164 petitions

This petition won 1 year 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 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
39,750 supporters
Update posted 7 months ago

Petition to Louisiana State House, Louisiana State Senate

Louisiana Public Elementary Students Need Recess

We would like to petition the Louisiana State Legislators to pass a bill that would guarantee all Louisiana public school students in preschool, kindergarten, and grades one through six have recess periods of supervised, unstructured activity time, preferably outdoors, 5 days per week, for a minimum of 20 minutes a day (as recommended by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention). The benefit that this would provide for our students is undeniable. Some Louisiana schools do provide a break during the day but many do not. I find this to be unacceptable, not only for my 8 year old daughter who has only had two free-play breaks so far this entire school year, but for all of the elementary students in our state. Louisiana children as young as 3 and 4 are being denied free play time in school. This is not just ill conceived, it is potentially extremely harmful. The American Academy of Pediatrics, Council on School Health issued a policy statement in 2013 about The Crucial Role of Recess in School. According to the statement, they are very concerned about the widespread reallocation of daily activity time in school in favor of additional academic instruction. They believe that “recess is a crucial and necessary component of a child’s development and, as such, it should not be withheld for punitive or academic reasons.” “Just as physical education and physical fitness have well-recognized benefits for personal and academic performance, recess offers its own, unique benefits. Recess represents an essential, planned respite from rigorous cognitive tasks. It affords a time to rest, play, imagine, think, move, and socialize. After recess, for children or after a corresponding break time for adolescents, students are more attentive and better able to perform cognitively. In addition, recess helps young children to develop social skills that are otherwise not acquired in the more structured classroom environment. “ The American Academy of Pediatrics<a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> Of course, the AAP is not alone. This 2014 policy brief from the CDC on Supporting Recess in Elementary Schools is pretty clear about their position on the subject as well. “Recess provides students with a needed break from their structured school day. It can improve children’s physical, social, and emotional well-being, and enhance learning. Recess helps children meet the goal of 60 minutes of physical activity (PA) each day, as recommended by the US Department of Health and Human Services. National organizations (e.g., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics) recommend that districts provide at least 20 minutes of daily recess for all students in elementary schools.” <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> Thank you for considering the proposed legislation. It truly would be beneficial to the young children of our state. ______________________________________________For additional information and research supporting the value of recess for young students please view the following sources. Recess and Social DevelopmentEarly Childhood News <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>   Does Better Recess Equal a Better School Day? Robert Wood Johnson Foundation <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> Recess – It’s Indespensable!The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> School Recess Offers Benefits to Student Well-being Stanford Report <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>  

Jaime Havard
4,829 supporters