equal rights for all

17 petitions

Update posted 4 months ago

Petition to Coppell School District, The Superintendent

Designate Diwali a Professional Development Day for Coppell School District (No Classes)

Esteemed Coppell School Board Members and Superintendent, We’re writing to you to respectfully request that Diwali, an important holiday for Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs, be designated a Professional Development Day for Coppell School District so that the learners can stay home with their families and celebrate the festival. Based on the Hindu lunar calendar, Diwali is on Wednesday Nov 7th (2018) and on Sunday Oct 27th (2019). Asian students account for 47.4% of total students in Coppell School District -- South Asian, Indian, and Hindu making up a large majority (although the exact number of Hindus is not made available by any US Census, as religion is not a demographic criterion for the process).  When Diwali comes around each year, often times on a weekday, too many students are faced with a difficult decision -- observe this religious holiday and risk missing important school work and activities, or forego their observance altogether because the curricular cost is simply too much.  While schools are not required to close on a particular religious holiday, there is a matter of administrative convenience given a large number of students that would likely be absent on Diwali. For instance, schools are closed on Good Friday as a "Weather Day." Even if a child wishes to observe the holiday, their families, known to emphasize education as a top priority, hesitate. At best, too many families squeeze in a rushed celebration -- fit in between the end of after-school activities, homework, studying, and bedtime. Diwali is a time for renewal and reminds celebrants about the inherent goodness of life.  People clean, renovate, and decorate their homes and offices ahead of the holiday, which traditionally is five days. On the main day, the day of Diwali, people light diyas (earthen lamps) inside and outside their homes and participate in family or community puja (rituals). After the puja, fireworks follow, and friends and family often gather, hold feasts, and an exchange of gifts. Diwali also marks a time for charity, as well as a major shopping period in nations where it is celebrated. People of Northern, Southern, and North-Eastern India celebrate it in various forms. Aside from the well-being of Coppell ISD students and families, there are several other factors that we believe Board Members and the Superintendent should consider: 1. A number of school districts across the US have adopted Diwali (with Eid and Chinese New Year) as an official school holiday (as "professional development" or "weather" day).  The number of students who would benefit from Diwali being an official school holiday in Coppell ISD is actually significantly greater than in many of the districts listed below.   New York: East Meadow School District, East Williston Union Free School District, Half Hollow Hills Central School District, Herricks Union Free School District, Hicksville Union Free School District, Jericho School District, and Syosset Central School District New Jersey: Glen Rock School District, Millburn School District, West Windsor-Plainsboro School District, Piscataway School District, Passaic City School District, Edison Township, and South Brunswick School District Others: Council Rock School District in Bucks County (PA), Unionville-Chadds Ford School District (PA), Harvard Public Schools (MA), and Howard County District (MD) Syosset, New York, has only 26% Asians (compared to more than 47% in Coppell ISD). Its high school is ranked 173rd nationally (Coppell High School is at #463 in US News High school ranking). With only 632 signatures for its Diwali petition, the school board agreed to put "Professional Development Day" for Diwali (and other holidays for Muslims and Chinese Cultures). In Howard County, Maryland Asians numbers are at 21.2% (compared to more than 47% in Coppell ISD). Its high schools are ranked at 226, 258, and 373 in the US News ranking (compared to CHS at #463). They too agreed to put Diwali on their calendar (with other holidays) as "professional development day" with only 1300 signatures (including many from outside their school district). 2. Teaching about Diwali is part of the Texas State's Curriculum Standard (for §113.18. Social Studies, Grade 6, Beginning with School Year 2011-2012, at 19B). Following this Texas State guideline, we are asking for only one Hindu holiday for Diwali (although there are two festivals listed for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in this standard). 3. The Diwali Mela (fair) in Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas boasts an attendance of 50,000 people every year with Dallas Mayor and other officials in attendance. In 2009, San Antonio became the first U.S. city to sponsor an official Diwali celebration including a fireworks display. The City of Coppell held its first major Diwali celebration on Tuesday, Oct 17th, 2017. 4. In 2016, Diwali was commemorated for the first time at the United Nations in NYC. The White House has been celebrating Diwali for nearly a decade -- a tradition that was started by fellow Texan, President George W. Bush and continued by President Obama and President Trump. 5. The United States Postal Service (USPS) issued a first-ever Diwali postage stamp on October 5, 2016. It’s since become one of the best-selling stamps in the history of USPS. Canada issued another stamp on Sept 30, 2017. 6. Diwali is celebrated around the world, particularly in countries with significant populations of four cultures: Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs. These include Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bhutan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Mauritius, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean nations. Diwali is also celebrated in the Netherlands, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United States. Diwali is a well-known and widely celebrated holiday.  We respectfully request that the Coppell ISD Board take the lead in embracing and recognizing the culture of a large number of its students. We strongly believe that such a designation by Coppell ISD will go a long way in demonstrating the commitment of our educators to the well-being of our diverse students and families.   We thank you in advance for your due consideration. Sincerely, Students and Parents of Coppell ISD Organizations Supporting the Petition: Art of Living Dallas Chinmaya Mission DFW DFW Hindu Ekta Mandir Global Hindu Heritage Foundation Karya Siddhi Hanuman Temple Overseas Volunteers for a Better India Radha Govind Dham Radha Kalachandji (ISKCON) Temple Sri Guruvayurappan Temple Samskrita Bharati Sanatana Dharma Foundation Hindu Mahasabha of America Hindu Congress of America Hindu Coalition Nying Je Ling --Universal Compassion Buddhist Congregation DFW Tamil Foundation

Celebrators of Diwali
1,792 supporters
Update posted 4 months ago

Petition to Thesis Thompson, equality, DISCRIMINATION, boys with long hair, JOSHUA ISD, Fight for our children's rights, transgender

Change Joshua ISD Dress Code

My son, Thesis Thompson (7), who had been growing his hair since birth, is currently a student of JISD Staples Elementary School.  Thesis is in 1st grade and was very excited to attend his first year at Staples.  Thesis is now afraid of his new school because he feels his teachers hate him because of his hair! We attended meet the teacher night and nothing was ever mentioned about his hair.  On the second day of school, I received a phone call from the principal that Thesis was in the office because he was "out of dress code" and was being sent to ISS.  That did not set very well with me because ISS is for children with behavioral  issues and my son was not going to be sent there nothing had to do with his behavior! Whether my son had grown his hair for religious beliefs, cancer, transgender-- it shouldn't matter!!  The principal stated that my husband needed to provide proof from his "Holy Man" to justify his Islamic beliefs!!!  What year is this??!!  Do we walk around with hearts on our sleeves justifying that we are organ donors or any other symbols justifying our beliefs or religion?!  This is total discrimination against our children who are there to receive an education-- not be bullied by the  administrative staff! From why I heard  this dress code has been in effect for 30+ years and have recently made changes to where students are allowed to wear flip-flops!  This is what I heard per the teachers who were excited because the rule was passed for flip-flops .. smh.   Sounds to me this rule was passed more for the teachers!  So why make a big deal about boys with long hair?!  Every person is unique in their own way and I feel that JISD is trying to create everyone to be what they want them to be. What has happened to equal rights?!  What are we teaching our children??  What have we and our ancestors fought for all these years?  I stand firmly behind my son and the other boys attending JISD who are being punished for nothing they've  done wrong.  They all deserve to able to attend JISD like everyone else-- long or or short hair, boy or girl.  What should it matter?!

Amanda Rodriguez
1,142 supporters
Started 6 months ago

Petition to Eric Holcomb, Curtis Hill, Suzanne Crouch, Luke Messer, Todd Young, Joe Donnelly, Mike Pence, Donald Trump, Randy Frye

Changing lives after incarceration

Since coming home from being incarcerated I have discovered many issues that face felons coming home to society. Many of this issues can lead to future incarceration, the revolving door affect. Everything from housing, jobs, who you can live with, etc... can be affected by your charges. To an extent I understand, but people CAN and DO change. Some of the best people, hardest working people I’ve ever met I met while incarcerated. Recently I have discovered that a couple, even if married with children,  and both are on probation or parole cannot live together. If they do, it’s back to prison. Apartment managers and businesses can deny you housing or jobs based solely on your charges, and not who you are as a person. They don’t look at what you have done to repent from the crimes you committed. I’d like for our government to make some drastic changes to our department of corrections and the judicial system to make things equal for everyone. For every person to be charged based on their current situation, not their past. If enough people stand up and let our government know that we are tired of paying for people to incarcerated for their entire lives and want to give people a chance to change and become productive members of society, they will have to listen. We cannot stand by idly anymore while thousands of people’s lives are ruined including the lives of their families, their children, and friends. 

Ty Kuntz
79 supporters
Started 6 months ago

Petition to Trey Gowdy, Matt Gaetz, Paul Ryan, Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi, Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Marco Rubio

No pay for elected federal officials during government shutdown.

Every year those who are federal employees grit their teeth with the fear that their place of employment will go unfunded and they will not be able to pay bills or place food on their tables. The legislative branches failure to agree on a budget means that millions across the country will no receive pay when they need it. This petition is created to ensure that our elected representatives are treated the same as every other government employee. If there is no funding for others why is it that elected officials that work for "the people" still receive pay? This petition aims to receive national recognition in order for all three branches of government to not receive pay for the period that there is no agreeable budget.  Failure to pay serious attention to this subject matter will show the American people that lawmakers truly do not support those who elected them. When it hits the pockets of lawmakers as hard as it hits the pockets of federal employees (which includes the military) they will all no longer play politics and use us as weapons in their political games. This petition will bring lawmakers to more equal footing so that they truly understand how we are ALL affected during times of their disagreement and gridlock.  No pay for those elected to serve in an official capacity in the U.S. government by the people of the united states during a government shut down!

Gary Allsbrook
839 supporters