Project: Equity at Bacon Academy and Colchester Public Schools.
Project: Equity at Bacon Academy and Colchester Public Schools.
Why this petition matters
As you can see from a past petition, our school has faced many hardships over the years and it is happening once again.
Our goal is to increase the equity at Bacon Academy so that every student, regardless of their gender, gender identity, mental health, disability, religion, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, will have the time and resources they need to achieve academically, socially, and emotionally.
Recently, our school Bacon Academy has gotten much harsher and more strict while also not fixing reoccurring problems that students have complained about numerous times. These issues do include discrimination, bathroom limitations that are completely unfair and the inability to feel comfortable in a school.
- The dress code is extremely biased and especially unfair to girls with boys allowed to go shirtless, and girls unable to even wear certain shirts without facing the consequences of the administrators.
- This issue disproportionately affects non-popular, usually curvier girls.
- I think that accommodations for this would be actively trying to introduce the dress code without kid's feeling bad for expressing themselves, and creating equal rules for both genders without biases toward others. A requirement to fix these issues would be to stop being unfair and biased towards students no matter what, we should all be equal and treated equally.
- A negative impact of unequal dress code is that student's will feel picked out of a group, and that will usually make them feel smaller and they'll change themselves; if we fixed this issue, we could create an environment where kids can be safe and also be themselves without facing consequences.
2. Many teachers have cut bathroom times down to less than 5 minutes, meaning that we have to be back from the bathroom within 5 minutes since we signed out. + New information has informed us that the Principal has walked into the girl's bathroom many times, even if he's trying to tell them to hurry up, this is not appropriate.
1. This is an issue because many students are already uncomfortable using the bathrooms at school, and these new rules make students even anxious to use the bathroom; whilst the issue can be fixed by actually allowing students to use the bathroom, you do not need to constantly monitor them.
This is completely unfair, and not to mention strange and unnecessary to limit someone's basic body biology and how they use the bathroom.
- In the yearbook, there are people who have changed their names willingly to something they enjoy, and the school fails to respect that and keeps their dead names in.
- This is not okay, and it harms peoples confidence and self-love, because it reminds them of something they did not see themselves as.
- This also happens many times with students being misgendered and not properly receiving accommodations for their gender identity. I think proper accommodations for this, would making it mandatory for teachers to respect these teachers pronouns, and if they don't, they should face proper consequences. Gender non-conforming students and trans students should be protected, this means their preferred names and pronouns should be used, as long as it's on non-legal documents.
- The reason to protect student's is because LGBTQ+ suicide rates are extremely high in highschool due to discrimination: In a 2019 survey by the CDC, about 40% of LGBTQIA+ students had developed a suicide plan and a little more than 50% had thought about suicide (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020)
- Our passing period (where we go from class to class.) has been cut much shorter and we keep being told that it's beneficial because it makes out lunches longer.
1. This period used to be 5 minutes, which was still way to short for how many students pass through out the hallways everyday, has now been cut to 3 minutes which is outrageous considering the distance between many of our classes.
2. This is also a lunch period issue, with hundreds of kids swarming into lunch lines with no active organization and it's messy. Since our lunch period is already 30 minutes, by the time we finish getting our lunch, we will probably have 10 to 20 minutes left, which is not enough time to finish your food and have a small break before your next classes.
- The main issue here, is the unorganized lunch lines which pool into the café and cause just incredibly long lines that cut our ability to eat.
5. Another large issue at hand, is that administrators may seem to listen to problems but they usually push it aside, when a student needs help and is asking for help, you should immediately HELP them without questioning it.
6. During our exam weeks, throughout the school years we had shortened days after we finished our midterms and finals; but when Dr. Hewes came into play we immediately noticed a change, we no longer have shortened days for exams and we have two class periods after doing two exams, which will take at least four hours to complete.
7. Another issue, we had Advisory (a break with our homeroom teacher, for 30 mins to set stuff up.) and Flex (an extra 30 minutes in the morning to come in later.) and when we complained about not liking advisory because it was boring, they took away flex which was actually the best part of the week and replaced it with "activities", which i'm assuming most of us don't wanna do.
From a student: "During my years at this school, I faced hatecrimes with the intent to hurt me and tear me down as a person. As a queer person, this really made me feel insecure with my sexuality and myself as a person — many times school administrators and staff saw and heard this and did nothing to help me — even at times reporting this with nothing happening to the bullies.
This issue is also not limited to me, but many trans teenagers and other queer kids. Other friends who were dismissed as trans by transphobes and said that they're gender identity is invalid and stupid — once again facing little to no consequences when it's brought up to administration."
1. This also disproportionately affects black, asian and indigenous students, who can face racism and discomfort from a predominantly white student body — some of who are extremely racist towards these students while facing no consequences for their actions.
This is an issue.
Whilst some of these issues are recent, many of these issues have been around for years.
Highschool is supposed to be a place that nurtures the students and helps them learn before sending them off into the real world, but from all we've seen, this isn't helping us or the school's rating.
All we want is a place to be ourselves without judgement, hate or fear and this school is full of it. WE need to reach the goal, so we can send this to the Board of Ed. and finally bring our school to a place that feels like a family again.