Start a petition (for school)

Edited by Ephraim, Charmed, Maria Quinney, Eng and 17 others

If you've got a great idea or you're not satisfied with a certain rule or regulation imposed by the school board, starting a petition is a great way to show the administrators that you have a large group of supporters willing to back you up. Any good idea you have that might improve the well-being or contentment of the student body as a whole, whether it's making changes to the dress code, allowing more bathroom breaks, providing certain food choices in the cafeteria or changing the start time for school, are fair game for petitioning.

How to Start a School Petition

  1. 1
    Decide on the goal you're trying to achieve by writing your petition
    Before you get started, there are a few things you should consider. If you feel strongly about an issue and you think others feel the same, contact the school officials (principal, vice principal, etc.) to find out how many signatures you would need for a change to take place through your petition. Be ambitious, but remember that your goal should be something that's achievable through a specific, concrete action. If you and only a few friends feel strongly about the issue but you don't believe anyone will follow, keep in mind that your petition might not get the results you want. Even if this is the case, remember that it is possible to change the minds of people that never would have considered beforehand if you include the right information and get your voice heard. If your idea seems like something that would benefit many students, go ahead with your plan and start writing your petition.
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  2. 2
    Format your petition
    You should type out your petition since it looks more professional and easy to read. You can find several petition templates online that you can fill out and print, so it's very easy to get started. If you choose to create your own, start by including something along the lines of "Petition to (goal you wish to achieve)" at the top of the page. This should be in a larger, bold font than the body of the petition.
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  3. 3
    Write the body of your petition
    It's always best to be clear, concise and to the point. Most people are busy or distracted, therefore, they might not take the time to read all of the details and sign the petition if it's too wordy or confusing. In the first paragraph, clearly state what you're trying to change, then list a few reasons why it's beneficial. People want to hear about the positive results of supporting a cause, so make sure those are clearly listed. Try using bullet points to list short and easy-to-read facts about the issue. Write in a brief, business-like tone so potential supporters and officials will take your petition seriously. Try to limit yourself to one paragraph, but two or even three might be necessary if the petition is related to a bigger, more complex situation. Before you print out the petition, be sure to check and re-check all spelling and grammar. Poor grammar and spelling mistakes are often enough to turn people off from signing your petition, even if they support your cause.
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  4. 4
    Print out copies of your petition and enlist the help of your friends
    Print out several copies of your petition, as well as a few pages of paper with grid lines for each copy of the petition so people can sign it. Take the copies of your petition to your friends and ask them to sign it. If they feel strongly about the proposed changes, ask them to help you gather signatures. Give them copies of the petition and let them know how many signatures you're trying to achieve. Get permission from a teacher or school official to post copies of the petition on bulletin boards in common areas of the school for students to sign. It's also a good idea to encourage parents to sign the petition since school administrators value the opinion of students' parents. If teachers will sign the petition, that's an added bonus. Branch out to all the other students in your school, and you'll likely gather enough signatures to prompt action.
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  5. 5
    After you've reached your signature goal, gather all of the signed petitions and hand them into a school official, such as the dean, principal or vice principal
    He or she will read over your petition and from there, hand it over to the school board so they can review the petition and get the ball rolling on the changes that you request. Congratulations! You've successfully achieved your goal.
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Why You Should Start a Petition


Starting a petition is a great way to encourage peaceful activism and make every voice count, without resorting to violent protests or rule-breaking that may result in suspension, expulsion or even trouble with the law. It typically won't cost you any money at all, which also makes it very easy to get started. You can use a petition to bring about real changes with only a pen and a piece of paper, as long as you have enough people willing to sign it. You can even utilize online petition sites to quickly spread the word about your idea. Regardless of the method you choose, creating a petition is a great way to get the school administration to notice how you and your supporters feel about an issue and take action accordingly.

How old do you have to be to write a petition at school?

There is no specific age requirement for writing a petition in your school. The obvious things that will need to be established are whether the person understands the petition they are writing in terms of the goals. If the goals or issues are not understood by the person, then he or she should not write the petition. Anyone of any age can write a petition, as long as they understand the issues. They will not be ignored if they are too young. For example, a 13-year-old can petition the change of the senior prom theme (even though they are not going to prom or even involved with the prom). If you have an issue and want to be heard, you can be heard at any age as long as you can understand and back up your goals for the petition.

Tips, Tricks & Warnings

  • Online petitioning is a great way to find supporters quickly. Create a petition on a site such as and share through your email and social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Once you have all the signatures required, email or print them out and deliver them to the school administrators.
  • In some cases, it's possible to be suspended or expelled if you're petitioning for something controversial or not in the best interest of the students or the school. Think it through carefully before proceeding with your idea.
  • Avoid writing negative statements, offensive language, consequences of inaction or threats on your petition. Avoid being over-emotional, as well. Don't harass or bully people into signing your petition, since this will likely backfire and get you into trouble.
  • Avoid over-explanations and wordiness. Too many details and exaggerations can disinterest potential signers. If they want more information or have questions about the petition, you can explain the answers verbally.


Questions and Answers

If you wanted to petition the prom theme how would you start?

Prom now: Colors - Blue, Green, Pearl Prom later: Masquerade

You will start by first going to your principal or school board to figure out how many signatures are needed in order to be recognized for a change. Once you find out that number, depending on your school board's rules, you can then venture out to students in order to collect their names and signatures for your petition.

Can I please get an urgent petition for my school examination office?

My tertiary U.D.S has posted new examination results with my ID. no. highlighted as repeated. This I plead is not in my favor because a student is not to trail 4 courses and above in a giving academic year else repeats and or is being withdrawn. My problem is I trailed 1 course in the 2nd trimester of my" first year" and then another course in my 1st trimester "second year". Now, new results on the notice includes me as repeated student with my trailed courses from first year till date of making the 4 trailed courses penalty target. Thank you.

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How do we get the school to change the issues that are making the students struggle?

I attend a college in Nashville Tn. There is a consensus among the student that the courses are being taught out of order; there is a lack of like-minded individuals in the class because of the way the educational program is laid out as a whole; the prices are outstanding and the payoff is so little; we are not offered books in classes that are impossible to do without one. We are signed up for brick and mortar classes that are changed to hybrid without use of the word hybrid because they use this as an excuse to shorten the classes but that in itself make the course load more and we are struggling because we feel as though this school and its practices are not geared towards the end result of getting us hired in our respective fields but them making as much money as possible. We want this to change.. I have tried: Talking to the teachers and faculty. I think it was caused by: The school's practices

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How can I start a petition to increase a particular schools grade enrollment?

I and others would like a certain elementary to be raised back to 4th or 5th grade as it once was. the school lowered its classes to 3rd grade to reduce overcrowding. This changed occurred quite a few years ago and since the enrollment has declined drastically due to other schools opening in the area. Many of the parents are juggling the need to have to drop off their young ones at different schools since they have children in different grades. How can we start a petition to increase the school back up to what it once was. and how many signatures would be required. there are currently an estimate of 450 students enrolled. I haven't necessarily found anything to this matter. I have tried: We have spoken to the school principal and have been told they can have nothing to do with any petition we may be considering. I think it was caused by: They were trying to relieve overcrowding and are now under enrolled compared to other schools in the area

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How do we make our petition effective?

Our favorite teacher isn't getting his contract back next year

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How many signatures do I need to get kids in-expelled?

I'm trying to get 2 kids that got expelled back in school because they got expelled for not a good reason

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I want to send a petition to the leaders of the all the schools in the county. How can I do that?

So next year when I go to high school my teacher said they will be changing the SOL tests. She said that during the sol test you can't go back to any questions and you can't move forward to the next question until you answered it. Once you answer it you can't go back and everyone in my school thinks its unfair. How do I start a petition to change this? Please help.. I have tried: Nothing yet. I think it was caused by: I don't know. Maybe some kids were cheating in the last SOL test.

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How do we use a complete petition?

What if I help start a petition but the school board disapproves of it? Where should I go? What should I do? Our issue is; the game site that we used for years has been blocked for some reason by the school board, we have nothing else to do during that school time anymore when we are finished with our classes, especially when it is too late to start another... This is a serious issue to us students and we have started the petition already, but when we present it, is there anything we need to worry about?. I have tried: We have tried to start the petition to combat the recent issue, we have started signing and already have over 100 signs in under 3 hours. I think it was caused by: Teachers were not watching over the kids and the students were playing games instead of doing classwork.

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Hello, I just wanted to say, great job and thank you!

I think it's wonderful of you to help answer all these questions! I also think it's great that you're sharing your knowledge and experience! I hope you have a splendid day. Great job! Thanks so much!

How many signatures are needed on average for the petition to actually be put in action?

I need an average on how many signatures I will need for this petition to actually go through. I want for our school to provide lockers for the students in middle school because our backpacks are too heavy and that can later on lead to a disease that can deform your spine which can eventually lead to paralysis. I have tried: Ask for a personal spare locker, budding up with another student. I think it was caused by: Too many students and too little space and rude teachers

As many signatures as you can get although a general rule is 25% or greater of the students would be best. If you can get parental signatures that is necessary and you should bring the petition to a parent meeting if possible to present to them before going before the school board.

How many votes do I need to fire a teacher in Delaware?

There is a chorus teacher who is not a good teacher. My schoolmates and I would like to know how many signatures we would need to get him fired.

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How do we change the school time and break times through a petition?

Many people at my school are upset about the start time and the bus time. Class really starts at 7:40-50 AM, but many students have to get up at 5:00-6:00 AM to finish getting ready to go to school, like taking showers, eating breakfast, and getting clothed. It's also we want breaks between class periods so we can rest and refresh our mind from the stress of school and be able to focus more. Just last year, a study said students middle-college were experiencing the stress levels of a mental patient in the 1950-60s! I'm not sure how the school board will react since most of us are under 13, but a lot of us feel strongly about this subject. How do we change the school time and break times through a petition to the school board? This situation has not been covered yet by talking about break&start times for school. I have tried: So far we have not started the petition. Soon we are going to the principal to ask how many signatures would be best for our school board, and then we are getting a petition ready for students- and maybe some parents- to sign. I think it was caused by: I believe sports, clubs, and less breaks are the problem of this, because children have to wake up earlier for clubs, though mostly sports clubs, to have more daytime in the afternoon to practice.

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Isn't there an age requirement to file a petition?

Hi! My understanding is that a teenager cannot create a petition until they are 16 - for example has that in their requirements..

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