Carol is <a href="http://Change.org" rel="nofollow">Change.org</a>'s Community Manager.
Debra: Keep Being Awesome
Up and to the Right
Don't Let Creationism Sneak Into Texas Science Clasrooms
Anti-evolution publisher Foundation for Thought and Ethics (FTE) is waging war on science education in Texas, the Texas Freedom Network is reporting. FTE is best-known for their 'intelligent design' science textbook Of Pandas And People, which a federal judge ruled in 2005 could not be taught in public schools because it violated the Constitution. Now, the same publisher has announced plans to submit creationist science curriculum material to the Texas State Board of Education later this year. “Teaching inaccurate information rejected by the scientific community would be a huge disservice to Texas kids and a major setback for science education everywhere,” said Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network. It's up to advocates, scientists, students and Change.org members to tell the board that Pandas - or anything like it - is unacceptable when it comes to teaching science in Texas. Tell the Texas board of education to pick science materials from reputable publishers only. Photo credit: lrargerich via Flickr
Tell Fairfax County Schools: Allow 12-Year-Old's Service Dog At School
Andrew Stevens, 12, has a rare form of epilepsy which cannot be helped by medication. He faces a constant risk of seizures that happen without warning. Andrew's family spent two years and $20,000 to bring him Alaya, a service dog that is trained to alert Andrew before he has a seizure. These special service dogs can sense when a person is about to have a seizure. Alaya can alert Andrew, through activating a metallic device implanted in his chest, that he is going to have a seizure, which allows Andrew time to make himself safe and reduces the ill effects of the attack. However, Andrew's school will not allow Alaya to go to school with him, FOX news of DC is reporting. Saying that the requirements for a service dog have not been met, Fort Belvoir Elementary School, in northern Virginia, is not allowing Alaya to attend school with Andrew. Andrew's family has spent years, and thousands of dollars, on keeping Andrew safe. Now Alaya, a trained service dog, is being shut out of attending school with Andrew. We can help by adding our voices to the Stevens family's campaign. Tell Fairfax County Schools - and specifically Fort Belvoir Elementary - to let Alaya protect Andrew while he's at school. Photo credit: Eileen via Flickr
Tell New Jersey: Pass The Anti-Bullying Bill Of Rights
After gay Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi's tragic suicide, New Jersey has proposed new anti-bullying laws in the hopes of making them the strongest in the country. Currently, New Jersey's law "encourages" anti-bullying classes. The new law would make them mandatory in K-12 and change language in the college codes to ensure bullying on campus could be properly punished. It's about time. Too many young men and women, gay and straight, have taken their lives after being cruelly bullied by classmates. The new law would require public school staff to be trained to prevent suicide and deal with intimidation and bullying. Schools and colleges would have to form safety teams to talk about bullying and review how instances of bullying are handled. The New Jersey State Senate and Assembly have passed this bill. Tell Governor Chris Christie to pass the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, before another tragedy happens. Photo credit: Eddie S.
Tell Facebook: "Deleted" Photos Shouldn't Be Kept For 16 Months
Victory! Facebook has pledged to address photo privacy concerns. "We're currently working with the CDN [content delivery network] on a fix that will delete photo and video content from the CDN's cache shortly after it's removed on Facebook," a Facebook spokesman wrote Change.org on October 20. "The fix is already in place for videos, and we hope to implement it for profile pictures and photos in the coming weeks." You may think deleting a photo from Facebook wipes it out of existence, but it doesn't. In October 2010, Ars Technica blogger Jacqui Cheng found that a photo she had deleted from Facebook 16 months ago was still on Facebook's servers. The first step to keeping incriminating information off the Internet is to not put it there in the first place. But what about those who delete inappropriate photos, only to find out that the photos are still being held indefinitely on Facebook's servers? Teachers, students, job applicants and workers of all trades risk being fired or suspended if information about them surfaces on Facebook. Tell Facebook to clarify its photo deletion policy, and to truly delete photos that users have deleted. Photo credit: Chad Magiera
Stand with Chicago Parents: Kids Need a Library
Update: Victory! On October 28, 2010, Chicago Public Schools head Ron Huberman announced that Whittier Elementary School would receive a library. More than 500 Change.org members wrote letters in support of the Whittier moms who staged a sit-in to fight for their children's rights to a library. The moms continue to work with CPS on the specifics of the plans. You can read more here and leave the moms an expression of your support. Parents in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood want a library for their children, but Chicago Public Schools instead plans to demolish Whittier Elementary School's field house to make way for green space. Although neighbors use the field house as a community center and an informal library, Chicago Public Schools has not negotiated with the parent group that has staged a sit-in there since September 15, 2010. On October 4, CPS ordered Peoples Gas to shut off the heat and hot water at the site - despite the parents and children camping out there in protest. Although Chicago's City Council ordered the heat turned on and the demolition postponed on October 6, negotiations between the school system and parents are still at a standstill. Stand with Whittier Elementary parents and tell Chicago Public Schools and Chicago's City Council that the children of Pilsen need a library. Dedicate the funds earmarked to demolish the field house to renovation of the building, and work with parents and the community to come up with a solution that benefits Whittier Elementary students. Photo credit: Solidarity With the Whittier Parents' Sit-In