Petition to Donald Trump, Bill de Blasio, Mark Levine, Melissa Mark-Viverito
Boycott Trump in Central Park
Donald Trump is endangering the future of the United States and the world. To express our opposition to Trump and his policies, we are boycotting three of his most visible businesses in New York City: the Central Park carousel and the park's two ice-skating rinks, Lasker and Wollman. We are also boycotting Victorian Gardens, the amusement park that leases Wollman Rink from Trump in the summer. Many of us used to enjoy these attractions with our children. We can't anymore—not if we want to spend our time and money in accordance with our values and teach our kids how to stand up to injustice. We recognize that this boycott will not impoverish Trump. But along with other resistance efforts nationwide, it will demonstrate how unpopular he is. Without the public's support, Trump cannot carry out his agenda, which includes banning Muslims, tearing apart immigrant families, ravaging the environment, thwarting the Russia investigations, and shredding the social safety net. Our action is also a call to New York City's government, which licensed the carousel and the rinks to Trump before he ran for president, to sever ties with him as soon as possible. For more information on Families for Resistance, please visit our Facebook page.
Petition to Rick Scott
Support school choice; say YES to HB7069!
On May 8, 2017, the Florida Senate and House passed HB 7069, a high impact K-12 education bill. This is beneficial legislation supporting students, educators, and school choice in Florida. If not vetoed by the Governor, the Bill takes effect July 1, 2017. Of note, the bill: Requires school districts to share local property taxes ("millage") with charter schools. This is an important correction to help equalize Florida's large charter school funding gap. Florida Charter Schools students are currently funded less than students in District Public Schools. Requires school district to distribute Title I funds to all eligible schools after funding schools above the 75% FRL level. Many public schools serving large numbers of low income students receive no Title I dollars to provide services to those students. Creates a “Schools of Hope” program to provide resources to failing schools and encourage successful charter schools in low-income communities to expand into areas with failing public schools. Allows high-performing charter school systems to replicate throughout the state, and high-performing charter schools to replicate near persistently low-performing schools. Revises the Best & Brightest Teacher Scholarship Program to provide a $1,200 bonus to “highly effective” teachers and an $800 bonus to “effective” teachers. Eliminates a rule that the “Value-Added Model” or VAM (student performance on state exams) must be used in teacher evaluations. Teachers and administrators have been requesting this. Streamlines the teaching certificate process to encourage more professionals to become educators. Requires FDOE to study whether the ACT or SAT can be used in lieu of standardized state exams (like the FSA). Requires 20 minutes of free-play recess per day for K-5 students in traditional public schools.
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 State and Local School Districts
Stop animal dissections in schools.
Millions of frogs, cats, mice, rats, worms, dogs, rabbits, fetal pigs and fishes are dissected in elementary, secondary, and college biology classes. Most of the schools in the United States still are practicing dissections when they already have different alternatives like interactive simulation programs. Why continuing with cruelty practices to animals? Biology should be a class that helps to respect and feel compassion for all type of animals. Instead, animal dissections are making some students dissuade from following careers in science. Help to stop the cruelty! Sign the petition to end the use of animals for dissections in schools. #stopanimaldissection
Petition to Mrs. Phyllis Vogel, Mrs. Mccandless,soma, Mrs. Liang Chao, Mrs. Kristen, Lyn, Mrs.Anjali Kausar, Mrs. Gudalewicz, Wendy
Suspend New Human Development and Development Curriculum At Cupertino Union Schools
Dear CUSD Board Members,The new curriculum on Human Growth and Development needs to be suspended for a major revision to reflect true human development and growth. The chosen textbook is age inappropriate and has detailed, graphic description of oral, anal, and vaginal sex. These are taught in a mixed gender group and activities require explicit topics to be explored and discussed among 7th graders. The scenarios described in the curriculum are designed to increase curiosity on different sexual behaviors in immature minds. Overall, the material is neither age nor culture appropriate, even though the law allows for these considerations. We ask the CUSD board members to suspend this new human growth and development curriculum until more parents have had a chance to review the entire course material, including the videos. We recommend a citizen advisory committee on human growth and development to search for a scientific, rigorous, evidence-based, and community accepted comprehensive sex education curriculum. We recommend to continue the previous sex education curriculum only until an age and culture appropriate curriculum is identified.
Petition to BBC
Asking the Media to join us to create a better world for Bpd and talent
Hi, my name is Laurene Hope my aim to join with mainstream media to end the stigma of mental illness and the need to be already famous so we can all work on there. I run a positive hopeful station and theatre company to support people like myself.Unique stars with talent and so much to offer. Everyone is unique and has a story everyone! I want to see People who have been diagnosed with Bpd to be taught how to manage it as I do without meds. We all have personality disorder, some more than others ,but it's manageable when you use creativity like the stage. There should not be a stigma! Creativity is for me the answer to not needing medication for this complex needs Disorder. i wasn't allowed to adopt because of this either. You can help me change this.. Get us on here together hosting and singing and talking about Bpd and how to stay happy focused and have a good life regardless of mental illness. I have been performing since the age of 6. I have been touring all over the country singing and acting as Piaf: "Love Conquers All." I even got a 5 star review for my performance on Broadway Baby which you can read on my website. I also sold out Edinburgh by singing on the streets and was the 'Toast of Henley". Some of you might not know... I have a mental illness which is BPD: Borderline Personality Disorder. But performing contains the illness, it is my medicine. Theatre and singing are my passion, they keep me sane. Most of you have seen my work. You've praised, sang,laughed, danced and cried at my shows. Now I am asking for my dream to become a reality. To perform on BBC , and ITV and radio all over the world and help millions of people too. 1 performance on tv will give people that dream! And will also be a huge opportunity to promote Therapeutic Communities which help not only myself,but also many others with the same disorder. By signing this petition and by leaving words of encouragement you will help make my dreams come true and spread awareness to people about this disorder. I also hope to get my show programmed by theatres all over as part of their schedules for the new year. You may visit my website Moving on Theatre www.movingontheatre.co.uk to learn more about my performances and shows. Thank you very much. Your support means a lot to me. Love,Laurene
Petition to Logan River Academy, Maureen McDonald (Clinical Services & Academic Coordinator - Logan River Academy), Shannon Kegerries (CMHC - Logan River Academy), Annette Bohling, Sharyn Howell - 213-241-6701, Debra Duardo - 213-241-3840, Ray Renati, Kat Eden - (650) 366-3380 Ext. 2218, Omid Gohari, Liz Severe, Kirk Farmer, Heather Capson, Mike Bodrero, Mont Criddle, Mark Petersen, Lori Connin, Larry Carter, Jeff Smith (Owner - Logan River Academy)
Logan River Academy - Stop using solitary confinement a.k.a. "Precaution," and "Development," on kids.
Logan River Academy is a residential treatment facility in Utah, a state where there is comparable lack of oversight and relevant legislation to safe guard vulnerable students in residential programs (1.) We believe in the merit of scientifically tested and accepted residential treatment programs, but do not believe the program at LRA is either. LRA's residential program is not properly accredited (2,) they belong to NATSAP, a non-accrediting voluntary membership organization which gives the appearance of accreditation/licensure, but that does not enforce any professional and/or ethical standards on its member programs (3.) Our own research into these programs has turned up very scary things. The policies in place at Logan River Academy, detailed below, are not only cruel, they are ineffective and, in our opinion, fraudulent. Their harsh discipline policies have the end effect of cheaply warehousing kids while they accept $7,500 - $8,900 per child per month from naive parents and courts. We understand they pay many of their staff, who have direct supervision of special needs kids, close to minimum wage. Although there were meetings on Capitol Hill, and The House of Representatives even passed a bill (4,) clearly stating the problem, it remains (5):http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2KzAUB7sgE&list=UUu7v65ausH6Q9XMlxETjTBA The Government Accountability Office has done a report as well:http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08146t.pdf Many students in this program spend most of their days sitting straight forward, not allowed to move, look at another student, or make any noise; think detention but much longer and more strict. The program calls it “DEVO” (6) and they hand it out for any and all infractions; for example, one student was punished with a significant amount (hours) of “DEVO” time for returning to his room with a moist towelette from the dining area to clean his glasses, thinking it was permitted. They called it contraband and gave him excessive “DEVO,” time. This is just one example. We have first hand accounts of students receiving up to 2000 “DEVO,” hours for a single infraction and students spending over 100 consecutive days in “DEVO.” “DEVO,” is short for “development.” A true and tragic irony given the consequences of its imposition on children. There is another level of “DEVO,” that is much worse. It is called “Precaution.” Some students report allegations of being stripped naked for it. I fear that it is so they cannot strangle themselves with their clothing (7) (8.) If true this strategy may also mean they are improperly attempting to care for suicide risks without the proper facilities and personnel. Other students report spending every waking moment in “DEVO,” on “Precaution,” completely isolated from peers for up to 30 days on end (8.) During this time they don't attend class, they don't develop socially, they are forced to sit still and quiet. According to the American Academy of Chlid & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) (9.:) “The potential psychiatric consequences of prolonged solitary confinement are well recognized and include depression, anxiety and psychosis. Due to their developmental vulnerability, juvenile offenders are at particular risk of such adverse reactions. Furthermore, the majority of suicides in juvenile correctional facilities occur when the individual is isolated or in solitary confinement. Solitary confinement should be distinguished from brief interventions such as "time out," which may be used as a component of a behavioral treatment program in facilities serving children and/or adolescents, or seclusion, which is a short term emergency procedure, the use of which is governed by federal, state and local laws and subject to regulations developed by the Joint Commission, CARF and supported by the National Commission of Correctional Healthcare (NCHHC), the American Correctional Association (ACA) and other accrediting entities. The Joint Commission states that seclusion should only be used for the least amount of time possible for the immediate physical protection of an individual, in situations where less restrictive interventions have proven ineffective. The Joint Commission specifically prohibits the use of seclusion "as a means of coercion, discipline, convenience or staff retaliation." A lack of resources should never be a rationale for solitary confinement.” I am unable to find any scientific literature regarding the benefits and success rate of “DEVO.” In fact, I am unable to find any scientific literature or studies about it at all (10.) In my opinion, it is pseudoscience at best and torture at worst. We know that one student who was just removed from the program had been placed in solitary confinement at least twice. The National Institutes of Health have established guidelines for effective child discipline (11.) They are: “To be effective, discipline needs to be: given by an adult with an affective bond to the child; consistent, close to the behaviour needing change; perceived as ‘fair’ by the child; developmentally and temperamentally appropriate; and self-enhancing, ie, ultimately leading to self-discipline.” Also according to AACAP (12:) “Be sure that the residential program has a method of maintaining safe behaviors, promoting positive behaviors, and preventing aggression. Make sure that punishments and verbal intimidations are prohibited.” Hours and hours of timeout lasting long after an infraction, doled out by complete strangers who are often perceived as sadistic fails to meet a single one of these standards. Further, the Child Welfare League of America says of timeout (13,) “Sometimes children need time to calm down and collect themselves. (Adults do to!) Used sparingly, with consistency and repetition, it must be viewed as teaching the child, not punishing.” Certainly hours and hours of what I'll call “enhanced” detention is not “sparingly,” and must be considered “punishing." The United States Surgeon General has also weighed in on the matter (14:) “In behavioral token programs, youths are rewarded for conforming to rules, exhibiting prosocial behavior, and not exhibiting antisocial or violent behavior. Like some other residential approaches, behavioral token programs can have positive effects on targeted behaviors while youths are institutionalized. However, when this strategy is used alone, any such effects disappear when youths leave the program.” In addition to this, no truly independent entity is able to monitor the students' progress and wellbeing, or more importantly the lack thereof. You see, while the students are made to suffer for minor infractions, the administration of the facility do not hold themselves accountable for their own poor and dangerous results. As noted in their state accreditation report they have a very high staff turnover rate and do not provide student performance data or curriculum maps (15.) Please tell the parents of the children at LRA that they have made the wrong choice for their children and to remove them from the program before any more emotional damage is inflicted on them. Please tell the Los Angeles Unifed School District (and all other public districts) to immediately remove any students from Logan River Academy and to cease sending students there. Please tell Logan River Academy to stop using their “DEVO” techniques, that they are dangerous, unnecessary and counterproductive to nurturing intact adults. In many cases the families of these kids have been tricked by, in my opinion, snake oil salesman to sending/keeping their children to/in these programs against their will. These kids, and please remember: they are kids - are innocent despite their behavioral problems, and have been left with no other advocates. References:(1) http://www.deseretnews.com/article/991002/Boarding-schools-go-unchecked-in-Utah.html?pg=all(2) http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0185-residential-treatment-programs-teens(3) http://natsap.org/natsap-members(4) http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr3126(5) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2KzAUB7sgE&list=UUu7v65ausH6Q9XMlxETjTBA(6) http://wiki.fornits.com/index.php?title=Logan_River_Academy(7) https://www.shutdownloganriver.com/testimonials#1-click-to-read-more(8) http://www.fornits.com/phpbb/index.php?topic=16654.15(9) http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Policy_Statements/2012/Solitary_Confinement_of_Juvenile_Offenders.aspx(10) https://www.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=DEVO+boundary+behavior&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8(11) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2719514/(12) http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_Families_Pages/Residential_Treatment_Programs_97.aspx(13) https://web.archive.org/web/20131217183753/http://www.cwla.org/positiveparenting/tipsdiscipline.htm(14) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK44295/#A13025(15) http://www.schools.utah.gov/CURR/accred/Reports/DOCS/Logan-River-VT-report-2009.aspx
Petition to CUSD School Board
Limit iPads to Classrooms - An Option Parents Want from CUSD
The Cupertino Union School District has implemented a 1:1 iPad program in middle schools. Parents who raised concerns about this program in the past were dismissed as outliers and "noises". However, a greater consensus does exist - many parents are worried about the many downsides of this program for the long term physical and mental health of their children. Top concerns: High rate of early addiction to games/social media Distraction in class and at home, falling grades Health Issues: “iPad” neck, carpal tunnel syndrome, eye problems... Constant power struggle over iPad use at home Potential long-term behavioral changes Less outdoor and physical activities, obesity Financial liability due to lost, stolen, broken iPads Parents not offered alternatives: OPT OUT /student laptops/leave device at school, etc. For the short term: We are asking CUSD that- School/district-provided iPads be made available in the classroom for all student iPad needs iPad use is restricted to classroom use only The school district assumes all liability for the device Exercising the above option is decoupled from family financial status (no stigma attached) We are asking CUSD to ensure that in the classroom- iPad usage is ergonomically sound - keyboard, screen position, etc. Usage conforms to the American Association of Pediatrics recommendation for only 1-2 hours per day of screen time for children and teens. iPad specific homework will be modified to allow for a paper option or use of laptop/desktop home device as an alternative. Textbooks will be provided for home use. For the long term we are asking CUSD to provide: Evidence-based policies - show us data 1:1 iPad is effective or that iPads are better for learning than other devices such as student laptops Short and long term health impact surveys, including mental health and behavioral impact of intensive iPad usage Greater involvement of all stakeholders including parents in decision making --------Articles for more information-------- - Students Are 'Hacking' Their School-Issued iPads: Good for Them "The Los Angeles School District alone, where some of this purported “hacking” occurred, has plans to spend $1 billion for an iPad rollout over the next two years that would eventually put a device in every student’s hands. But in light of the security breaches and other concerns about the project’s implementation, the district is rethinking the initiative. It recently announced that students will not be allowed to take their iPads home—one of the key perks of the sort of “24–7 learning” that mobile devices are supposed to support..." http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/10/students-are-hacking-their-school-issued-ipads-good-for-them/280196/ - Gray Matters: Too Much Screen Time Damages the Brain “Taken together, [studies show] internet addiction is associated with structural and functional changes in brain regions involving emotional processing, executive attention, decision making, and cognitive control.” --research authors summarizing neuro-imaging findings in internet and gaming addiction (Lin & Zhou et al, 2012) https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-wealth/201402/gray-matters-too-much-screen-time-damages-the-brain - Health Outcomes of Information System Use Lifestyles among Adolescents: Videogame Addiction, Sleep Curtailment and Cardio-Metabolic Deficiencies "Background and ObjectiveObesity is a rising problem among adolescents in modern societies; it results in long-term cardio-metabolic problems. Possible overlooked drivers of obesity and its consequent cardio-metabolic deficits include videogame addiction and the resulting curtailed sleep; both are growing problems among adolescents. The objective of this study is to examine possible associations among these concepts in adolescents, as a means to point to plausible interventions." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4858285/ - 5 Problems with iPads in Education The majority of iPad deployments thus far have been messy and poorly executed. A recent study conducted on the efficacy of iPads in four California school districts found that students who used iPads performed no better than the control group. http://betanews.com/2012/10/24/5-problems-with-ipads-in-education/ - Screens In Schools Are a $60 Billion Hoax "Tech in the classroom not only leads to worse educational outcomes for kids, which I will explain shortly, it can also clinically hurt them. I’ve worked with over a thousand teens in the past 15 years and have observed that students who have been raised on a high-tech diet not only appear to struggle more with attention and focus, but also seem to suffer from an adolescent malaise that appears to be a direct byproduct of their digital immersion. Indeed, over two hundred peer-reviewed studies point to screen time correlating to increased ADHD, screen addiction, increased aggression, depression, anxiety and even psychosis..." http://time.com/4474496/screens-schools-hoax/?xid=fbshare - It’s ‘digital heroin’: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies "There’s a reason that the most tech-cautious parents are tech designers and engineers. Steve Jobs was a notoriously low-tech parent. Silicon Valley tech executives and engineers enroll their kids in no-tech Waldorf Schools. Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page went to no-tech Montessori Schools, as did Amazon creator Jeff Bezos and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales..." http://nypost.com/2016/08/27/its-digital-heroin-how-screens-turn-kids-into-psychotic-junkies/