Confirmed victory

Stop the removal of Japanese as a foreign language from the district

This petition made change with 1,076 supporters!

The BOE wants to cut Japanese as a foreign language from Clarkstown. First of all, the Japanese teachers did not even get notified or informed about the decision. They only later found out through one of their students and have not even been officially contacted yet. That is a great injustice. Even on a purely objective level, here are some logistic reasons on why they should keep the language in the district. The Japanese government acknowledges Clarkstown as one of the few established 6-year Japanese programs in the WHOLE region. That is why they always turn to Clarkstown first for all their programs. Thus last summer, 23 students from our districts were able to spend 2 weeks in Japan ENTIRELY FOR FREE on the Kizuna project. This includes plane and even meal costs. However, this was more than just a free trip, and it certainly was not a vacation. It was an opportunity to visit the disaster struck areas in Japan and establish life-long relations between America and Japan. Additionally, for the last 2 years, Clarkstown has had a Japanese assistant teacher helping out the regular Japanese teacher at the highschools. This individual did NOT GET PAID even a penny these past 2 years for all her hard work, and the services she did for the district were priceless. Furthermore, eliminating Japanese would only cut the salaries of 2 teachers, not saving the budget much money anyways. Now for the touchy reasons. Out of all the languages offered at Clarkstown, Japanese has always been one of the most special. Everyone is with the same group of people for 6 years. During that time you form bonds that are irreplicable elsewhere. For 6 years, everyone both suffers and has fun together. You truly make great, unforgettable friends through Japanese. We've truly become our own community. During the Great 2011 Tsunami that hit Japan, the Clarkstown Japanese program managed to raise over $16,000! It was a major accomplishment that could've only been possible through this language. Additionally, as Samantha Burke said, “I was a part of the group that went to Japan through the Kizuna program, and it really taught me a lot about how interconnected the world is and how America's younger generations should establish positive relationships with people from other countries to help America grow.” It is the job for each successive generation to be citizens of not just America but of the whole world. This is stated in the district mission statement: "The Clarkstown Central School District, in a mutually respectful partnership with the community, and within a secure, caring environment, will meet the unique needs of its students and motivate and enable them to be life-long learners and productive, ethical contributors to an ever-changing global society." Yet, if Japanese is removed, only the few European languages (although each with its own merits) will be left at Clarkstown, when Europe only makes up 10% of the world population. How are students supposed "to be life-long learners and productive, ethical contributors to an ever-changing global society" when their choices are so limited?Japanese gives you a global perspective, and missing the opportunity for that that would be a great loss for not just future students that would’ve taken Japanese, but also for all the people whose lives they could have touched.

This petition is not to criticize the board of education. We understand that with new budget restrictions, it may be difficult to make ends meet. However, we feel that cutting Japanese is not the right solution.

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