Petition to Montgomery County Board of Education
Adults: Support Youth Climate Activists in MOCO
On September 23, 2019, the United Nations will host a Climate Action Summit in New York City to follow up on actions from the 2015 Paris Climate Accords and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In accordance with UN Secretary-General’s key focus areas of local action and youth engagement, sixteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has called all concerned citizens of the planet to join local sections of an international climate strike on September 20, and a week of climate action in the following week. Already a regarded figure in the climate movement, Greta’s appeal for action has quickly garnered international mobilization. The DC Climate Strike will take place on September 20 with participants from all over the DMV, and a group of 24-odd Montgomery County (MOCO) high schoolers are planning to meet with the Board of Education to demand specific local action on September 27. The DC Climate Strike is led by youth, but all climate strikes that have occurred have shared a common goal: demonstrating to those who continue to kill the planet the sheer number of people who aren’t willing to continue “business as usual” as a result of the crisis facing us today. Therefore, it is important for everyone from all backgrounds to take part in the strike - including adults - to establish this sentiment. However, the intersectionality of the climate crisis is recognized by youth organizing these strikes, and there are many people who cannot participate in one of these strikes. This could be for fear of ramifications from one’s employer or family for issues relating to one’s race, class, citizenship status or other factors. As a parent, friend, or community member, I am signing this letter to show support for and solidarity with youth in their protest of government inaction. This action is an invaluable experience for those organizing and participating in the strike. Maryland requires all graduating High School Seniors to pass one class in national, state, and local government. Civic learning, like all learning, should not only happen in the classroom. A 2010 paper in the Princeton journal The Future of Children cites high school civic engagement as not only helping to stabilize the future of democracies, but also serving as a key part of the transition from youth to adulthood, as it is then when youth begin to form their own opinions on complex issues and translate that into action. It is also important to acknowledge the history of youth in activism. Students have been the driving force behind almost all large-scale movements, with hundreds of high schoolers in Birmingham, Alabama marching during the Children’s Crusade of 1963 and similar events occurring nationally in the wake of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida organized by teenage survivors. These events have resulted in serious national and state legal changes, as well as the mobilization of a generation, which have changed the way these issues are viewed dramatically. Therefore, we ask that the MCPS administration and Board of Education: 1. Refrain from any disciplinary action against any students who participate in any legitimate climate strike activities during the week of Sept. 20-272. Designate September 20 as a no-test day to reinforce a stance of supporting such action 3. Allow students to share information about the climate strikes in school as appropriate4. Meet respectfully with students when requested during this week of action and beyond to address the climate crisis within Montgomery County5. Listen to the demands of the Student Member of the Board (SMOB) and follow up on past SMOB Ananya Tadikonda’s appeal for 5 excused absences for civic engagement Follow us and join the movement! Please email us saying what school you attend and whether you will help us get signatures this summer. If you are not a student, please tell us if your are a MOCO resident. Everyone is welcome to sign! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Instagram: @moco.on.climate Support the specific student demands: https://bit.ly/2LxW3SO
Petition to Betsy DeVos, Department of Education
Revive Civics class: Understand your Rights, Protect yourself and those you care for!
"I am an American like you, that just saw a problem with our Education system. Please at least read the first paragraph and show your support if you agree, thanks everyone"-Mike McAuliffe. Conventionally Civics class focused around Federal Laws like the Bill of Rights, while important, i feel this is less applicable then Local, Municipal, and State Laws on a daily basis. This is not to replace Political science classes which focus on evaluating and understanding the political structures and trends in our country, This is about your rights and duties as an American! Most people don't know what their rights are when speaking to police. Do i have to sign the ticket? Is it illegal to not show ID? Getting pulled over along with other tricky tactics used by those trying to take advantage of the average Joe, keep me awake at night . This type of knowledge is a weapon of the mind! How are citizens supposed to conform to the laws that govern them if they do not even know what they are! PLEASE SEE BELOW for just some of the objectives we WILL accomplish! Bring back Civics class. Classes Curriculum should entail: Local, Municipal, State and Federal rights. Class will focus on the most common struggles in daily life and how to manage them. Free online versions of class will be available to all (for retroactive learning purposes). Engage students to create a more active and better informed citizen. "Civic education proponents argue that decreased awareness of and participation in civic activities is a primary causal factor in drastically increased rates of juvenile delinquency and diminished political participation by America’s youthful leaders of tomorrow"-civics-online.org A truly democratic society relies on its citizens to be informed and ready to act. What good is a government of the people, for the people, and by the people if the people themselves have no idea of what their role as citizens entails or to what civic rights as citizens they are entitled? Preparing people to become knowledgeable and proactive members of a democratic society requires that they receive proper instruction in civics. Civics education should be included as part of any school’s curriculum for these four important reasons. Fundamentals of Government A proper civics education teaches young people about the very basics of how their government works. They learn about the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government and why these three branches must work together to pass and enforce laws. They also learn about the duties of each individual branch and how all three make up a carefully constructed checks and balances system. Ownership as Citizens Civics education also teaches students that when they become adults they can rightfully lay claim to the government as lawful citizens. They learn that it is the voice of the citizenry, not that of obscure elected politicians, that ultimately matters when it comes to shaping the government. Politicians ideally should represent the people. The people in turn have the power to vote politicians in and out of office if the changes they want do not come to fruition. Proactive and Knowledgeable Voting Students who receive a comprehensive civics education in school learn that voting is an important duty of every citizen. Every vote counts in each election, and it is through voting that people can make sure that their voices are heard. Civics education also gives students the knowledge they need to make informed decisions as they listen to politicians’ campaign speeches or read news stories about people running for office. They can reference their civics lessons to separate fact from fiction, allowing them to become educated and proactive voters. Limitations of Government Students who fail to receive a proper civics education may grow up thinking that they are victims who are subservient to the whims of an uncontrollable central government. Civics education is key in teaching people that the government has limitations and that every citizen has Constitutional rights that cannot be taken away or violated. They learn about the Bill of Rights and what these first 10 amendments guarantee them as Americans. They also learn about the remaining 17 amendments and why the Constitutional puts limitations on the government and gives power to the people. A democratic society relies on its people to fulfill their duties as citizens. When they are given a proper civics education, people know what is expected of them and to what limitations the government is bound. As the debate continues about whether or not civics should be taught in school, it is important to consider some of the key reasons why this subject benefits students who are about to become participating members of society. For more information regarding civics please visit these sites below from which information has been copied for informative purposes. Thanks so much for your support! P.S. At the bottom of this page their is a link to an already existing petition "Bring back civics education" but it does not seem to have many supporters, very little information and seems to be directed to the incorrect people who can actually effect change. http://www.civics-online.org/civics-education/key-reasons-why-students-should-learn-about-civics/http://www.civics-online.org/civics-education/the-many-benefits-of-a-good-civics-education/https://commonwealthmagazine.org/opinion/mandating-civics-classes-mistake/https://www.change.org/p/bring-back-civics-education