Health and Safety
Petition to Maryland Lawmakers
Better Sex Offender Laws to Protect our Children
Did you know that currently in the State of Maryland, it is not against the law for a Tier III Registered Sex Offender to be alone with a minor? It is considered child neglect or endangerment to leave a young child home alone or in a car, but you can tuck a child into bed next to a convicted pedophile and walk away for the night having committed no crime. In 2017 my family fell apart when I discovered that my husband had abused one of my daughters. He was later indicted on felony child sex abuse charges, held in jail without bond, and eventually accepted a plea deal for a 10-year suspended sentence and a lifetime registration as a Tier III Registered Sex Offender. Several months ago, one of my daughters revealed that on her "supervised" visits with Daddy, the family member that was entrusted with providing the supervision was allowing her and her sister to sleep alone with Daddy. Child Protective Services and Law Enforcement got involved, eventually determining that no actual laws were broken, because it is currently not against the law for a registered sex offender to sleep alone with a child. Therefore, it is solely up to me to continue fighting as to why I refuse to allow my children to return to that previous visitation situation. It is hard enough to become a single mother of three daughters without warning, to lose 75% of your household income in one day, to try to carry your children through the most traumatic event of their lives, let alone having the additional burden of exhausting all of your energy and resources in constant battles to protect your children. The legal fees have already topped $23,000, and who knows how much higher they will get. According to Darkness to Light, a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing child sexual abuse, about one in ten children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. There are an estimated 42 million child sexual abuse survivors currently living in the United States, and as much as we would like to think that the predators are far removed from our families, 90% of child sexual abuse victims knew their abuser. This year, there will be approximately 400,000 babies born in the U.S. that will eventually become victims of child sexual abuse unless we do something to stop it. The problem is much more wide spread than many of us would like to believe, as the statistics are drastically under reported. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, only 12% of child sexual abuse is ever reported to the authorities. The Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault reports that 73% of child victims don’t report the abuse for at least one year, with 45% not disclosing for at least five years. Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults, including assaults on adults, occur to children ages 17 and under. We would like to think that we can identify someone who isn't safe, and protect our children from them, but it's not always that easy. Sometimes unsafe people look just like safe people. Sometimes the unsafe people are coaching your kid's soccer team, or at a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese, or sitting next to you in church. Once someone has been identified as unsafe, there should be laws in place to ensure they cannot have the opportunity to offend again. Currently the only restriction in the State of Maryland is that a registered sex offender cannot step foot on school property. But there needs to be more when the conviction involved a child. Abusers should not be allowed at any event designated for children, regardless of whether or not it's on school property, and they most certainly should not be legally allowed to be alone with children. Help me keep my children safe. Help me keep YOUR children safe and create boundaries to minimize the opportunity for someone convicted of abusing a child to gain access to your children. Child safety is greater than abuser rights. Please sign this petition and share so it can reach more supporters. If this reaches other states, research the laws where you live, and if they are inadequate, message me and I will help you fight in your state, too. If you have any feedback on other avenues to pursue these laws, or even suggestions on resources for my personal family situation, please contact me at email@example.com. Thank you so much for your support.
Petition to Santa Rosa County Commissioners, Florida Department of Economic Oppor
Santa Rosa Citizens DO NOT support amending the LDC to allow mining of natural resources!
On December 10, 2020, despite input and overwhelming opposition from geologists, engineers, environmental attorneys, public water board members, and a plethora of tax paying citizens, Santa Rosa County Commissioners voted to REMOVE protective language from the Comprehensive Land Development Code (LDC) restricting the extraction of natural resources from within the designated East Milton Wellfield Protection Area. Commissioners Wright and Piech voted against removing the protective language, while Commissioners Cole, Parker, and Caulkins voted FOR removing the language and amending the LDC to allow for the extraction of natural resources within the wellfield protection area. This specific portion of Santa Rosa County has been designated as CRITICAL in maintaining access to clean water for 80,000- 100,000 citizens in Santa Rosa County. The citizens of Gulf Breeze, Midway, Navarre, Navarre Beach, Holley, and East Milton ALL get their water from within the East Milton Wellfield Protection Area! Removing this language from the LDC, will allow for existing pits within the wellfield protection zone to expand, exponentially increasing risk for contamination of the underlying sand and gravel aquifer. Removing this protective language from the existing ordinance will also allow new pits to be permitted, used, and eventually converted to land/yard waste disposal areas. These are NOT required to be lined, and carry NO requirements for groundwater monitoring. Every pesticide, insecticide and fertilizer ever used on that yard waste, will have a direct path to our precious aquifer. This fight isn’t over!! Despite thumbing their nose at the recommendation of their zoning board, who voted 7-1 in favor of denying the amendment to the LDC, and despite scoffing the outcry from citizens and experts alike, this isn’t over! This large scale amendment must first be approved at the State level by the Florida Department of Community Affairs (aka Florida Department of Economic Opportunity) . Upon approval at the State level, there will be a required SECOND PUBLIC HEARING. It’s time to let the State know that our local elected officials are NOT listening to their constituents; are not protecting the health, safety, and quality of life of their citizens! And it’s time to send a CLEAR message to our Santa Rosa County BOCC that WE DO NOT APPROVE OF THIS AMENDMENT; WE DO NOT APPROVE OF THEM THREATENING OUR WATER SUPPLY BY ALLOWING THE EXTRACTION OF NATURAL RESOURCES WITHIN AN ALREADY ESTABLISHED WELLFIELD PROTECTION AREA!!! PLEASE sign, and PLEASE share. Water is life.
Petition to Missouri Governor
Free Gypsy Rose Blanchard
On July 5, 2016 Gypsy Rose Blanchard received a sentenced of 10 years to a Missouri State prison after reaching a plea deal to charges of second degree murder of her lifelong abusive mother. The case was highly profiled and received national news coverage. HBO made a documentary film called "Mommy Dead and Dearest" directed by Erin Lee Carr which aired May 15, 2017. The documentary features home movies, interviews from family members, doctors, friends, experts, attorneys and a one on one with Gypsy filmed the same day she accepted the plea deal. It is a non-biased look at the case and will certainly challenge anyone to really think about whether or not Gypsy is now where she deserves to be. Gypsy was forced all her life to fake a long list of ailments and illnesses including leukemia, vision and hearing impairment, sleep apnea, retardation, muscular dystrophy, and a chromosome disorder and digestive disorders. Her mother Dee Dee Blanchard suffered from a disease called Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome, a relatively rare form of child abuse that involves the exaggeration or fabrication of illnesses or symptoms by a primary caregiver. Dee Dee convinced multiple doctors that Gypsy was sick child all her life starting from an age of just three months old. By 6 years old Gypsy was deemed paralyzed from the waist down from muscular dystrophy and had a feeding tube implant. The whole time being completely healthy and forced to fake her symptoms during doctors visits and while out in public. Even her closest neighbors and friends had no clue Gypsy's predicament. By her late teens Dee Dee began documenting Gypsy's actual age as much younger and was shaving Gypsy's head and telling everyone Gypsy had Leukemia and was retarded. Dee Dee completely controlled Gypsy's food intake through a feeding tube often times medicating her without her knowing while she slept. Dee Dee convinced doctors to remove Gypsy's saliva glands by applying oral gel numbing cream in her mouth so it appeared she was drooling constantly. Her teeth all fell out from all the medication Dee Dee had pumped into her over the years. Gypsy tried running away once and was caught within 4 hours, then Dee Dee handcuffed her to a bed for 2 weeks. Dee Dee was using Gypsy's illnesses as part of her scamming multiple organizations for money, housing, care, Disney trips, attention, and free flights to hospitals. After an anonymous call was placed about Gypsy's well being, local police department visited their home and Dee Dee convinced them that Gypsy was being well taken care of and her illnesses were legitimate. At this point Gypsy says she had no other way out of this life of captivity confined to a wheelchair, a feeding tube and very limited social interaction. Although having only been educated to a second grade level, Gypsy became desperate after falling in love with Nicholas Godejohn 27, a young man from Wisconsin whom she met on a Christian dating website. Gypsy tried coordinating a meeting between Nicholas and Dee Dee at a local movie theater and Dee totally despised him as Gypsy recalls. So here she was, captive all her life, in love with no escaping Dee Dee, her own mother. Nicholas suffers from a form of autism and displayed having multiple personalities from evidence presented in court. Gypsy and Nick planned and murdered Dee Dee in her sleep on June 13, 2015. Nicholas stabbed Dee Dee multiple times and slit her neck while Gypsy hid in the bathroom. Together they fled to Nicholas's parent's home back in Wisconsin, thinking they could finally be together and Gypsy could be free at last. Gypsy recalls and acknowledges what she did was wrong and without hesitation admits now, that 10 years in prison is better than 10 years living under her mother's abuse. I am Gypsy's Father Rod Blanchard. I too was lead to believe Gypsy was sick her whole life. Dee Dee and I were married then separated during her pregnancy. I was 17 Dee Dee was 23. I have always tried to be the best father I could, but Dee Dee always kept my relationship with Gypsy very limited. I always provided financial and moral support to them even after Gypsy turned 18 I continued to pay $1,200 a month in child support payments because I was convinced that Gypsy was disabled and Dee Dee spent all of her time caring for Gypsy. They were relocated from Louisiana to Missouri after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and they would become unavailable just prior to my planned visits to see them. We maintained a relationship but only by phone calls and cards and gifts. Dee Dee always coached, filtered and monitored Gypsy and I's communications. We all have failed Gypsy, her mother, the doctors, the police, and myself. Any one of us could have done more to free her from hell with her mother. She never had a chance, she was brainwashed, threatened. Living in fearful captivity in a child's body her entire life, she never got to blossom into the beautiful young woman she deserves to be. How is this any different than a wife snapping and killing her abusive husband? Why? Because she planned it? She believed this was her only escape.. that was her reality. Watch the documentary, watch her interview. I'm petitioning for any relief to Gypsy's 10 year sentence, a shorter sentence, perhaps relocation to a mental facility where she can get the better help she needs. Gypsy has a loving family and community waiting, supporting her every step of the way to freedom. She calls home 3-4 times a week and spends hours on the phone with her amazing step mother, my wife Kristy. She has a younger brother Dylan 22 and sister Mia 16. She has suffered long enough. Please help her come home. She is serving time in Chillicothe Corrections Center in Missouri. She is eligible for parole in 2024, she will be 32. She appears completely healthy and in good spirits, although we don't know if there were any long term physical effects from the abuse. Thank You for your signature and support Rod Blanchard Jr. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/father-gypsy-blanchard-speaks-mommy-dead-dearest-47410578 https://mommydeadanddearest.com/ https://www.buzzfeed.com/michelledean/dee-dee-wanted-her-daughter-to-be-sick-gypsy-wanted-her-mom?utm_term=.kdQPqxo5g#.pd4VZ4Nxa
Petition to LPSS
Maintain AB schedule as it was before.
There are two new, more infectious, COVID strains. Cases are exponentially rising and going full in-person would put all of the teachers and students at higher risk. Also, this is too short notice for LPSS families to adjust schedules.
Petition to Dr. Scott Cascone, Ken Alper, Jenn Tunnicliffe, Gary Rothstein, Cheryl Merklinger, Terry Trigg-Scales
Save Our Young Learners - Reopen Our Schools
Dr. Cascone and Board Members, Thank you for the effort you have been putting into reopening West Orange schools safely after over nine long months during which many children have suffered emotionally and fallen behind academically in our district. At this late stage and with so many setbacks, our request is that you stay the course in the face of opposition, and open to the greatest extent possible for all students—with in-person opportunities five days a week for elementary and special education students by the date of January 19, 2021 to allow for quarantine time after the holiday season. The science overwhelmingly suggests that young children are not driving transmission of COVID-19, and schools can be safe places for staff and students of all ages, even with spread in the greater community. This is particularly true with simple, low-tech precautions—for ex. masking, face shields, limiting close contact, cohorts, and opening windows for ventilation. Many local public and private schools, following CDC and state guidelines, have been running for months without major issue. Notably, the YMCA and Boys & Girls Club are operating smoothly in some of our school buildings. Even when cases do occur, the testing, tracing and quarantining process used in other districts has been proven sufficient in limiting in-school spread. To ignore all of this evidence is to further children and families’ suffering with no rational justification. Neither the CDC nor the State of New Jersey mandates the additional air filtration projects, but our district has gone truly above and beyond with preparing for this concern as well. We believe the existing guidelines, which we already exceed, are highly effective, as evidenced by the low number of outbreaks traced to thousands of schools across the state. While we sympathize with fears of the unknown, we do not want to be driven by fear when making such important decisions. Many of us can no longer afford to delay this return to school any further and will be forced to make difficult choices for the coming year. We must do our best to make special accommodations for staff and continue to offer a virtual option, but we cannot ignore the many in our community who need in-person education now. Please push forward, follow the science, and prioritize public education and a safe reopening. Thank you. Articles and resources: https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-planning-considerations-return-to-in-person-education-in-schools/ https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-10-14/preschools-and-daycares-dont-appear-to-drive-coronavirus-infections-new-national-study-shows%3f_amp=true?fbclid=IwAR1g70WnMy-gbZ-j9DCeHHKcuG-DrIBQh8jslgc2sT2_ESX-DCG4y46vZhA https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/22/health/coronavirus-schools-children.html?fbclid=IwAR2vg4C_xBBBLq3COjq7hqdh7fu8rY9QStqNPAHgSm1NdVviYtQYAOGts_o https://www.insider.com/emily-oster-school-infections-low-in-areas-with-rampant-coronavirus-2020-10
Petition to Virginia State House, Virginia State Senate, Virginia Governor
Require carbon monoxide detectors in Virginia schools and daycares
Did you know there's a good chance the daycare or school you send your child to in the State of Virginia isn't required to have a Carbon Monoxide Detector installed on the premises? I didn't until an emergency impacted my children's daycare on February 20, 2020. Based on this experience, we've compiled a must-read crash course of the dangers to Virginia Schools here and our plans for advocacy here. If you don't think you need to be concerned about CO, think again. Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include: • Dull headache• Weakness• Dizziness• Nausea or vomiting• Shortness of breath• Confusion• Blurred vision• Loss of consciousness• Carbon monoxide poisoning can be particularly dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated. People may have irreversible brain damage or even die before anyone realizes there's a problem. At risk for carbon monoxide poisoning are children in particular, as young children take breaths more frequently than adults do, which may make them more susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning. Back to our personal story: Our daycare has looked after my children since August of 2015. It is a state licensed child care center, and nationally accredited through the National Early Childhood Program of Accreditation. As a parent, I have found administrative staff and teachers to be of the highest quality and to have been truly compassionate in the care of my children while my husband serves in the military and I run my own business. On a daily basis from the hours of 6:30am to 6pm, there are roughly 20-25 staff members and administrators, as well as 8 classrooms with roughly 8-16 children in each on site between the ages of 6 weeks and 6 years old. And on February 20, a carbon monoxide detector went off – and we only found out later it wasn't even the school's detector. Parents were notified at 2:20 p.m to come pick up children immediately – we were not told and likely won't know at what point the leak started, how long the children and staff were exposed, and at what ppm levels. What we know + why I'm advocating: • Because there was no law requiring this facility to have a carbon monoxide detector installed it did not have them, even though there was a natural gas-related system on site • Doors opened at 6:30 am for staff and students and teachers first started experiencing headaches, nausea + other symptoms in the late morning; at least one child became lethargic and exhibited signs of unconsciousness and pale complexion; due to the ages of the children many kids take naps on premises one or multiple times during the day • At the request of a teacher during lunch, a teacher's spouse brought in a home CO detector, plugged it in and it confirmed a presence of CO in the building at 2:15 after symptoms appeared to be spreading and increasing • Emergency officials were notified resulting in 2 fire trucks, 2 ambulances, EMT staff and police on site (including road closure to the facility) • Children + teachers were evacuated to a nearby location where parents picked them up after being notified of the emergency • Prior to departing the evacuation building, children and staffed were checked by EMTs with portable CO readers (optional, not all parents stayed or were told this needed to be completed) • Any children or staff who needed to be checked out further were evaluated in ambulances, and if required, transported to local hospitals • To the best of my knowledge, 3 teachers were transported to local hospitals; some children (including my own) were evaluated in ambulances but did not need to be or declined to be transported for mild to moderate symptoms • According to emergency responders I spoke with while being referred to the ambulance for my son – most children were at least mildly symptomatic • On February 21, after inspection by the Fire Department, Natural Gas Department and Health Department, it was discovered that a fault in the daycare's gas heating system was the source of the CO leak. The building was given the all clear to re-open for normal hours on Monday, February 24. • Because of the February 20 event, the daycare immediately installed detectors in each classroom and in other spaces throughout the facility. • But a week later, on Friday, February 28, the newly installed alarms sounded – and alerted the staff to another carbon monoxide leak. Had the detectors not been there, we would have sent our children back into dangerous conditions after having been given the all-clear less than a week before. >>> WE WERE LUCKY. BOTH TIMES. <<< Carbon monoxide poisoning should NOT be a concern to parents when they drop their kids off at state-licensed daycare and educational facilities. • This petition asks for legislation in the State of Virginia that would make carbon monoxide detectors (and more frequent regular servicing/inspection of them) a REQUIREMENT for all state licensed daycare + educational facilities, regardless of year built (at minimum those with fuel-fired appliances and at risk for CO-related issues) • In addition this petition asks that childcare workers, educators and administrative staff in these facilities be better trained/certified on how to spot symptoms + create clear emergency plans around carbon monoxide in addition to their CPR/First Aid training + fire/tornado/intruder emergency drills. • This petition also asks for immediate, transparent documentation in the form of an accessible link or database of which Virginia Schools (daycare, public, private, charter) ARE or ARE NOT actively protected from carbon monoxide poisoning, which ones have glaring CO risks on site (and if so, how are they protected. Let's not wait until the worst-case scenario occurs before making this change. A quick Google search of carbon monoxide scares at schools will show you what a national issue this is – and is being experienced locally here in Virginia. I appreciate your signature to this petition! Warmly, Nikki Zellner Note: All photos appearing with this petition were taken by the Zellner family with the exception of the photo of Nikki James Zellner + her two boys on the couch, which was taken by Kaitlin McKeown of the Virginian-Pilot to accompany their story. At the start of this petition there was a photo of children napping in a preschool – that photo was taken by Jay Janner of the Austin American-Statesman. That photo has since been deleted at the request of a school similar in appearance with no affiliation to this petition or the incident that prompted it.
Petition to MY SCHOOL BOARD, DISTRICT & GOV’T., California Governor, President of the United States, President of USA
Nothing’s changed! School is still unsafe
For Your Kids and Their Teachers!
SCHOOL DISTRICTS ACROSS THE USA LIKE LAUSD are returning and forcing Teachers and Students to in person school in Now..either full-time or with a hybrid model. This is too soon. The dangers that caused school closures haven’t been abated: They’ve gotten worse. We request: 1) Extended and increased government funds for families to ease their childcare, housing, healthcare and other needs stemming from this crisis- and the need to stay safe at home.2) A Distance Learning model that encourages compliance and participation by being made mandatory- not optional as it was this past semester. 3). A 3 month ‘safe period’ between the decision to return to in person classes and the actually return.. to guarantee the protections from C-19 that officials say may work actually do work because we can observe them at work in all other sectors of society- before we put students, teachers, our children, families and friends at risk.Children’s health should not be gambled away in the name of a hurried and misplaced return to normalcy. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Staying home is the best preventative medicine. Families need government financial assistance to ease the burden of childcare etc.., We urge government to extend payments to families. We urge those in power to continue Distance learning at least through Spring of 2021. Distance learning, will be more effective when the district mandates that the class work is mandatory- not optional as it was this spring. Teachers, ask for more resources for Families and themselves To ensure this. We should feel safe for 3 months straight before we go back to in person learning. The health and hopes of children shouldn’t be hinged on a roll of the dice ‘hoping’ that the virus will go away. The hope of our students future should be founded on the strength of patience, safety and the fortitude of vision necessary to garauntee that no child will catch and die from C-19 at school- because they will be happily learning at home. Just as a family can fully feel safe in knowing that their child won’t contract TB at school- because districts don’t allow anybody with a positive TB test on campus- we request that those we petition refrain from starting in person learning until they can make the same guarantee with respect to Covid-19. Thank you for reading. Please sign, if you agree.. and share.
Petition to Congress
Congress: End the Time Change - Choose one Standard Time and Stay With it Year Round!
It's time for Congress to pick one time that is standard throughout the year! Multiple health risks have been cited in scientific literature during the “Spring Forward” including car accidents, heart attacks and workplace injuries. Since Daylight Saving Time was enacted to conserve coal during WWI, its role currently is obsolete in terms of energy saving measures. Moreover most of the country has introduced some form of legislation in regards to ending the time change. Last year California passed Proposition 7, making Daylight Saving Time year-round and permanent. Other states who have proposed legislation include the following: AlaskaAlabamaArkansasColoradoDelawareGeorgiaIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasLouisianaMaineMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNevadaNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaSouth CarolinaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWyoming Some states had put forth legislation to be on Atlantic Standard Time, a time zone one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time that essentially puts them on year-round Daylight Saving Time. These include Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. So why put the country through time changes twice a year? Whether you're #SickOfSpringForward or #FinishedWithFallBack, it's time Congress puts an end to Daylight Saving Time changes and keep one time throughout the year! More information can be found here: https://doctordaliah.wordpress.com/2020/09/07/most-of-the-us-ready-for-biannual-daylight-saving-time-changes-to-end-will-congress-pick-one/ Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP Paul Kalekas, DO, FACOI