"Parents are the primary stakeholders
in their child’s education."
- Rep. Elise Stefanik
Today the US House of Representatives passed the Parents Bill of Rights act. As part of it's passing, Rep. Elise Stefanik stated "We proudly stand for parents as the driving decision-makers for their kids’ education. We stand for transparency, and we stand for educational rigor. As a new mom, that is so important to me."
The bill still has to pass in the US Senate, and then be signed into law by President Biden, in order to pass into law.
For more information about the contents of the bill, download the fact sheet below.
Representative Stefanik will be in Buffalo on April 4th. For more information about the event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's a little late notice, but our first Board of Education candidate/volunteer seminar is TONIGHT, March 23rd at 7:30PM via Zoom!
This meeting is for anyone interested in running for Board of Education, or helping volunteers run for Board of Education in their district in 2023.
Election day is May 16th. Petitions are due April 14th. Many districts are still hunting for candidates.
Click below to join to Zoom meeting.
Are you worried about a COVID vaccine mandate?
Are you tired of the public education system?
Are you interested in exploring homeschooling as an option?
Monday, January 30th we will be hosting an informational session on homeschooling at The Well church on Dodge Road in Amherst.
Before COVID, homeschooling was on the rise nationwide. Since COVID, homeschooling numbers have skyrocketed, and continue to accelerate. Homeschooling can be the right choice for any family, for various reasons.
This session will be for any new or returning homeschooling parent, or a current homeschool parent looking to connect with other parents. Find out what a co-op is, how to write a letter of intent, and where to get support from other homeschool parents.
Election day is Tuesday, May 17th in your district. Polls are open from 7am to 9pm.
Click here for the list of candidates we are supporting for the election. Make sure you get out and vote next Tuesday!
We are sharing this event information on behalf of the Zeldin campaign. We are excited at the attention that Board of Education elections are getting this year, and hope that it leads to record turnout!.
Congressman Lee Zeldin is hosting a virtual town hall this Thursday at 8pm for school board candidates, parents, and voters.
As you know, school board elections will be held across New York next week, and Lee wants to hear from parents across the state and encourage everyone to participate in the upcoming elections.
Join Congressman Lee Zeldin, the designated candidate for Governor of both the Republican and Conservative Parties, for a Town Hall with parents and New Yorkers across the state.
To register for the event, click below.
Today Western New York Students First was made aware of a violation
of the NY State Ethics Law pertaining to public employees.
Orchard Park candidates Steve Barlette and Katherine Ibarra expressed their disappointment
upon hearing the news. "Learning about this election violation is disappointing. Katherine Ibarra
and I are independent candidates. We do not have the access the union has. It only takes a few
teachers pressured by this abuse of power to impact election results. Where is the democracy in
that?” said candidate Steve Barlette.
Concerned community members from Orchard Park are circulating the attached email (See
Figure 1) which indicates that Adam Ziccardi, president of the Orchard Park Teachers
Association, is using government resources to influence the outcome of the upcoming school
board election, a violation of Public Officers Law.
To read the full press release, download below:
WNY Students First is pleased to host Congressman Lee Zeldin Thursday, February 17th, at 10:30am for a meet and greet and Q&A with parents to discuss ongoing state mandates that impact children and other parental or educational issues.
Congressman Zeldin is a Gubernatorial candidate for New York State Governor.
We are excited to welcome Congressman Zeldin, and appreciate that he is making time to discuss out state's most important asset, our children.
This event is open to all parents and educators in Western New York. If you would like to attend the event, please contact WNY Students First at email@example.com.
While the indoor mask mandate lifted for New Yorkers on February 9th, nothing has changed for children, despite science showing that masks can come off safely and immediately.
Since parents can no longer trust public officials or public health to make appropriate decisions for children, our lawsuit was filed on Friday, February 11th, in Westchester County, seeking to permanently enjoin the State of New York, New York State Department of Education, New York State Office of Children and Family Services, and New York State Health Department from enforcing the mask mandate for children ages 2 and up in daycare and school settings. Our action includes plaintiffs from various counties across our state and is supported by eight (8) experts, many nationally-renowned, in the fields of epidemiology, virology, pediatric psychology, pediatric speech and language pathology, engineering, and industrial hygiene, among others.
Our lawsuit argues that the State’s prolonged forced masking policy has greatly harmed children academically, socially, emotionally, and physically while providing no benefit to limiting transmission of COVID-19 in schools or daycares. Through our experts, we show that the State has failed to cite to any evidence that establishes a causal link between masking children and reducing transmission of COVID-19 in daycares or schools, and therefore such policies are arbitrary, capricious, and lacks a rational basis. Our lawsuit separately argues that the masking policy violates the separation of powers clause the New York Constitution and thus the mask mandate must be invalidated.
Parents have learned over the past two years that New York State has failed to put children first in any decisions both under Kathy Hochul and Andrew Cuomo. The State has never provided any data or rationale in their decision making, with numerous child covid policies based on arbitrary guesses. The experts in our suit provide the technical and scientific data that should have been analyzed by the state, yet they have chosen to ignore the facts or do any analysis of their own.
Masks do cause harm to children. There is no data or science to support the continued masking of children in public schools, while conversely, we know for a fact that masking children beyond this moment contributes to multiple, deleterious effects. Masks were a temporary mitigation in 2020 when little was known about the disease. The science and the data two years later must not be ignored and it is the hope of parents across the state that justice will prevail for our children.
WNY Students First advocates on behalf of all children and families in the region on this issue and across the State of New York.
For those who don't know me, my name is Jonathan Rich. I want to welcome our new members. I appreciate that all of you want to have a positive impact for students in our region.
This has been a crazy week. Thanks to a smart and well-reasoned judge on Long Island, our children should have received a mask free day of school on Monday. Dozens of the districts on Long Island exercised that freedom.
I know many of you are angry, feeling helpless, feeling alone. We are all here together, and we are going to work to fix education in New York State.
If you have spoken at a board of ed meeting or to an elected representative in the last year, you know that parents have no voice in education in this state. COVID isn't the disease, it is a symptom of parents lack of a say in their child's education.
Tonight we are hosting a zoom meeting to introduce parents the tools that they need to start fixing what's going on in their schools, not just COVID, to teach them how to run for board of education, and to provide greatly needed support.
Tonight's meeting is for those who haven't already attended our activation meetings. If you have previously attended a meeting, stay tuned, we will be scheduling meetings on fundraising and other things very shortly.
The last thing I will say is please share this message. We are getting attention from all over the state. If you know a parent who needs to be there tonight or needs to hear what we are saying, share this with them.
We'll see you all tonight.
WNY Students First BOE Activation Meeting
Thursday 1/27/22 @ 7pm
Join Zoom Meeting Here
This poem from a student in WNY is being shared on social media right now as an example that children are fine (resilient), and that masking is not a big deal.
The state is facing a silent pandemic of mental health issues, not just in children but adults as well. Drug use among teens as surged during the pandemic, as have anxiety issues, body image issues, self harm, and suicides. Parents are powerless to watch their children struggle to develop their identity in a faceless society.
We spoke with a licensed social worker about this poem, and how problematic it is. This is her feedback.
There is no question that over the past two years many factors of the pandemic have impacted children. Covid hysteria has created fear among youth. Prolonged fear is a major concern for mental health challenges. As we aim to transition to more normal school experiences, we must reduce covid fear.
Students First is a parent advocacy organization dedicated to increasing the voice of parents and community members in education related issues. Please, join us in improving the educational outcomes for our children, and our communities' children.