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 Shirley Turner, Diane Allen, James Beach, Michael Doherty, Sheila Oliver, Mila Jasey, M. Teresa Ruiz
Stop Bill Requiring NJ Kids Be Taught to Interact With Police From Becoming Law
Incorporating the police into our mandatory curriculum is a direct push towards the school-to-prison pipeline. This past Thursday, The New Jersey State Assembly passed legislation that would require schools to teach children how to interact with police. Sponsored by veteran Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, Assembly Bill A1114 passed 76-0, according to the New Jersey State Legislature’s Office of Legislative Services. The bill, passing during a time of high profile, police involved shootings and non-convictions of officers, mandates that school districts teach children how to talk to police offices as early as kindergarten. "This bill is designed to create a scapegoat for police brutality, and that scapegoat is New Jersey children,” said Alexis Miller, lead organizer of the Paterson Chapter of Black Lives Matter. "Instead of addressing the laws that protect the immense power of police departments, students are expected to master respectability politics in order to protect themselves from officers. " In fact, when the legislation was first introduced in 2016, the bill mandated only that children be taught "the role and responsibilities of a law enforcement official in providing for public safety; and an individual’s responsibilities to comply with a directive from a law enforcement official.” It was not until activists criticized the bill for placing the responsibility on children did an additional component become added. The amended version of the bill requires children be taught about "an individual’s rights under law in interacting with a law enforcement official.” However, the bill continues to place the onus on police interactions on individuals and allows police to continue to evade accountability. "Everyone needs to understand that creating cordial bonds between officers and the community does not negate an officer’s authority to use force. It is simply an illusion,” Miller said. "Our students should be in the classroom learning measurable subjects and our tax dollars should go towards STEM, the arts, and inclusive history." BLM Paterson is asking supporters to sign our petition and call NJ Senators to encourage a No vote.
Petition to Rob Bonta, Nancy Skinner, Jerry Brown, Tony Thurmond
Support the Oakland Super Heroes Mural Approval
In recent months during the final mural approval processes, Caltrans, the property owners of the freeway walls, has created a legal barrier and we are now unable to move forward. WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW!!! Encourage Caltrans to approve the production of the next mural. Our underpasses are in a crisis state and present so many problems in our area. Reviving this public space through art and beauty means a stronger investment from Oakland residents to keep the city safe and respected by all. The Oakland Super Heroes Project is in progress with the fourth large scale mural in West Oakland in a series of six murals to be painted under the I580 freeway. This project is a true community endeavor, which has enlisted the participation and enthusiasm of hundreds of our families and neighbors. The murals address some of the deepest concerns in Oakland relaying concepts by students who designed superheroes that advocate for peace in the community. http://www.ahc-oakland.org/ https://www.facebook.com/osh.mural https://www.facebook.com/OAKSuperHeroes/ Please use this hashtag #WeCanInspire
Petition to Gilbert Public Schools staff and board
Name the Desert Ridge High School auditorium after founding principal Dan Coombs
Mr. Coombs, the founding principal of Desert Ridge High School, is and has always been such a large advocate for performing arts and education as a whole. While helping shape our school into what it is now and what it will always be, he never neglected any individual or program and showed his love to everyone part of the Jaguar community. To recognize his amazing effort and caring nature, the Desert Ridge High School Band, on behalf of the entire performing arts department, would be honored to name our auditorium after him.
Petition to Westminster Choir College of Rider University
We, the undersigned, request the historic Playhouse on the campus of Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ be named to honor the work and legacy of Joseph Flummerfelt.
Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt has been an inspiration and guiding light for thousands of students at Westminster Choir College. We feel it is important that his legacy be marked by naming the Playhouse, the wonderful rehearsal space at Westminster, in honor of him. BIO: Musical America’s 2004 Conductor of the Year, Joseph Flummerfelt’s artistry has been heard in many of the world’s concert halls for over 40 years. He is founder and musical director of the New York Choral Artists, and for 33 years was conductor of the world-renown Westminster Choir. Since 1971 he has been responsible for most of the choral work of the New York Philharmonic. As an orchestral conductor, Flummerfelt made his debut with the New York Philharmonic, conducting Haydn’s “Creation” in 1988. In 2001, he conducted the world premier of Stephen Paulus’ Voices of Light with the Philharmonic and the Westminster Choir. He has also appeared as guest conductor with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Juilliard Symphony Orchestra, and the San Antonio and Phoenix Symphonies. He has also conducted over 60 choral/orchestral performances with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in the United States and Italy. For over four decades Flummerfelt has collaborated in the preparation of hundreds of choral/orchestral performances and recordings with such conductors as Abbado, Bernstein, Barenboim, Boulez, Chailly, Colin Davis, Gilbert, Giulini, Maazel, Masur, Mehta, Muti, Ozawa, Sawallisch, Shaw, Steinberg. In addition to the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Flummerfelt’s choirs have performed with numerous other American orchestras, as well as European orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, the Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. PictureJoseph Flummerfelt’s Westminster Symphonic Choir and New York Choral artists have been featured in 45 recordings, including Britten's War Requiem and Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem and Schicksalslied with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic; Mahler's Symphony No. 2 and a Grammy Award-winning Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with Leonard Bernstein; Puccini's Tosca and Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra; Messiaen's Le Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jesus Christ with the National Symphony. His collaboration with Samuel Barber includes the Grammy Award-winning recording of the composer's opera, Anthony and Cleopatra. In 2004 he was awarded a Grammy for the New York Choral Artists recording of John Adams’ On the Transmigration of Souls. Earlier he was nominated for the Westminster Choir’s recording of the Haydn Lord Nelson Mass with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, and Berlioz’s Romeo et Juliette with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra.Among the many recordings he has made with the Westminster Choir, his Delos recording of Brahms' choral works (Singing for Pleasure) was chosen by The New York Times as a favorite among all existing Brahms recordings. His 2004 recording with the choir, Heaven to Earth, has received high critical acclaim. His latest CD, Legacy, was a recording of his final home concert with the Westminster Choir in April 2004.For 33 years Joseph Flummerfelt served as artistic director and principal conductor of Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey – a position from which he retired in 2004. He began his academic career as director of choral activities at his alma mater, DePauw University, from 1964 to 1968. He served in the same capacity at Florida State University from 1968 to 1971, when he began his tenure at Westminster. Since retiring from Westminster, Flummerfelt has held many visiting professorships and conducted many performances at a number of universities, including, among others, Eastman School of Music, University of Texas, New England Conservatory, University of Illinois, Kansas City Conservatory of Music and DePauw University. For 37 years he served as director of choral activities for the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. in Charleston, South Carolina, from which he retired in 2013, and for 23 years was the maestro del coro for the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy. A master teacher, Flummerfelt’s many former students occupy a number of major choral positions throughout the United States. Yannick Nezet-Seguin, the conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, who, as a teenager, studied with Flummerfelt in two advanced conducting summer workshops, cites him as one of the two major influences in his life as a conductor. A 2009 New York Times article said, “Mr. Nezet-Seguin called those sessions with Mr. Flummerfelt the only significant conducting lessons he ever had.” Dr. Donald Nally, another former student, who is now Director of Choral Activities at Northwestern University as the founder and artistic director of The Crossings, collaborated on a book with Dr. Flummerfelt entitled “Conversations with Joseph Flummerfelt”. In addition to his Grammy awards and nominations, Flummerfelt’s many honors include Le Prix du President de la Republique from L’Academie du Disque Francais. He holds honorary doctorates from Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Purdue University, Vincennes University, Ursinus College, and DePauw University. He has received DePauw’s two highest alumni awards. The Old Gold Goblet in 1988 and the DePauw Gold Medal in 2005.
Petition to Committee of Public Safety, Committee of Human Services, Mike Gipson, Committee of Human, Youth law center
Right to Internet access in Juvenile Facilities - The Bill AB 811
Earlier this year, Democrat Assemblymember Mike Gipson introduced legislation that would mandate "reasonable access to computer technology and the internet" for kids in juvenile detention programs and foster care. Access to the internet would be listed on the bills of rights for youth in these state programs. Existing rights include a safe environment, health care, freedom of religion and access to a lawyer. The bill, AB 811, would limit internet use and computer technology in detention facilities -- allowing it to be used only for educational purposes and to keep in touch with family and supportive adults. Probation officers could adopt further policies restricting the use. In 2016, the United Nations officially declared access to the internet a basic human right, noting its role "as a driving force in accelerating progress towards development in its various forms." Many teens are placed in locations far from their homes and families, making availability of electronic communication to maintain supportive relationships even more important, this Bill has recently been supported by Facebook saying that the bill would "appropriately modernize" the resources available for youth to successfully reintegrate with society. The bill goes before Committee on Public Safety and the Committee on Human Services this week. A spokesperson for Gipson's office said no other tech company has sent support for this bill. I urge all to sign this petition, as it provides support towards the bill that could provide those who have been stripped from their freedom at such a young age (for understandable reasons) to a basic human right.
Petition to Charles Earling
Overturn the Boards vote to transfer Dr. Jill DelConte, JoAnne Rumpf, and Jeff Johnson
We, the citizens of Monroe Township, petition the Monroe Township Board of Education to overturn the Boards vote to INVOLUNTARY transfer Dr. Jill DelConte and JoAnne Rumpf and voluntary transfer of Jeff Johnson. The relocation to a different school location is not beneficial to the student bodies of whom they serve. This requested overture is based upon the abrupt fashion of delivery from your Board as this line item was not listed on the meeting agenda. Not for review, discussion or reveal. We the public are rightfully due proper notification when decisions such as these effect the lives of our children. As Parents, Community Members, Stakeholders and voters within this township, you have received the majority vote to serve in the capacity as representation for the betterment of our youth. The actions you have taken have inadvertently twisted all confidence from your community members and we are standing amongst each other to demand the change. The role each and every one of you hold was graciously received and is currently contingent upon current beliefs. As the decision makers of our educational system your values are our concerns. Prior to your appointment, you cherished our supportive dialogues and shared views in support of the current positions you hold. The oath you recited was to serve the community to the best of your ability. Your decision will directly affect the taxpayers, your decision will directly affect the culture of the faculty, which in return, is detrimental to the workforce that ultimately encumbers upon our children. We demand that the Monroe Township Board of Education allow these principals to remain in their respective buildings.
Petition to Greg Abbott
Help End Lunch Shaming in Texas Schools. Feed the kids, Bill the parents. #ShameFreeTX
JUNE 2017 UPDATE - JUNE 2017 UPDATE - JUNE 2017 UPDATE With the passage of SB 1566 the Texas Legislature effectively addressed Lunch Shaming in Texas schools, all we lack now is Governor Abbott's signature and that bill will be law! Following closely behind New Mexico, Texas is poised to become the second state to address Lunch Shaming on a statewide level. Upon the Governor's signature we will become #ShameFreeTX MAY 2017 UPDATE - MAY 2017 UPDATE - MAY 2017 UPDATE https://www.texasobserver.org/texas-lunch-shaming-problem-fight-fix/ It is clear that this petition has grown beyond its original stated purpose, the amendment of Texas HB 3562, the intent however, has never changed, I would like to put an end to what has become known as lunch shaming. In my opinion, this petition and the social media pages associated with it, have morphed into a launch point for ending lunch shaming on the national level. Clearly, the action taken by New Mexico to end lunch shaming has put the issue in the national spotlight, that’s a good thing. Let’s agree to support one another and any and all efforts to end lunch shaming nationwide. I have encouraged supporters from the beginning to address this issue locally, at your child’s school, school district, city and state. Check local school websites and locate their child nutrition policy, if you agree with their plan for dealing with delinquent meal accounts then that’s great, if not then call them out on social media in order to get like-minded supporters and together, call for change. Contact your local school board, contact local media outlets, make noise and rally supporters. There IS strength in numbers. A bit more on lunch shaming, I recently came across a Twitter page that address lunch shaming but is NOT state specific, https://twitter.com/endlunchshaming Sadly, this page only has 53 followers, as a reference, Kim Kardashian West has 52 million Twitter followers. I have nothing against Mrs. West, but how about we rally behind one Twitter page so that our numbers reflect our strength and resolve toward ending lunch shaming policies nationwide. If not this page then please choose and share another, we need a unified front and the pressure needs to stay on. A focused effort is more likely to be effective. TEXANS - URGENT - FOR THOSE HERE IN TEXAS - URGENT - TEXANS The Texas legislature failed to act on amending HB 3562 and that time has now passed, HB 2159 which addressed many of the issues that were to be addressed through the amendment to HB 3562 has been killed as well . . . in a way, read on. Ok supporters, here is the latest on HB 2159, the bill that would end, or at least limit, Lunch Shaming in Texas schools, thanks to legislative shenanigans, the bill never received a second reading and now that window has passed so that bill is essentially dead. Don’t fret however, for thanks to the actions of several legislators in both the House and the Senate, the language of HB 2159 has been included in three new bills, HB 367, SB 725 and SB 1696. That's right, HB 2159 LIVES AGAIN! But wait, there’s more! One of the trio, HB 367, is currently at Stage four of seven, it has already been voted on and passed the House, it is now headed to the Senate, oh, and one last thing on HB 367, it is a bipartisan bill! Another bill that now includes the language from HB 2159 is SB 725, and while it may not be a bipartisan bill, it is actually at Stage four of seven, it has passed the Senate and is headed to the House! And finally, there is SB 1696 also includes the language from HB 2159; this bill is also at Stage three of seven, it has been voted on by the Senate and is headed to the House. We are getting close to ending, or at least seriously dampening Lunch Shaming in Texas folks but as they say, “It ain’t over till it’s over!” I need tweets, emails, phone calls, Facebook posts asking the following: Contact your state Senator representative and ask them to support and vote “YES” on HB 367, and . . . Contact your state House representative and ask for their support and a “YES” vote on SB 725 and SB 1696. Follow this link to quickly find your Texas representatives based on your address, the responses include links to their webpages and email addresses - http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx The 85th legislative session will end on May 29th, THAT’S ABOUT 6 WORKING DAYS! At some point prior to the 29th, the Texas legislature will have to vote on these bills, let's keep the pressure on them so that we get a YES vote. Lunch Shaming in Texas needs to end, NOW! If we don't make this change happen with the 85th legislature then our next opportunity won't be until the 86th legislature meets in 2019!!! Politicians respond to media attention, even social media, so please, PLEASE, continue sharing, re-sharing, tweeting and re-tweeting links to this page and or the petition itself; they say the squeaky wheel gets the grease, I say let's SQUEAK, IN UNISON! NOTE - - NOTE - -NOTE - - NOTE - - NOTE The original petition has changed so significantly that I've decided to flip the text and place the updates on top and the original petition at the bottom. The bills associated with this petition drive may have changed titles but the intent of this petition has never waivered, putting an end to lunch shaming in Texas schools. Feel free to read the original petition below the "NOTE" line. NOTE - - NOTE - -NOTE - - NOTE - - NOTE While working as a substitute teacher in a Central Texas school district I witnessed a truly sad situation -- during breakfast, one of my 4-year-olds slid her meal tray down to the cashier in order to pay for her meal but instead what she heard was an emphatic “You have no money!” followed by the removal of her meal tray. I live by my debit card and on this day I had absolutely no cash on me or I would have paid the $1.50 for the child's meal. The student then sat at the table assigned to her class and was inconsolable for the next twenty minutes, while her classmates enjoyed their breakfast meals. This seems like cruelty on the part of the cashier, but sadly, she was just following school district policy in accordance with Texas law. There is a law on the books that requires any Texas school district in which students use a prepaid meal card or account to purchase school meals, to have a grace period during which students continue receiving meals even after their accounts are depleted. This is a good law, as school financial matters are adult business and should not result in a child going hungry. However, it fails our children in one area: each district is allowed to determine how long this grace period is, and, it turns out, it doesn’t have to apply to all meals offered at school. This was an error on the legislators’ part, and it must be changed to spare kids from such cruel embarrassment. Please join me in calling on the Texas legislature to amend the law to require all districts to continue providing all meals to students, regardless of account balance. Sadly, the district I am teaching in chose to adopt a one-lunch grace period, meaning they will provide one lunch after a child’s account is depleted. As for breakfast and other meals provided by the school, the student gets nothing. This is ridiculous. Studies have proven that children cannot learn when they are hungry, and everyone knows that suffering that kind of embarrassment in a school setting can be terribly upsetting for a child. I am not asking that parents and caretakers be absolved of their financial obligations. But repayment can be worked out among adults. Children are not the guilty parties in this scenario, and they should not be punished with hunger for mistakes their parents make. This petition requests that the law be amended so that children in schools that use prepaid cards or accounts to purchase meals receive uninterrupted access to all meals served at the school, regardless of their account balance. Feel free to read the proposed amendment here, the new text that has been added is highlighted in green and the text to be removed is in red and has been struck through, the amended replacement text follows and is in black and bold. I have tried to remain fiscally conservative and have changed as little as possible of the original HB 3562 - https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1hwY-fES_-2cnhDMVRKanVhUUE