370 petitions

Update posted 6 days ago

Petition to Michelle Gallo, President of the United States, Illinois Governor, Steve Diveley

Don’t allow School District 41 and Hadley Junior High segregate our daughter AGAIN

Some of you may remember last year when we created this petition to stop School District 41 from segregating our daughter with Down Syndrome from her typical peers. With the help of this petition and the thousands of supporters who signed and shared their own personal stories, we were able to get the district to overturn their decision in April 2015. They agreed to "let" our daughter attend her neighborhood school and be taught with her general education peers. The school year started off well, but we began to see a similar trend. Our daughter was not receiving the support she needed to succeed. She was basically being set up to fail. The curriculum was not being modified as it should be, leading to frustration and behavior issues. We found several experts to assist the school team, but the district refused to enlist anyone's help. At the end of 2015, we were finally able to get the school district to have an outside behavior therapy agency evaluate our daughter and the staff. She offered some great strategies for the staff to aid them in redirecting our daughter. She even offered to help the staff modify the curriculum for the next 4 weeks to see if that would help diminish the negative behaviors. The special education director refused her help. But the real surprise at this meeting occurred when the special education director stated that, despite Hiba making wonderful friends and reaching all her academic goals, the district intends on placing her back in a segregated self-contained classroom next year in middle school. She cited behavior concerns as their reason to separate Hiba from her peers. Needless to say, we are not in agreement with this placement, and will go back to fighting for our daughter's legal rights to be taught in the least restrictive environment alongside her typical peers with proper accommodations and supports. We need your help again to make this a reality for Hiba. If she is placed in a self-contained classroom with 3 other kids with various disabilities, we know she will just regress and all the progress she has made this year, the beautiful friendships she has made, and the academic accomplishments she has achieved will be lost. We cannot let that happen. It is important to note that there is another child with Down Syndrome who has been fully included in this same school district, first in elementary school and now at the same middle school Hiba is going to next year. We don't understand why the district is including this child, but refuses to include our daughter. It just shows that our daughter is being discriminated against. Please sign and share this petition with everyone you know so Hadley Middle School in Glen Ellyn knows it is not OK to discriminate against a child just because of her having Down Syndrome. Below is the original petition we started last year: "The first thing you might notice about our daughter Hiba is that she has Down syndrome. But to those who know her, Hiba is a beautiful, intelligent, and compassionate 9 year old. She loves math and her favorite show is “Doc McStuffins.” If you ask Hiba what she wants to be when she grows up, she will tell you "a doctor." This is not surprising considering how much she loves helping people. As her parents, we see a child with all the potential of any other child. Unfortunately, her school system has kept Hiba segregated from other students and it has taken its toll on her education and spirit. All they seem to see is a child with Down syndrome. Down syndrome does not define our daughter. We are asking Glen Ellyn School District 41 to allow Hiba her legal right to be fully integrated and allowed to learn alongside “typical” students at Churchill Elementary. For the past 5 years, Hiba’s education has been spent in isolated, 1-on-1 settings. It has been painful to watch Hiba not be responsive to this education approach. She has become depressed, withdrawn, and as a result, hasn’t performed well in her studies. Hiba knows she is being treated differently and separated from the “normal” kids. Districts across the US have diversified the classroom to include both children with disabilities and those considered “typical” for the past few decades. Education research and organizations like the National Down Syndrome Society endorse full inclusion in education settings. This approach would allow Hiba to be fully integrated into the general education classroom with her “typical” peers the entire school day. She would be learning the same things, but with a modified lesson plan, technology support, and 1:1 aide in the classroom.  This plan would be developed by a well-known inclusion specialist. We know this is the best approach for Hiba. Educational inclusion won’t just benefit Hiba. When children with disabilities are educated alongside their “typical” peers, research shows academic and social benefits for everyone. True acceptance of diversity begins in the school environment. It is then carried out in the home, workplace, and community. Glen Ellyn School District 41 insists this is not the best approach for Hiba. They point to how she has behaved and performed in the isolated classroom. School officials can’t see these are symptoms of being segregated and exactly why Hiba belongs in a classroom with her "typical" peers. This is why we started the petition. We need you to help Hiba get in a classroom setting where she will thrive. Your voice can make all the difference. Our dream is for Hiba to be afforded all the same opportunities as everyone else so she can achieve her full potential and be a kind, active member of society. Please sign and share our petition calling on Glen Ellyn School District 41 to allow Hiba to be fully included and allowed to learn alongside “typical” students at Churchill Elementary."

Saadia Qureshi
18,223 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Anderson School Corporation

Change the start time of Anderson High School from 7:30 to 8:30

According to the CDC, “Schools start too early.” “Not getting enough sleep is common among high school students and is associated with several health risks including being overweight, drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, and using drugs, as well as poor academic performance.” According to the 2007 study by the National Risk Behavior Survey data of U.S. high school students where 12,154 students were analyzed. We found that “Insufficient sleep on an average school night was reported by 68.9% of students. Insufficient sleep was associated with higher odds of current use of cigarettes (age-adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.67; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.45–1.93), marijuana (AOR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.31–1.76), and alcohol (AOR, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.46–1.84); current sexual activity (AOR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.25–1.59); seriously considered attempting suicide (AOR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.60–2.16); feeling sad or hopeless (AOR, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.43–1.84); physical fighting (AOR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.24–1.60), not being physically active at least 60 min ≥ 5 days in the past 7 days (AOR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.04–1.29), using the computer ≥ 3 h/day (AOR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.38–1.80), and drinking soda/pop” At first glance, this just seems like numbers, but these are all negative effects that can be traced back originally to a lack of sleep in adolescent students. 68.9% of students have a greater risk of feeling sad, hopeless, or even suicidal, these students are more likely to get into physical fights, use a computer for over 3 hours a day, and it even increases students risk of using tobacco and marijuana. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends delaying start times of middle and high schools to combat teen sleep deprivation and this is why- “Studies show that adolescents who don’t get enough sleep often suffer physical and mental health problems, an increased risk of automobile accidents and a decline in academic performance. But getting enough sleep each night can be hard for teens whose natural sleep cycles make it difficult for them to fall asleep before 11 p.m. – and who face a first-period class at 7:30 a.m. or earlier the next day.(AAP) ” ““Chronic sleep loss in children and adolescents is one of the most common – and easily fixable – public health issues in the U.S. today,” said pediatrician Judith Owens, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement, “School Start Times for Adolescents,” published in the September 2014 issue of Pediatrics.”(AAD)” According to the AAP News And Journal Gateway, “Insufficient sleep also takes a toll on academic performance. In the National Sleep Foundation poll cited previously, 28% of students reported falling asleep in school at least once a week, and more than 1 in 5 fell asleep doing homework with similar frequency. Many studies show an association between decreased sleep duration and lower academic achievement at the middle school, high school, and college levels, as well as higher rates of absenteeism and tardiness and decreased readiness to learn” In more recent study, also conducted in an independent school setting, a 25-minute delay in start time was associated not only with increased sleep duration and decreased daytime sleepiness but also with less self-reported depressed mood”With all of this evidence, it is our turn as students to stand up for ourselves and show that we need more time to sleep. Signing this petition will show ACSC that we care about our health. We demand a healthier schedule for an overall healthier life!      Here are some alternatives to things we can do-  Make the first hour an option for the students- in high school we are given privileges and proving more and more everyday that we can make our own decisions.  If first period started at 8:30, but anytime 7:30-8:29 is time to meet with teachers, ask questions, and really get a jump on the day. This would be a good option for people who have their parents drop them off around 7:30, or children that feel they need help, because let's face it we don't have enough time to talk with our teachers, and we need to know them.   Only allow homework when absolutely necessary-  Homework is completely over assigned, and us as students can not get enough sleep, and do all of their homework. We have jobs, sports, families, and other activities we really can't escape. Homework is also ineffective. I could understand an entire course, but fail because I can't find the time for homework, because I care about my health more than care about my GPA.       Sources: CDC Schools start too early-   2007 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey data of U.S. (includes abbreviations)- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends delaying start times of middle and high schools to combat teen sleep deprivation  - School Start Times, Sleep, Behavioral, Health, and Academic Outcomes: A Review of the Literature- 25 minute delay with increased sleep, and overall happiness-   Should homework be banned?-  

Davin von Holdt
400 supporters