How to Start a Petition

How to Start a School Petition

Petitioning is probably the most effective form of nonviolent protesting. It does not cost much, as all you need is paper, a pen, and (optional but recommended) a computer printer.

Whether you want to protest a school rule or suggest an item in the cafeteria, a petition will show that you are not the only one who cares.


  1. Choose your goal(s).Think about these three things:
    • Is this feasible (doable)?
    • Will other people want to sign it?
    • Will this get me suspended or expelled?
  2. Start writing your petition.This is preferably done on a computer. Write "PETITION" in a large font. Hit return and write "for (your goal)" below in a medium font. That will be your title. Although you may sign your name on the petition, do not type your name.
  3. Write your body.If it is a small goal, like salsa in the cafeteria, you only need one or two sentences. Larger goals, such as loosening the school's bathroom policies, may require a more letter-like format. Write the letter as if you are writing for your English teacher, using proper grammar and well-developed points. The things that you need to present are:
    • What exactly you want changed (e.g. Better bathrooms, no bathroom time limits, etc.)
    • Why you want it changed (e.g. No one wants to hold it or sit on a gross seat)
    • Some kind of scientific, medical, or other proof to back you up (e.g. "Sucking it up" can cause constipation, people who hold their bladders as youth will need adult diapers later on, excretion is a basic right of living beings)
    • Alternatives that provide the pro's of the rule and not the cons (e.g. Placing a guard or smoke detector in the bathroom can deter druggies without punishing those that must go)
  4. Print it out.
  5. Create a signing section.Staple anywhere between 1 and 10 sheets of paper onto the back of your petition. This is what people will sign. Alternatively, you can print out a grid so that people can sign their names there and it will be easy to count.
  6. Take it to friends.Start with your best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, or circle of friends. Then expand it to other people you know.
  7. Expand your realm.Take it to strangers or classmates who you don't know well. Only do it to those who seem nice and won't likely bully you.
  8. To increase strength, get the agreement of teachers.Let them read your petition. Do this only if you have time and it is not the middle of class.
  9. Turn in the petition.Give it to the front office, dean, or Vice Principal. They will read over it and give it to whoever is responsible. Some petitions even make it to the School Board!

Community Q&A

Unanswered Questions
  • What if the school denies my petition, can I sue the school, or is there another way?
  • How many signatures are needed to pass a petition?
  • Why should you not type your name on the petition?
  • How many signatures do you need?
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  • Be nice. Don't interrupt people or give long speeches.
  • Have the signers use pen. Bring a pen in case anyone doesn't have one. Use a regular pen, and not a marker.
  • Don't be rebellious. There is a difference between a simple protest and rebellion. Do not yell or make fun of teachers in the petition. Do not break the rules "just to be cool." Try the grandma test. If you wouldn't say a certain word to your grandma, don't say it on your petition.
  • Not all petitions are successful. Don't let this get you down. At least you tried!
  • Try multiple drafts to see which one works best and double check the rules to make sure that you are not breaking one of them.

Video: Round Rock High School students start petition due to dress code enforcement

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Date: 06.12.2018, 15:56 / Views: 94593