317 petitions

Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Jay Inslee, Washington State House, Ross Hunter, Dave Hayes, Donald Trump


This paragraph was added on September 2nd, 2016 in order to clarify the intent of this petition.  Everything below this paragraph remains unchanged:  Background check results on any childcare provider's criminal record OR parents considering childcare should receive COMPLETE background check results of any childcare workers, just like any other employer can, so every parent is able to make a fully informed decision regarding the life of their child(ren),  Additionally, NO CHILDCARE PROVIDERS should be allowed to use any name or nicknames aside from their legal name without full disclosure to the parents of the person's full legal name and a prominently placed notification if a person IS using a nickname or alias.   That information should also be included in any "welcome folders given to parents so that there are two ways a parent would be able to easily access. Here's why:  My beautiful two and a half year old little boy, David Roberts, died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington on January 20, 2013.  David held on to life for two days after suffering from catastrophic abusive head trauma that was inflicted while he was in the care of his two state and military licensed childcare providers (a husband and wife).  We had unknowingly placed David in the hands of a person who had been convicted of felony residential burglary and other crimes, and who also had a DOCUMENTED anger management and alcohol problem, and David DIED from the injuries he suffered at that childcare during the time that the person in question was working.  The state and military told me and my husband that the providers had cleared the background checks, when in fact the state and military KNEW that particular provider had a criminal record which included felony residential burglary, at least one malicious mischief charge, and a DOCUMENTED anger management and alcohol problem...and still chose to license him even though he wouldn't even be allowed to chaperone at any of the schools his children attend.  The state and military also knew and allowed this same person to not disclose his legal name.  DESPITE KNOWING THESE FACTS, THE STATE AND MILITARY willingly withheld that information, with fatal consequences: my son lost his life.  My husband and and I had NO IDEA that he had a felony criminal record and was not using his legal name and would NEVER have put David in their care if we knew that information.  The state MUST CHANGE the "Director's List" (WAC 170.06.0120) and PREVENT FELONS from having access to the child(ren) of other people and parents considering childcare should receive ALL background check results of any childcare workers just like any employer can.  The state also must prevent ANYONE from using any name or nicknames aside from their legal name while working in childcare, and a law or laws should be enacted and be named "David's Law",  On January 18, 2013 my two and a half year old, autistic, son David, became a victim of catastrophic abusive head trauma at the hands of his daycare providers.  He died two days later from the injuries.  He was attending a Navy Child Development Home in Oak Harbor, WA.  We were told that the providers had cleared their background checks.  My husband and I both expected "cleared their background checks" to mean that there was nothing on their criminal record, not that there could be any number of 35 crimes, including felonies, on their record, and that the information about those convictions is not required to be given to the parents.   We didn't find out until months later that the husband who ran the daycare with his wife was a convicted felon.  He had been convicted of residential burglary while he was extremely intoxicated and had at least one malicious mischief charge and a documented anger management problem.  We were told both providers had undergone background checks and had cleared them. The two providers sold everything within five months and in the middle of the CPS and homicide investigation they fled to Maine, where the woman has even attempted to provide childcare still. Here are two links from KOMO4 Seattle which cover what happened to my son as well as the loophole itself: Apparently, in the State of Washington, you can have any of the 35 crimes and felonies under the Washington Director's List of Allowable Offenses on your record and not only can you have unsupervised access to children, but your criminal record is not disclosed to the parents seeking care for their child.  Instead, the parents are told the providers have passed/cleared background checks.  Convicted felons shouldn't even be allowed to have unsupervised access to other peoples' children in the first place, let alone run a daycare.  Parents have the RIGHT to know everything about a potential provider so that they can make their own fully informed decision on whether or not they trust a provider in spite of their criminal record.   The list of allowable offenses is here: Had we been told about the provider's criminal record we would have never left our children in their care and he would still be alive today.  These laws need to change.  There needs to be a law, called "David's Law" that prevents anyone with a felony record from having unsupervised access to other peoples' children in daycare settings, and discloses the results of background checks of the daycare providers to the parents, so that those parents can have the entire story about the providers they are considering letting supervise their children.   On page 2 of this document you'll see the statement: "The reality is that parents cannot conduct effective background checks on child care providers on their own. Even the most motivated, well-financed parent search would still be limited to commercial databases, which the Department of Justice has said are incomplete." The Government KNOWS that parents cannot conduct adequate background checks, but they don't disclose the results of the full background checks that THEY have access to.  That forces parents to rely on the state and government to assure them and protect their children to the highest extent possible.  Withholding information about felony (and other) convictions is immoral and reprehensible.  Parents have a primal NEED to protect their children, and yet we are limited in the information that we can obtain, information that interferes with the ability of parents to make the BEST, potentially life altering, decision that they can for their families with incomplete facts.  That is NOT right.   There are some parents in the world who don't mind if a child care center or child care home provider has a criminal record.  There are many more who would absolutely prefer that no criminals be allowed access to their children.  Parents have the right to know all the information about the person or people who may be taking care of their child(ren).  There is absolutely no reason that a provider's criminal background should be kept secret from parents of any child(ren) that may end up in the care of the provider(s).  

Shayna Roberts
12,939 supporters
Update posted 5 days ago

Petition to Iowa State House, Iowa State Senate, Iowa Governor

Increase Availability of Child Care for Children with Mild Illnesses

I would like propose a change to child care assistance that would help not only low-income families in Iowa, but would improve the health of all adults and children in schools and day cares across the state. Flu season will soon be here again. The health department tells us we should stay home when sick to help prevent the spread of influenza, but for many parents, they cannot take time off from work to care for their children. They risk not being able to pay their bills if they miss even one day of work, or worse yet losing their jobs entirely. These parents are forced to mask their child's symptoms with medications and send them to school and daycare. This results in the rampant spread of illnesses that could have been prevented. Ideally, these children could have gone to a “Get Well Center” instead of school and daycare, but there are only five get well centers in Iowa. Get well centers are specialized child care centers that provide care for mildly ill children. They require separate rooms for different categories of illness, specially trained staff, higher staffing ratios, a nurse on-site, and physician oversight. These requirements make get well centers very expensive to operate. Parents that could afford to pay for these services typically have jobs that provide paid sick leave, so they don't need the services. The parents that need a get well center the most are the parents that rely on child care assistance. Child care assistance, however, pays the same below-market rate that it pays for standard child care. Because of the high cost of providing get well care and the low reimbursement from child care assistance, there is a severe lack of Get Well Centers in Iowa. I am a nurse and I have a daycare center for children with special needs, called Tipton Adaptive Daycare. I am in an excellent position to open a get well center attached to my child care center, but I can't do this if no one can pay for the services. What I am proposing is that Child Care Assistance reimburse at the "special needs" rate on days that a child needs care in a "get well center". Since a get well center is required to have a nurse assess each child when they arrive, documentation would be available to prove the child met the criteria for exclusion from school and daycare. A sick child should receive a temporary classification as special needs due to the higher level of care required for their illness. Child care assistance already allows parents to list a back-up provider, so children could be pre-approved for back up care at the get well center when they apply for child care assistance. Having access to Get Well Centers would provide better job security for low income families while significantly reducing the spread of illnesses in schools and daycares. I have spoken to many people about this idea, and have received overwhelming support.  I believe that the Department of Education, the Department of Public Health, physician and healthcare groups, the teacher unions, and the state and national child care associations, and family social service agencies would all support this proposal. The additional cost would be offset by the improved job security for the parents, which decreases dependency on public aid, and decreased lost work time for the parents of the other children that would avoid exposure to an ill classmate that should not be in school. Please sign my petition to show your support and encourage Iowa legislators to introduce a bill for the 2016 legislative session that would address this need. Thank you.  

Deborah VanderGaast
64 supporters
Update posted 5 days ago

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..."  - 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)   - 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." - 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. - 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..." - 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..."           

Concerned CUSD Parents
710 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump

Commit to act for paid family leave for all in your first 100 days

Under ordinary circumstances, two mothers as different as we are would never have met. One of us is from Oklahoma and is a registered Republican. The other is an unmarried liberal who lives in Brooklyn. But tragedy has a way of bringing people together. Last year, we both lost our babies, infant sons who died at daycare, after we’d left them in childcare to return to work. Neither of us wanted to leave our babies when we did, at mere weeks old, not yet. But neither of us had the luxury of choice. Our respective employers would not grant us any more time for parental leave, and we couldn’t afford to quit our jobs. So, reluctantly, on an April morning in Oklahoma, baby Shepard was left at daycare. A childcare worker swaddled him for a nap, placed him in a car seat, and didn’t check on him. He slipped down and suffocated, still too little to lift up his own head. Just as reluctantly, in July, baby Karl was dropped off for his first day at daycare near his mother’s Manhattan office. When she came back to feed him at noon, Karl’s lips were blue and a childcare worker was performing CPR. A medical examiner could not determine why this healthy baby died. 1 in 4 American moms have no choice but to return to work just two weeks after the birth of a child.  87 percent of parents have no access to paid leave through their employers. No parent should have to choose between leaving their baby too soon and making ends meet. Given that 73% of Republicans, 87% of independents and 96% of Democrats agree it is important for Congress and the president to consider a family leave insurance system, we are jointly calling on the candidates for president, Republican and Democrat, to publicly commit that, if elected, they will take action for national paid family leave policy in their first 100 days in office. Most babies don’t die in day care, of course. But, as it turns out, our instinct that Karl and Shepard would be safer if we could have stayed with them a little longer was not wrong. An important study released last week found that for each additional month that a woman has paid parental leave, infant mortality goes down 13 percent. America has the highest infant mortality rate of any industrialized nation in the world. Paid leave, in countries that have implemented it, has dramatically lowered infant death rates. But beyond this, parental leave is good for our children. When Norway began offering paid parental leave, there were dramatic long-range effects: children had lower high school dropout rates, higher rates of college attendance, and higher incomes at age 30. American babies whose mothers don’t have maternity leave are less likely to be taken to the doctor, and less likely to be breastfed. Toddlers of parents without access to paid leave have more behavioral problems, and score lower on cognitive tests. Every American baby would be safer, healthier, and have a better start in life if given time with their mother or father during the first months of life. If our political leaders claim to be pro-family, they need to put families first by supporting paid family leave. In the richest country in the world, we should not have sobbing mothers leaving their premature babies in the NICU because they have to return to their jobs. We do not need to tear babies from their mothers’ arms before they can even hold up their own necks. Parental leave is a necessity, not a perk. Join us, a mom from Oklahoma and a mom from Brooklyn, in calling upon the presidential candidates of both parties to publicly commit that, if elected, they will take action for paid family leave policy in their first 100 days in office. Through our great loss, we are now united to fight for change. We charge our leaders, both Republican and Democrat, to enact laws that protect the right of every American baby to have the loving care of a parent during the fragile first months of their life.

Amber, Ali, and PL+US Action Fund
166,735 supporters