Topic

Education

5,819 petitions

Update posted 13 hours ago

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.

Julianne Moore and Bruce Cohen
35,446 supporters
Update posted 3 days ago

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

Save the Thomas Wooden Railway
396 supporters