Topic

social justice

133 petitions

Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Athens City Schools, Athens City School Board, Superintendent Gibbs

Ask for the Resignation or Removal of Dr. Paul Grippa from Athens City School Board

I call on the Board of Education of the Athens City School District, the superintendent and all other concerned individuals to dismiss Dr. Paul Grippa or ask for his Resignation from the Athens City School District Board due to the known mishandling of a case of student on student sexual violence, of which I was the victim. Following a year of sexual harassment, I was assaulted by a fellow student in 2010. Dr. Grippa did not report my case to authorities, destroyed case notes and told me I had to apologize to my perpetrator.   I express concern that Dr. Grippa’s actions signify a violation Athens City Schools Policy as I was unable to learn effectively every day of my secondary schooling career due to the nature of the case. The hostile environment it created when it was not correctly addressed thus violated my Title IX rights and right to learn (20 U.S.C. 1981, 20 U.S.C. 6319).   In my case: · When I gave names of potential witnesses, my principal refused to investigate. · I was told by Dr. Grippa that some of the locations where I had been harassed and assaulted were not within the school’s jurisdiction, which was false. · Upon reporting my sexual assault to Dr. Grippa, the police department was not involved or even contacted. · Dr. Grippa told me that my perpetrator needed an apology, that I was the one to blame. My perpetrator did not face any repercussions. · Dr. Grippa told me that the administrators had previously heard rumors of such behaviors and did not investigate. · I continued to have classes with my perpetrator and experienced bullying and continued harassment throughout high school. · As far as I understood, there was no institutional memory of what had happened in my case. · Current Superintendent Gibbs told me that Dr. Grippa had destroyed my case notes. The board acknowledges the grave impact of harassment (2260), which in this case led to my diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The sexual violence I experienced is defined under the prohibited behaviors of Athens City Schools including bullying and other prohibited behaviors (5517, 8400), as well as unlawful harassment which is also prohibited (1662) and violated ASCD’s mission to provide a safe environment free from such behaviors (8400). I am concerned about Dr. Grippa’s ability to show sound judgment and uphold the ethical principles and responsibilities he must use as a board member. He may have previously violated his responsibilities to undertake a formal investigation, to report my case to the proper authorities (8462) or the superintendent (613) as was dictated to him by board policy as Principal of Athens Middle School. In relation to my case, Dr. Grippa may have violated O.S.R. 2151.421 which dictates Ohio state mandated reporting law under which he was and remains responsible as a school authority. As I know that the board both acknowledges student rights of citizenship (5780), and its responsibility to the public (0118), I too am exercising my rights to take such action. I call upon the board to respect the oath of office that each member must take (0142.1), ask for the respect of the policies that detail the ethical actions, legal compliance and exemplary behavior that each member must show as laid out by the board (0142, 1200, 2110). I ask for your support in the removal of board member Dr. Paul Grippa (0146).  I am also asking for the creation of a student climate advisory board, (or another such body by which students can address their concerns about hostile climates created by sexual harassment or violence) and a review of policies and sexual violence prevention mechanisms. You can see more about my reasoning for creating the petition here: https://medium.com/@emmalynbrown/at-13-my-school-mishandled-my-sexual-assault-case-heres-how-i-m-fighting-back-acfb2740e0b

Emmalyn Brown
75,307 supporters
Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to Kelli Linville, April Barker, Gene Knutson, Daniel Hammill, Whatcom County Council, Bellingham City Council, Michael Lilliquist, Pinky Vargas, Terry Bornemann, Roxanne Murphy

Bellingham Publicly Owned Fiber Optic Network

Publicly Owned Fiber Optic Internet Bellingham is hurting. Like many other cities nationwide we have high unemployment, low wages, and a host of economic, social and environmental problems. This inexpensive solution would help us address all of them, and maintain net-neutrality by creating a public, net-neutral option. In fact over 450 other cities have already implemented solutions like this, but our leaders are reluctant to even give our citizens access to the resources they've already paid for, much less prepare our city for the future.  As other cities embrace high-speed fiber broadband, Bellingham is getting left far behind. Our city has underutilized public fiber resources and several net-neutral local Internet Service Providers eager to deploy high speed broadband, like they have in Mount Vernon, yet this is held back by rules and regulations that have not kept pace with technology. Fiber would: Create an opportunity for a public access component to make ultra high speed internet broadly accessible in public spaces, provide higher quality low-income connections to those in need, and guarantee a level of internet access to all. Give Bellingham a strong standing among Washington cities, and create valuable infrastructure that we could continue to build on in the long-term. Create jobs: Fiber would draw companies to the city, provide jobs for construction and maintenance, create new internet service providers and other innovative businesses that are made possible by ultra-fast broadband. Reduce Our Impact on the Environment: Fiber would reduce the need for travel to take place for meetings. It is also very durable and usually requires less maintenance than old infrastructure wiring, like copper wiring.   Increase property values: Wiring for fiber-optics has been shown to increase property value approximately 1% Provide a network our government could leverage to deliver data from current and future ‘smart grid’ sensors including those used for parking management, resource monitoring, air quality, muni and other needs. Over the long term smarter management could save the city money and increase our tax base without increasing taxes by reducing unemployment and creating good jobs. This petition asks for the city to give the public access to the broadband resources we've already paid for, expand our critical publicly owned broadband infrastructure, establish a Dig Once Policy for Bellingham and Whatcom County, allow multiple providers into multi-unit dwellings, and provide high quality internet access to all residents that truly address our Digital Divide issues. 

Jon Humphrey
1,620 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Deborah Kafoury, Sharon Meieran, Loretta Smith, Jessica Vega Pederson, Lori Stegman

In solitary confinement for over a year, a family Shepherd is denied his last days at home

                                      STOP THE CRUELTY:   A Senior German Shepherd, in failing health, held in solitary   confinement for over 530 days by Multnomah County Animal   Control, Troutdale Oregon, has been prohibited from spending   his last days at home.  The pictures of Chucky with his family are from happier times.   Chucky, an old German Shepherd, has been held in solitary confinement since his impoundment on February 28, 2016 by Multnomah County Animal Services, Oregon. For over 530 days he has been denied critical socialization and exercise, allowed only rare restricted family visits by appointment for a maximum 15 minutes. Animal Control sees visitations as disruptive and justifies limited visitations, often allowed only through the kennel door, as “upsetting” to the animal. On July 5, 2017 of his long confinement, a medical report noted troubling significant health concerns: a suspicious mass that could be neoplasia, infection or another serious problem. In response MCAS has withheld diagnostic medical procedures critically needed to determine what is wrong.  Despite the gravity of his condition, Animal Control won’t release him to go home to his family as his mental and physical health decline. How did Chucky arrive at this crossroads?    Chucky and his companion Shepherd named Katrina were picked up after escaping a county approved kennel required after previous at-large episodes. Despite its approval by the county,  the kennel proved to be inadequate.  Both dogs escaped.  Chucky was charged with killing a small poodle while at large.  Although Chucky is a very personal and loving  dog with Katrina, his companion Shepherd, his family and others, he can be dog aggressive.   Multnomah County’s rejection of humane solutions is inexcusable, part of an attitude of forced compulsion, a requirement for “submission and “obedience” at all costs. Without sacrificing public safety and at no expense to taxpayers, funding for a secure kennel would have sufficed allowing Chucky to go home to his family instead of suffer. Instead the county’s refusal has now cost taxpayers nearly $8,000.  Animal Control’s intransigent position is symptomatic of government sponsored animal cruelty. And while the cost continues to escalate daily, a secure kennel remains as a practical and humane solution. Chucky comes from an impoverished Hispanic family. Although they are poor, they did their best to respect Multnomah County Animal Control’s ordinances. They should not be punished for their poverty In allowing the family to regain custody of the dog they love, MCAS would affirm its “Equity and Empowerment Lens” mandated by the county itself. But it still refuses. Once MCAS rejected all humane options, Chucky’s conviction was appealed by the family with the help of a pro bono attorney. The case remains pending before the Oregon Court of Appeals.  The appeal is viewed as an affront to the county’s authority.  The County’s attorney, MCAS advisor David Blankfeld, and MCAS director Jackie Rose have labeled the appeal frivolous and unnecessary and continue to pressure the family to give up. The appeals are all that have kept Chucky alive. But without the appeal, Chucky would certainly have been killed.  The County has taken a stand neither providing Chucky necessary diagnostic procedures nor allowing him to return to his family for needed medical treatment. Multnomah County Animal Control’s predatory behavior towards vulnerable persons is long standing. MCAS targets the most vulnerable and underserved populations in Multnomah County.   Few can afford to defend themselves and their animals against a system intended to thwart due process, justice and fair play. The poor, minorities, and in particular the homeless are fair game in a system that is rigged against them.. While Chucky’s appeal remains pending he is being held under conditions that no prison system would tolerate for even the most hardened criminals.  The County’s own notes make those conditions clear, the same observations repeated over and over and over again make his deterioration clear: “Chucky’s kennel was filthy this morning, He is spreading feces and urine all over his inside and outside areas. This includes walls, bedding, and chain link…”  Multnomah County is sending a clear message---  do not exercise your rights. Disagree and punishment will be swift. If one does appeal, animals  will be kept confined month after month  with no relief for their misery and loneliness as the County declines all effective alternatives. Chucky is not alone. Dogs like Chucky live out their lives isolated, alone, in miserable circumstances, housed in “security kennels”. The offenses are almost always correctable, almost always related to poverty. The animals suffer, become ill and injured from the effects of confinement. By refusing the diagnostic tests needed for treatment and not allowing Chucky to go home for treatment or, most likely, a few weeks of comfort, it plans to run the clock out on his life.   If we cannot prevail, Chucky will languish until his death. Ask the Multnomah County Commission to release Chucky back to his family home for the remaining days of his life. Protest the continuing abusive enforcement animal policies practiced in Multnomah County.   Without your voice, change will not happen. Nothing will change.  Gail O’Connell-Babcock, PhD   Citizens for Humane Animal Legislation/Watchdog Sherwood OR 97140 

Gail O'Connell
7,909 supporters