Petition to Brevard Public Schools
Change the Dress Code of Brevard Public Schools
Today I was dress-coded for wearing a spaghetti strap style tank top (pictured above). The teacher who sent me to the office was also concerned about my shorts, but I didn't have to change them. I just had to pull them down a little so they wouldn't ride up. The real violation, according to administration, was my shirt. With my shirt, I wore a strapless bra, so my undergarments were not showing. There wasn't even any cleaveage. The only thing that was showing was my collarbone and shoulders. Everyone has shoulders and a collarbone. I do not understand why the school board is sexualizng this part of our bodies. They say that spaghetti straps are banned this year, because they are distracting. But what's distracting is being taken outside by a teacher during first period. What's distracting is having her walk you to the office like a kindergartener. What's distracting is having to change clothes. What's distracting is having to come back to class, in the middle of an important discussion several minutes later. What's distracting is having everyone stare at you as you take your seat and they've noticed you've changed clothes. What's distracting is at the end of your day, having to leave class early and pick up your clothes. What is not distracting is shoulder blades. I was humiliated in front of my peers, teachers, and administrators- having to leave class, have my outfit examined, and then having to change. Please sign this petition to get Brevard Public Schools to change their dress code. I can understand why a significant amount of cleaveage may be distracting. But I cannot understand why shoulders are. So if you want dress codes to be more fair and young adult's bodies not to be sexualized, then please sign below.
Petition to Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Stop Natural History Museum IMAX Demolition
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History plans to demolish the Samuel C. Johnson IMAX Theater – the only immersive film experience in DC dedicated to bringing the wonders of the natural world to the giant screen. What will they put in its place? An expanded cafeteria. You read that correctly: An expanded cafeteria is more important than educational documentary films about nature. The demise of such a theater would be an enormous loss to the hundreds of thousands of annual visitors who delight in, are inspired by, and learn from such a unique film experience. We are a group of concerned filmmakers and other supporters of educational film who wish to bring public awareness to this issue. We are asking the museum to delay or stop this demolition. Sign our petition to bring this issue to the attention of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and help save an invaluable educational opportunity.
Petition to Michael Mulgrew, Department of Education, Bill de Blasio
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
Petition to Brevard Public Schools
Change Brevard Public School's Cell Phone Policy
This year, the new superintendent has implemented a new electronic/wireless device policy. There are significant changes to previous policy. Last school year, students were permitted to use cell phones during lunch and in the halls between class. This year, according to the handbook, "must be powered completely off (i.e.,not just placed into vibrate or silent mode) and stored out of sight during schoolhours." Of course, the handbook states that "under certain circumstances, a student may keep his/her WCD 'on' with prior approval from the building principal." The phrase WCD refers to wireless communication device. This policy, understandably, has upset many students and teachers. Students should be allowed to communicate with their parents or family members in between classes, in the event they need to alert their parents they may be late, not feeling well, or need a ride home. Additionally, at the high school level, a significant number of students work and may need to communicate with their boss or fellow employees. Up until this year, I was involved in an acting career, and would need to respond to my agent or casting director when they sent me emails pertaining to an audition or a job. It is absurd to expect high school students to go the entire day without using their cell phones. If they are not in a learning environment, such as a classroom, they should be able to check and respond to messages. Students at this age deserve a little independence, considering most will be going off to college in a few years. Students should not have to leave class to go to the office and have to call their parents in front of administrators- especially if they need to discuss a personal matter. Additionally, if a parent calls and the student needs to go to the office, it disrupts the class and the student's learning. If you disagree with this cell phone policy, then please sign this petition.
Petition to Raymore Peculiar School District
Ray-Pec: Bring back bus transportation for elementary age students!
This petition is to encourage the Raymore Peculiar School Board to reconsider providing bus transportation to elementary age students within the district. Recently, Apple Bus sent out generic letters to families stating they would no longer be rendering their services to students who live within one mile of their local elementary schools. This news was upsetting for parents who have little to no means of securing transportation for their young children. There are many parents within Ray Pec district whose work schedules and incomes do not allow them flexibility in ensuring their children's transportation to and from school. Parents will be forced to have their children walk; regardless of age/maturity, weather, or unsafe areas including less populated neighborhoods where there are numerous registered sex offenders. This could all result in increased tardies or absences and therefore less learning and lower grades. We, as a growing community, are asking you to please reconsider your reasonings for eliminating public transportation.
Petition to Fairfax County School Board
Rename J.E.B. Stuart High School after Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall
We have been friends since 8th grade in Fairfax County, Virginia, and attended J.E.B. Stuart High School. When our school was founded in 1959, it was named after Stuart, a Confederate General, to protest the 1954 Brown vs. the Board of Education ruling that ended the segregation of public schools. Today, this school is attended by a diverse group of students who should not have to attend a school that bears the name of a man who fought to keep African Americans enslaved. So we're calling on the Fairfax County School Board to rename it Thurgood Marshall High School. Not only was Marshall the first African American Supreme Court Justice and a civil rights leader, he was our neighbor and a member of our community. When we were at J.E.B. Stuart in the late ’70’s, the school symbol was Stuart riding a horse and waving the Confederate flag. The Confederate flag was at the center of our basketball court and on our athletic letter jackets and wasn’t removed until 2001--but the symbol of Stuart on a horse waving a flag (now solid blue) remains. No one should have to apologize for the name of the public high school you attended and the history of racism it represents, as we and so many alumni of Stuart have felt the need to do our whole lives. The killings of nine African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina by a white supremacist who proudly flew and wore the Confederate battle flag was a tragic reminder of how these symbols of hate continue to fuel racism and violence. And it’s sparked a national conversation about the appropriateness of honoring the Confederacy, especially in institutions of learning. Renaming schools is not an uncommon practice. In fact, in 2013 a father in Jacksonville, Florida launched a successful petition on Change.org to rename Nathan Bedford Forrest High School. Forrest was a Confederate General and leader of the Ku Klux Klan. We have the support of many current students, represented by Students for Change, and former students, represented by Alumni for Change, as well as the Fairfax County NAACP and People Demanding Action. It’s time to rename J.E.B. Stuart High School.Please sign our petition to help us honor a true leader and hero by creating Thurgood Marshall High School. Bruce Cohen is an Academy Award-winning producer of film, television and theater. Bruce won the Best Picture Oscar for producing AMERICAN BEAUTY in 1999. He earned additional Best Picture nominations for MILK (2008) and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2012). He was nominated for an Emmy for producing the 83rd Annual Academy Awards in 2010. Bruce has always been passionate about promoting fairness and equality. He graduated from J.E.B. Stuart in 1979. Julianne Moore is an Academy Award-winning actress, who won the Best Actress Oscar this year, as well as the Golden Globe and the SAG Award, for STILL ALICE. She earned four additional Oscar nominations for Best Actress in THE END OF THE AFFAIR (1999) and FAR FROM HEAVEN (2002) and Best Supporting Actress in BOOGIE NGHTS (1997) and THE HOURS (2002). Julianne works diligently to effect change for many causes that are close to her heart. She attended J.E.B. Stuart from 1975-77.
Petition to Senator Teresa Ruiz, Commissioner Kimberly Harrington
End Colocation Now!
Taxpayers should not be responsible to pay for the private governance of charter schools. Charter Schools should be required to submit documents ensuring they have secured their own private space for their private governance of their schools as opposed to coexisting in a traditional public school which causes seperation and inequality. Furthermore, it emphasizes the difference between funding and management that exist between charter and traditional public schools.
Petition to Mattel
Save the Thomas Wooden Railway
Roy Wilson/Learning Curve was approached in the early 1990s to create a line of merchandise for Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends. This became the Thomas Wooden Railway. The Thomas Wooden Railway was founded and ran on the idea of using real wood in its products. It prided itself on its quality and simplicity. The models and destinations were not overly-complicated or contained any useless gimmicks. They were compatible with other brands and expansion was unlimited.The Thomas Wooden Railway opened up a world where children (along with their parents) could learn cooperation and creativity, where they could reenact the timeless stories that made Thomas the Tank Engine the worldwide icon that he is. Over time, decisions were made that degraded the quality of these toys. Parts of the toys that were once wood were now made of plastic. Cutting costs led to the loss of the charm and endearment that attracted people to the line. Today, Mattel owns the brand. We fans of the Thomas Wooden Railway had faith they would do more to help the brand. We thought they would reinvigorate the brand and reignite the creative spark that made the Wooden Railway so fantastic. However, we were wrong. We have seen Mattel's shameless, cost-cutting tactics. They have done nothing but make the Thomas Wooden Railway cheaper in quality and cheaper in play value. 2018 will bring about the most drastic change in the Wooden Railway's history. In the attempts to remind consumers that the products are made of wood, Mattel will be leaving whole parts of vehicles unpainted, with skimpy details, blocky models, and more. They will also be changing the connection type of their track, which will make it incompatible with the track style that has remained for 25 years, and will make it incompatible with other brands. What they do not realize is that the majority of consumers purchase generic brand track to add on to their child's collection (as the Mattel brand products are too expensive). This is only making it harder for the consumers to use and purchase new merchandise. In addition to simple play, the Thomas Wooden Railway is also a medium of entertainment. Many YouTubers use these products to not only recreate old stories, but create new and original adventures with the toys of our childhood. Mattel's moves are hurting these creators and their ability to film videos. We the fans of the Thomas Wooden Railway will not stand to see our youth cheapened and drastically altered to this degree. We were raised with the simple, wooden products of the past. We used our imaginations to recreate the world of Sodor and pretend as if we were actually interacting with Thomas himself. We ask Mattel to please reevaluate their approach to the Thomas Wooden Railway. It can be done as it was before. The old formula was successful for years. Consumers can still be satisfied with simplicity and quality, wooden toys. Thank you. -Benjamin