Department of Education
Department of 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.
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.
A NATIONAL PERIOD OF REMEMBERANCE FOR VICTIMS OF SLAVERY AND RACIAL INJUSTICE
Enough is enough. How long can we avoid teaching people in the UK about the racial injustices experienced in the UK and worldwide? How long can we allow these racist narratives perpetuated by the British education system to persist? How much longer will we pretend to be blind to the experience of black and ethnic minorities in the UK? An annual national period of remembrance is where we can begin. Curriculum change is next.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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. http://fox5sandiego.com/2017/11/08/toddler-with-dairy-allergy-died-after-school-gave-him-grilled-cheese-family-says/ 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!
Allow students to return to their residence accommodations
Students are already continuing with their academics online... The Minister Of Higher Education Dr Blade Nzimande stated how they are willing to help students with their studies and that students are expected to be home for that period... The problem is students want to go back to their student accommodations in order to continue with their online learning studies. It's an effective way for students because unlike home, students will have their own space to study and will concentrate better... At home, students are living under different circumstances which may lead to them not being able to concentrate. Other students are living in areas which have bad Internet service and they can't attend any online session. Other students are facing challenges in their households for example :Abuse, Noise and other things which negatively affects them academically We will like the Department Of Higher Education to help students to go back to their student accommodations for better outcomes. Students in that way will be able to have time for their academics.. A lot of students are concerned about their future and a lot are not against this thing of studying online but what's most important to them is the environment which they at. So please help students to return to student accommodations by signing this petition calling on our Minister Of Higher Education Dr Blade Nzimande to his power and intervene...