby call on the Department of Education to immediately and without hesitation enact an Ethical Code of Conduct for all high school students attending publicly-funded schools. At the very minimum, violations of said Code of Conduct, whether on school property or not, should result in the immediate termination of participation in extracurricular activities for a length of time determined appropriate by an unbiased school board. We cannot, in good conscience, continue to turn our backs on instances of bullying, violence and hate. To stay silent is complicit to condoning aggression in our schools. This assault happened at a local recreation center. There was nothing at stake. No championship. No reward. And yet, it almost cost us everything we hold dear.  And for the "powers that be"... the decision makers... our leaders... I ask that you read this petition as if it were your own child being beaten to the point of unconsciousness. As if it were your loved one you had to feed through a syringe for days because their mouth was too swollen to even sip from a cup. As if it were the most precious of your kin that you had to hold during their night terrors, while they cried and tried to defend themselves against an unseen foe. I ask that you see your own family in the faces of our family. The only ray of light throughout this tragedy is the hope that our story will somehow inspire positive and impactful change. The hope that violence and hate cannot come without severe and significant consequences. The hope that one voice can make a difference. I pray I am not hoping in vain.

Allyssa Brooke
121,425 supporters
Petitioning Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, Doug Jones, Richard Shelby, Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, Martha McSally, Kyrsten Sinema, John Boozman, Tom Cotton, Dianne Feinstein, Kamala D. Harris, Michael...

Put Intersex and Transgender Education into Sex Ed Curriculum

Transphobia is rampant in our current society. In the BLM movement, transgender black women are the most targeted for hate crimes. Black transgender women have an average lifespan of thirty. According to the Human Rights Campaign, In 2019, at least 27 deaths of transgender people were recorded, with a majority of black transgender women. That number has almost doubled this year alone, with a total number of 43 deaths. Consider this stat with the understanding that transgender people only make up 1% of the population. It is clear we need change on both fronts. As we fight for justice within our judicial system, we must also consider how all of this came to be. Understanding that lack of education can cause fear and hate towards a group of people is the first step to uprooting culturally ingrained hated. Violence and discrimination towards transgender people, or those who were born outside of the realm of the binary genders, is a learned behavior based on ignorance. By teaching to unlearn these behaviors, we can begin to make change. In health class, previously and presently, students learn about the anatomy and science of their genitalia and how to have protected sex. That being said, it is statistically proven that 1.7% of people are intersex. That means at least one person each school year is not getting an education. That is nearly one million high school students as of 2020 who are not getting a proper sex education. Add on those who are transgender, and it becomes 1.53 million in the United States. This does not account for those whose lives were detrimentally affected by a lack of education, and now spend their lives with an internalized hate towards these groups. Educating students on their transgender and intersex peers will be a significant and important step in erasing hatred from our schools. Proposed topics of learning include: The different ways someone can be biologically intersex, how to practice safe sex with varying sexes, the effects of hormones on the human body, the science of gender dysphoria including non-binary transgenders, the difference between social and physical dysphoria, the difference between sexuality and gender, and gender confirming clothing items, procedures, and/or hormones and hormone replacement therapy. It is not the education system’s job to teach why someone might want to change their gender, but it is their job to give children a Sex Education, whatever their gender or sex may be. If we do not begin change in our schools, this problem will continue. Transgender and intersex hate crimes will continue. We need change to begin at the start of these learned behaviors and remove the ignorance on the subject, so that hate towards these groups will subside. It is imperative to add to the Sex Ed and Health curriculum some part that acknowledges both of these groups, because we want to have a progressive curriculum. If you are not apart of this change, then you are allowing this to continue. Please support intersex and transgender rights by giving your students the rights to an education.

Terran Mehan Mehan
99,084 supporters
Petitioning Australian Government, Department of Education

Aboriginal History Class to be implemented into primary and secondary education.

Change starts with education. We need the true history of Australia and its First Nations people being taught in Aussie schools. Not only to keep the culture alive but provide better understanding, recognition, relationships, and respect to Australia’s First Nations people.  We urge the Australian government to make Aboriginal History compulsory as a part of the school curriculum. The time is now to change our education system in order to teach all Australian kids about the culture of our world's oldest civilization. Not teaching our kids Australia's true history is no longer acceptable - our kids deserve to be taught the real history of this country. I am a proud Yorta Yorta and Gunditjmara man. I am privileged to travel and work with First Nations people in communities across Australia. We need more education around Aboriginal history and cultures, and what my people have been through. Educating our country on our culture gives First Nations people value and the respect we deserve and will help us to come together. We urge the Australian government to make Aboriginal History compulsory as a part of the school curriculum. The time is now!! I am presenting this petition at parliament house in November and would love for as many people as possible to support this petition. Let's see if we can get this over 300,000 by the day I present this.  Please pass this on to your friends and family. Thank you.

Isaiah Firebrace
295,985 supporters
Petitioning Department of Education, Secretary of Education

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness for All

The US is in crisis due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The economic impact is already being felt and could worsen before it gets better. It is disrupting businesses, big and small, shutting them down and negatively impacting millions of Americans’ abilities to make a living. Many may be out of work for weeks receiving less pay or no pay at all for an uncertain number of weeks. With schools shutting down, many household expenses are likely to increase with children being home all day. Not to mention the increased inherent health risk also poses additional economic risks, as those who get sick and are hospitalized can be left with large medical bills and even those who are just quarantined may not have paid sick leave. Nearly 70% of Americans don’t have even $1000 for emergencies according to GOBankingRates’ 2019 savings survey, and this is clearly an emergency! We are seeing what is happening with the financial markets. There is a growing risk of a recession and our government clearly knows it. The feds have already taken actions, including injecting about $1.5 trillion into the market to try to keep it from collapsing and slashing interest rates to nearly zero. Our country is in financial crisis. Moreover, it will likely just get worse. Supply chains that are fundamental for business operations have been disrupted. For many Americans having less income coming in, that means they will have to forego spending on things and activities that aren’t a necessity. This negatively affects businesses and the economy as well. So how do we get pass this? The government has already taken a few steps, but more is needed! Student loan debt is the second largest form of debt in the Unites States behind mortgage debt. According to a report from December 2018 by MeasureOne, about 92% of student loans are owned by the US Department of Education. This encompasses 43 million borrowers with outstanding federal student loan debt of roughly $1.4 trillion dollars. Many are already defaulting on payments and likely many more soon will, as they have no other choice in these trying times. At this critical time, in order to really counter the risks of an economic depression and the impact of this virus and help boost the economy, we need to urge the powers at be to cancel all federal student loan debt. There has been pushes for it in the past, but right now this is a critical time, and we have seen with the amount spent in the market to prevent a collapse, our government can in fact do it. This can help millions, individuals and businesses alike, and subsequently help stimulate our economy again in the coming months. It can free up capital to help Americans catch up on paying bills, maintain current businesses, invest, start new businesses, and/or even just build up their savings for emergencies. The Secretary of Education and US Department of Education have the power to cancel all US federal student loan debt itself without any action of Congress. Stand with me and urge the Secretary of Education and US Dept of Education to cancel all federal student loan debt and give our economy a boost that will truly help and positively affect millions of Americans!

Ryan Hickman
88,224 supporters