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Dear Mr. Next President...

Students in Mr. Brooks' Advanced Placement Government and Politics class spent the days leading to the presidential election writing letters to our next president about the issues that are important to them.

Jacob S.

Mr. President:

Education within schools is the main factor that students need to graduate. However, in many schools across our country, this has been lost in schools that are poorly funded. Most schools with this shallow funding have teachers who aren't paid well which can cause issues for the school and its students. An example of this is a teacher's capabilities to teach students the information they need can be affected by how they feel about their job, with a large factor being their pay. This can affect their effectiveness of teaching the students. When a teacher is not doing well with their job the students can feel as if they are not learning subjects that are needed in daily life. For example, mathematics is one of the main core subjects that students need to be successful in college applications and jobs along with Science, English, and more. If a student’s teacher cannot teach them the information needed to pass the class, it causes a rise in the possibilities of them dropping out or not pass-through high school.

 

Tia R.

Dear Future President, 

My greatest desire is for racial inequality to be a thing of the past. I honestly do not understand the meaning of it. I strongly believe that the color of a person’s skin is simply that, nothing more, nothing less. The person is still human and therefore should be treated like it. It scares me to think of my kids having to deal with this kind of brutality. 

The past couple of months have been very rough for people with darker skin tones. Breonna Taylor was a victim of a botched raid by Louisville Kentucky police officers. George Floyd was arrested and had an officer’s knee of his throat and died. Daniel Prude was knelt on until he was brain dead. These were only three of the several people that were killed by police officers. 

I also believe that white supremacy should not have even been a thing to begin. The definition of a white supremacist is the belief that white people are inherently superior to people from all other racial and ethnic groups, especially black people, and are therefore rightfully the dominant group in any society. How could this be a group of people and how could a person mindset be set up so cruel? 

I believe that racial inequality and white supremacy can be avoided if racial acts were acknowledged for being unmerited. If a racial act was acknowledged social groups will make sure they understand what they did was deprave in a civil and legal way.

 

Matthew F. 

Dear Mr. President,

Mr. President, you need to make abortions illegal because tons of innocent babies are murdered every year due to abortions. This is an important issue because it is very unfair for an innocent unborn baby to have its life taken away from them. I understand that not every American can afford to take care of a child but there are other options other than killing this baby such as adoption. An adoption is a great option for people who don’t want to take care of a child because there are people who would do anything to have a child but can’t and adoption is their only option. As a child who was adopted, I can tell you that it is a great alternative to abortions because instead of being dead I am alive and living with a family that loves and cares about me. Abortions do not only affect the parents of the child who is aborting it and the child who is being aborted it affects other people too such as the people who want to adopt a child.
 

Malik A.

Dear Mr. President,

Is America as great as perceived? America is known as “the land of the free and home of the brave.” Are we free when our law enforcement is killing innocent people of color for walking on the street? Are those law enforcement officers brave while doing their job or just in fact, too scared to do their duty? In America, people are supposed to be equal and free of discrimination. This is not true when the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants from different countries, people of color, and women altogether aren’t treated the same as if they were a human. With Covid-19 in the air, and all around us, the people of the United States are losing their jobs. From which taxes are taking a heavy toll of them, since they have no source of income. These people are forced to file for unemployment. Some unable to pay for their college tuition, or even worse, become homeless. With so many unemployment cases, healthcare would be difficult to keep for Americans. The need for Medicaid is needed now more than ever. This will save Americans millions together. Global Warming continues to set our temperatures at new highs from greenhouse gases, harmful by-products released into the air by chemical plants. With new technology, finding newer and cleaner energy resources would lead to creating millions of new jobs. We, the people of the United States of America, need safety and need to feel that our future will be secure.

Behind the face of America, is the racial discrimination in the public, law enforcement, and government. In the year 1619, Africans were enslaved and bought to Virginia. This was the first but not the last instance of discrimination in America. Fast forward to August 23rd, 1963, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Dr. King spoke the famous words of “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”, which rung around the nation and opened the eyes of many people. Yet, there are innocent people being killed in the middle of the street for no reason but the color of their skin. For instance, July 5th, 2016, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a black man by the name of Alton Sterling was killed while being compliant with officers as they held guns at close range to his body. Alton, who was selling CD’s in front of a store, had a gun for his own protection from being robbed because there were many cases where people who were doing the same thing were being robbed. The store owner told reporters that Alton did not cause any trouble at all and that there was no reason for him to be killed in cold blood. This caused protests around the United States. Nothing was done to the officers who killed Alton. Constant events alike this have happened over the years. The most recent of them being the killing of George Floyd. On May 25th, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Floyd was killed for allegedly passing a store clerk a counterfeit $20 bill. The officers who responded stood around while white officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. He could be heard saying “Please, I can’t breathe” and him yelling “Momma! Momma!” while knowing his time in this world was going to be up. This is the same thing happening with the immigrants coming into America. They are being hated against publicly and even by officials in office. This is another form of racial discrimination. For example, referring to Muslims in 2010, Donald Trump stated, “Well, somebody’s blowing us up. Somebody’s blowing up buildings and somebody’s doing lots of bad stuff”. It’s clear that this “somebody” are Muslim people. These statements are extremely racist. These actions of law enforcement and the government have shown that there is systematic racism within the United States. There needs to be a change. A simple change which would make this situation much better, is more funding for police training. This will drastically change the way the United States’ people’s state of mind.

Along with racial discrimination, social discrimination is a bad problem within the United States. By social, I mean the persecutions against people of the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, and women. The LGBTQ+ community has been hated against for a long period of time. There have been many hate crimes against these people. For example, in 2007, after being rejected of holding a parade, a small group of LGBTQ+ people tried to hold a meeting. They ended up being surrounded by a group twice their size and being yelled at with derogatory terms and had eggs thrown at them. This type of hate must be stopped. Another group of people being discriminated against is women in general. Women have always been put socially underneath men. Collected in 2020, research shows that for every dollar a man makes a woman makes 81 cents. We need more equality when it comes to both the LGBTQ+ community and women. We can pass laws that allows LBGTQ+ people to have a lot more freedom and pass laws that will cause women to be paid the same amount as men. Less hate for both parties would be seen.

A problem that my family and I have personally are taxes. Taxes has always put a dent in our pockets. Especially with the COVID – 19 putting my mother in unemployment. In my opinion, taxes on the low-class citizens should be lowered. High class citizens have no problems with taxes and has enough money to pay for them. These high-class citizens also have enough money to pay for any college tuition they need, while the low-class citizens are struggling and hoping for scholarships in turn. If tax was lowered on the poor and made higher on the rich, then everyone would have equality to opportunities within the money region.

One idea I've always had was creating more jobs with cleaner, sustainable energies. If we found another energy source that was better than the ones that are making our environment dirtier, we can make millions of jobs which would help people put food on the table and clean the air. Global Warming has made the Earth’s temperature rise every year. This also makes the icebergs in the Arctic and Antarctic melt which also makes the ocean level rise. To stop this, we should first, find the cleaner option of energy, second, find ways to reduce humanity’s carbon footprint, and lastly, getting back into the Paris climate Accord so that everyone around the world would be encouraged to help act. The outcomes of this would result in cleaner air, more jobs for people, and a healthier environment to live in.

Many Americans need healthcare as we speak. Medicare and Medicaid should cover almost every American if they should apply. A person should be eligible for either, no matter if they have a pre-existing condition or not. There are many people who are in debt just because of hospital bills. Debt leads to declaring bankruptcy and leaving people with a bad credit score. Meaning they can’t pay for what they need. Medicare and Medicaid should also pay for birth control, abortions, and therapists. Abortions should be made illegal at a certain level. Once, a heartbeat is detected, an abortion should be illegal to give. This is the point when a fetus is alive and has blood running through its veins. We also need more therapists as mental illness is becoming more and more common today. From depression itself, 800,000 people die due to suicide each year. This number will continue to increase if we don’t do anything about it. More of the reason to make these therapists included in Medicare and Medicaid.

Schools that are funded less than other schools have had many instances where teachers quit or go on strike due to their lower pay. According to ascd.org, teachers in better-funded schools have a higher student achievement rate on test scores. The main issue is that many do not recognize the issue due to no coverage being within public media. Many do not recognize the issues of unfair funding, especially many who are in higher funded schools. I was one of these students who did not see this issue until I researched the facts towards this in a project. I believe along with many others, that these schools need to be as equally funded as others to provide equal education to everyone to provide a better future for everyone. With better futures, more people will be able to get better jobs and a good pay rate so they can pay their taxes or debts.

However, this is also up to the student and how they receive information or how they treat it. Students can become bored of subjects that are often only reading. There are many ways to counter this with things such as activities that allow them to learn and experience what happens. Some students will not listen, this will cause themselves to harm their own future. Things like this will cause them to not get any education, and the teachers or schools are not in the fault unless this attitude was provoked by the school or the faculty within.

 

Ze'laycia W.

Dear Mr. President,

I would like to come to you about the problem with education in this country. As a high school student, I personally believe that schools need to provide more courses that better prepare you for adult life. Of course, we need the core classes like mathematics and English. But we also need to advocate financial literacy, mental health, and extracurricular activities.

Students need classes that will show us how to do taxes and learn money management so that they can be in control of their financial future. Without these classes, students could end up setting out into a world of debt and depression. Algebra and geometry are important, but it doesn’t prepare us for our financial future. Something that we will be doing every year is taxes. Something that we will not be doing is chemistry. For example, student loans have been an issue mainly because of students not being more knowledgeable on how to manage money coming out of high school. We are not aware of these many factors, and we do not learn these things at home.

Mental health is also a problem in schools. More recent statistics indicate that student mental health is a prevalent and serious concern. We need to be more aware and have open and ongoing conversations to help decrease the stigma surrounding mental health. We don’t know enough on this subject and many of the cases go undetected and untreated. Mental health could also be a potential barrier to schooling.

Another problem in education is extracurricular activities. Extracurricular activities provide a channel for reinforcing the lessons learned in the classroom. It also offers students the opportunity to apply academic skills in a real-world context. Extracurricular activities are considered part of a well-rounded education and need to be made more available and enforced. This may help improve family factors and decrease the number of kids being in the street.

Though hard, there are solutions to all these problems. We could alter out school systems and design a better curriculum. Real-world classes should be a priority in high schools around the country because high schools generally aim to prepare students for college, but they do not make sure that their students go to college or have a plan on how they are going to succeed in life. These classes could be more of financial classes, cooking classes, or even a class that interprets the current events and daily news. Mental health needs to be regularly discussed because high school students can benefit tremendously from discussing human growth and development. Children development should also be taught because of the heavy influence that home life plays on the overall health and behavior of an individual, as well as parenting techniques that they will need to rely on in the future as parents. Extracurricular activities should be made more available and we should keep in mind that every student might not have the money to participate. We also need to educate teachers and parents more. We need to make them more aware of these problems so they can make more of a difference in kids’ lives.

 

Victoria F.

Dear Mr. President

Animal abuse is one of the many cruelties facing our world today. It is very prevalent throughout the United States. Sadly, most animal abuse cases are never brought to light. I encourage you to think about the difference you can make while reading this letter. It is up to us to have a voice for those who don’t.

Dogs, horses, cats, and livestock are the most reported animal abuse cases. Animal abuse can be hard to detect because it often happens inside people’s homes. However, this is not always the case. The factory farm industry has a history of prevalence in animal abuse. In fact, the main cause of animal suffering is factory farming. Cows and pigs are put into small cages inside large windowless sheds from the day they are born. They are treated as machines rather than living things. Mother cows are separated from their calves at birth. This milk that was intended for their calves is packaged up and sold. After they no longer produce milk, they are artificially inseminated. Many of the male calves are killed, while the female cows grow up to be the next generation of dairy-producing machines. Some may argue that this is ok because they are “just animals” or that “they don’t know what’s actually happening.” However, studies show that this is not the case. Cows are known to be very social animals. They have unique “moos” to express their feelings. They display different emotions using their distinct voices in order to communicate with the rest of their herd.

Pigs are also very intelligent animals. They can socially manipulate other pigs and have very good long-term memories. They are also able to know which humans are nice to them and which aren’t. With the knowledge that cows and pigs feel emotions just as humans do, how would you feel if you were born into a crowded shed and put into a cage with no sunlight, fresh air, or happiness, only to be slaughtered?

Dogs and cats are abused just as cruelly as livestock. Among domestic animals, neglect and abandonment are the most common types of animal abuse. Many animals are starved, beaten, or even left in a hot car to endure a heat stroke. Dogfighting is also one of the main forms of animals abuse. While being trained for dog fights, the dogs are often starved and tortured. After losing the fights, the dogs are often drowned, electrocuted, beaten to death, or burned. Pit bulls most commonly suffer from this. There are trends when it comes to domestic animal abuse. In most cases, domestic abuse is happening in the same household as animal abuse. Hoarders also tend to participate in animal abuse.

Horses endure types of abuse such as riding abuse, training abuse, and neglect. Horses that are used for riding are often forced to ride for long periods of time with no rest. This is extremely cruel, especially during hot summer months. During training, young horses are often tied and repeatedly hit by a sack. Trainers also may hit horses with objects in order to “spook train” them. Horses are very high maintenance animals and require lots of attention. When horses are not given the adequate care they deserve, such as food and shelter, neglect occurs. This type of horse abuse is most common in the winter months.

The best way to combat animal abuse is by raising awareness. Caring for abused or abandoned animals, if possible, can also make a big difference. It is important to report animal abuse. Mr. President, I encourage you to help bring awareness to this evil that is happening every day. The animals on this planet are gifts given to us by God, and it is up to us to protect them.

 

Connor G.

I have a few personal ideas where I wish to change. I’m going to start with the most important one to me first and that is racial equality. I know that people have their beliefs, and this is a free country, but I just wish that we could all be a united country, and all respect each other. The problem in this country is that people feel they are better than others based off how much money they make or how their ancestors lived. There are still white supremacists' groups out there that will only listen to a high power such as the president. I think a step in the right direction would be making supremacists groups illegal such as the KKK. According to Newsweek “white supremacists have killed about nine times as many Americans as Muslim extremists have during terrorist attacks carried out in the U.S. in recent years, according to a report released Thursday by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism's Global Terrorism Database.” This shows that white supremacist groups are a major threat to the society and should be illegal. To be a united country together it will take change and a leader willing to create change is exactly what this country needs.

 

Teresa D.
America Needs God: Let's Put God First!

Dear Mr. President, 

In our country, it seems to me that many people bring other people down for believing in God. My belief is that our country would be so different if more people would put God first. The world right now is a scary place, but often I refer to Isaiah 41:10 saying, “Do not fear, for I am with you...” and it helps me realize everything will be okay simply because I know I have God to rely on. In my future, I want my kids, grandkids, etc... to not fear the world they live in. Many Christians believe that there are things we do that can lead to disappointment. Over the years God has been let down by humans. For example, “Under God” is in the Pledge of Allegiance. In my class at school, very few people will stand and say the pledge every morning. This shows me that there is no respect for our country, but more importantly for God. I believe that making students stand for the Pledge of Allegiance should be a requirement, in addition to standing for the National Anthem. If a person does not say the Pledge of Allegiance or stand for the National Anthem, that person should, by law, have serious consequences. Our country was founded on these beliefs and present-day American citizens should remember that. Jesus died on that cross for us and so many brave people risk their lives and died for us to be alive and living in this country today. We wouldn’t have the freedom we have today if God wasn’t there for those brave men and women who keep us free and safe. People worry more about themselves and what is happening in the world rather than what really needs to be noticed, God. He protects us through thick and thin. It breaks my heart when I hear that a person does not believe in God, the people that kill and violently protest need God the most. In the bible, God says so many powerful things. My faith and knowledge from the bible have changed me in a way I would have never thought. Sitting down, reading or listening to the bible for about ten to twenty minutes a couple of days a week makes me feel like a whole new person. Being at school surrounded by so many people who do not believe in God changes how/who I am in school. When a person comes to me for their problems, I feel like I am an offense to some people when I say just pray about it. 

Abortion is a big problem. If a pregnant woman is killed, how does it count as two people being murdered, but a person killing her own baby inside of her, abortion, is not murder? In the bible God mentions some things about abortion. In Jeremiah 1:5, he says “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” In exodus 20:13, God also says, “You shall not murder.” Abortion is not okay. It is a disgusting and terrible thing to think about. That baby in the mother's womb is alive. It is living before a woman gives birth. When a woman finds out she is pregnant, that baby’s heart is already forming and beating within the next two weeks. How do people think sucking an alive human being out of a human's body is okay? Abortion should be illegal, no matter the circumstances. I understand that raping is a terrible thing, and the woman might not want to live with that reminder of having a child to care for, but she should and if that is difficult, put the baby up for adoption. The baby did nothing to that woman. That person is just disappointing God as he holds that tiny baby in heaven. 

You may know about all the Black Lives Matter protests going on. The rioting, the killing of innocent people, the police being let down and getting killed. This time in the country is so dark right now. Why do humans kill people because they don’t support the topic of things? Why are people so selfish? America is supposed to be full of people who support each other, not hate. Guns are going to be banned and taken away if a Democrat wins this election. Little do they know, people kill people, not guns. Just go ahead and ban rocks, pencils, knives, scissors... everything for that matter. It is not the objects; it is the selfish, disgusting, terrible, childish, and sinful people in this country today that kill. I have gotten hit with many objects being at school because some people do not like me, but that does not make me protest and kill anyone I see because I want to get what I want. With the help of God in people's hearts, the world would be such a better place. If a person was to focus on God and using that phrase, “W.W.J.D.?” (What Would Jesus Do?), maybe most of the hate would stop. Jesus would not like the decisions being made today by most Americans. 

 

Lona H.

My name is Lona H., and I am a sophomore from STEM Magnet Academy of Pointe Coupee, Louisiana. I believe that there should be some changes in some of the policies that we are executing in the U.S. today. Many people are not being treated equally simply because of the people they love or the color of their skin. Women are being treated as less than men and their rights are being taken away. People with addiction are being treated as criminals instead of as people with an illness. Colleges are overcharging their students and students are not being taught things that would help members of the disabled community.

First, I will talk about how men are being treated as superior to women. According to the Census Bureau data report from 2018, women are paid eighty-two cents for every one dollar a man makes in the same job. The wage gap is even bigger for women of color. If a woman holds the same job as a man, they should have an equal wage. Women also pay what is called a "pink tax¨. One example is those cheap, disposable razors that are sold at almost every drug store. They have a ¨men's" razor and a ¨women´s¨ razor. They are the exact same razor, one blade, plastic handle, same container that they are sold in, the only difference is that the ¨women´s" razor is pink and the ¨men´s¨ razor is blue. But the pink razor is more expensive. On average, women pay more than men 42% of the time. Also, tampons and pads are considered a ¨luxury¨ item and taxed as such. None of this is okay. Women must be paid as much as men, the pink tax must be abolished, and tampons and pads cannot be taxed as a luxury item.

I do not like the way addiction is handled in this country. People with an addiction are treated as criminals. They are incarcerated and forced to quit their drug ¨cold turkey¨. Studies show this does not help them defeat their addiction and is in fact highly dangerous. It can cause seizures and heart problems and if they do relapse, they could overdose more easily because their bodies lose the tolerance they once had to the drug. I think that instead of putting them in prisons that will make them quit ¨cold turkey¨, they should be forced to go to rehab centers. We should put more money into the funding of rehab centers. Switzerland did this, they decided that since they could not stop people from doing drugs, that they would support the drug users by offering them new and better rehab centers. They have a ¨four pillar¨ policy. The ¨four pillars¨ of the law are harm reduction, treatment, prevention, and repression. Over the past two decades, the amount of deaths caused by drugs has decreased by 64%. This drastic decrease in the usage of drugs shows that by supporting drug users by giving them better rehab options help more than trying to fight drugs.

Another topic I feel strongly about is American Sign Language being taught in high schools. I think that it should be mandatory in schools, just like foreign language classes. Schools give the option of Spanish, French, and German classes but not American Sign Language. According to Communication Service for the Deaf in 2019, around one million people used American Sign Language as their main form of communication in the United States. American Sign Language could soon be a dying language because of the diminishing educational funding. By teaching ASL in high schools across America, more people would learn it and be able to communicate with more of their fellow Americans.

The LGBTQ+ community has been in a fight for their civil rights for the last century. The United States military openly discriminated against the LGBTQ+ community, they can lose custody of their children simply because they are gay or lesbian, and they can be denied the right to marry the person they love. They are people and they deserve the same rights as everyone else.

Mental health should have more funding than what it does. Approximately one in five teens suffers from at least one mental disorder and depending on which kind of mental disorder, can make having a ¨normal¨ life hard. According to USA Today, 48,344 people died from a suicide-related death in 2018. Since 1999, suicide rates have risen by about 30%. This is unacceptable. The United States government should put more funding into programs that help people´s mental health. We need better school counselors and better mental institutions. Suicide is the nation's tenth leading cause of death and we need to start treating these things more seriously. We need to change the system that makes people want to kill themselves.


Most people say that raising the minimum wage by a single dollar could reduce suicide rates along with taking away homophobic and transphobic laws that prohibit people of the LGBTQIA+ community from living their lives. In 2001, the leading method of suicide was by firearm, if the process of buying a firearm was harder, I believe that this would change.

Thank you for reading my letter. I hope that you take my suggestions seriously and make changes accordingly.

 

Eric J.

Dear Mr. President,

It would be perfect for the country to represent more equality for every gender, race, and sexual orientation. We really need to leave the 1900’s and show a better understanding for the future youth. We don’t want people killing other people to cause a major genocide between on our country over the little things that shouldn’t concern others really. We should encourage others to be proud of their skin tone, relationships, and gender, and not bring them down to the point where they despise their own well-being.

First topic of equality, I would like to talk about gender. Men have had a very long advantage over women. Women earn less than men in a lifetime if they work the same job, mostly assaulted in the workplace, etc. It is hard for a woman to feed her children with the salary, and it really makes the woman have a huge life decision, have children, or have a career without children. We get that in the 1900’s women were only useful to be either secretaries or just the homemaker, but we need to make it fair and even, since they are the MAIN resource to repopulating the Earth.

Second topic of equality let us talk about race. Race has always been an issue for many reasons. Not to point the blame, but it is not even the people of color’s fault for this. Native Americans were killed out of their own land and had to migrate everywhere for their own race to not be killed. Black people have been treated poorly ever since they were taken here. The hate is still there for no reason. The racial slurs are still being used. We need to stop doing things in the past. The way people were raised and believed that skins other than them are terrible, not enough, and that they are superior in every way needs to go. If everyone was influenced on the bible in the 1900’s, where was the scriptures that said that the color of our skin chooses the role we have in life. God made us equal in every way possible, did he not?

Third and last topic of equality will be about the LGBTQ+ community. I personally believe that parents should not teach their kids that what they love should always be the gender opposite from them. Especially, from my experience, black parents. We cannot be praying for equal rights for POC and then not want what’s best for the child. Due to these teachings, children would usually tell their peers that being not like them, such as a heterosexual, is weird and strange for them. If a girl or boy came out as a homosexual, the heterosexual person of the same sex would be saying, “Don’t touch me, you’re a gay/lesbian,” and such. We understand that the 1900’s would teach us stuff otherwise, but we need to just grow up and possibly step away from bible teachings. We do have religious rights, but we should have a movement for LGBTQ+ to have rights for their own to who they want to love.

In conclusion, Mr. President please consider equality throughout your reign for America. I am sure you will consider this, hopefully, and if you do that would be much appreciated. Thank you for reading this!

 

Lanie C.

Dear Mr. President, 

My name is Laney C. I am a sophomore at STEM Magnet Academy in Louisiana. I disagree with some of the policies going on in the United States. If you go on the news, all you see is bad things going on, and that is not okay. People aren’t being treated equally, there are guns everywhere, so many people going to prison, and a lot of other things. 

The first thing I am going to address is guns. Guns are such a problem these days in the US. So many things would be better if it weren’t for guns. I understand that people want to hunt, but you do not need the revolvers or the ones with the gun magazines to hunt. I also understand that some people shoot pistols for a hobby, but it is not worth having pistols sold to the wrong people that will just shoot other people. That is what mostly hurts people. If people have at least 10 shots before having to reload, that is a great way to get someone killed because if they miss, they have 9 more chances to shoot. For example, a school shooter would be able to shoot a lot of people with a pistol. I think that pistols should not be allowed. They can be allowed for police officers and authorities that are trained to use them correctly ONLY. 

The second topic I am going to address is pro-choice abortions. I do not understand why people are pro-life for abortions. I get it, they do not want to kill a baby/human being, but it is not living until it can feel air and is alive. Yes, I think there should be a law against having an abortion too late in the pregnancy. For example, it should not be okay for someone to have one at 7 months of a 9-month pregnancy. The person should decide in the first few months if they want to keep the baby or not. People that are not involved in the baby’s life should not have an opinion on whether the baby should be born or not. Maybe someone got sexually assaulted and now they’re pregnant but do not want a baby. Maybe someone got pregnant but knows they can’t provide to the baby at all or does not want to give it up for adoption. Foster care systems these days are not good. Maybe the baby was unplanned, and she does not want to deal with a 9-month pregnancy. It is her choice, not anyone else’s. If a woman has a baby in her womb, it is her choice on what happens to it. No one can tell her what to do with her child. 

The third topic I will address is to make marijuana legal. I think people are either for it or against it, because it can affect everyone. The first reason it should be legalized is that it boosts the economy and if people tax it, then it creates profit for the community. It can also give thousands of people more jobs. Studies show that people that drive under the influence of marijuana are less risky and drive more cautiously than drunk drivers. This means there will be a decreasing amount of DIU’s and deaths because of driving under the influence. Another reason it should be legalized is because it would be regulated for the safety of the consumers. On the streets or from dealers, you don’t know what could be laced in marijuana or if there is something unsafe on it. People do it anyway, so why not make it legal for it to be safe and help the community? Many states have legalized it, so why can’t the whole country legalize it? The last reason it should be legal is because tobacco and alcohol are legal, which is worse than marijuana. Marijuana is completely natural, and alcohol and tobacco are not. You can buy that stuff at age 21, so marijuana should at least be able to be bought by people from age 21, or even later like age 25. 

The next topic I am going to address is school uniforms. This is something that is talked about very much with kids my age and everyone else. I think kids should have the right to wear what they want. Yes, not short shorts or inappropriate clothing, but like I don’t like wearing the same thing every single day. I should be able to express myself the way I want to. We’re limited on piercings, hair color, shoes, etc., so how am I supposed to express myself? I have the right to do so. Kids these days are so caught up in social media and what clothes we must wear and what to wear when. If we could wear what we wanted to school, kids would get more comfortable with their appearance and be a better person. Even if at the beginning, they were self-conscious. I also understand that the faculty does not want imposters coming in, but no one wears their school IDs anyway. The last reason that we should not have uniforms is because parents spend a ton of money on them for their kids every year. Some families do not have that money to spend and it could be used for better purposes than unneeded clothes for school. My parents should be able to choose what I wear without the government interfering. 

Ages that people can get tattoos and piercings without a guardian should be changed. Today in Louisiana, at age 18 I can get whatever piercings I want. But the thing is, at age 16 I am legally allowed to get a real job and a license so I should be able to get what piercings I want. Since I can drive and I have a job to pay for it, I can. Ear piercings help as acupuncture therapy, which can prevent headaches and help you in other ways. Any age under 17, the piercings and tattoo requirements are that you must have a legal guardian over 21 with you to get it. I understand why the law would be to have only 18-year-olds and over getting tattoos, because they are permanent. They stay on forever unless you remove them, which is expensive and painful. These days people just get tattoos done by other unprofessional people anyways so there is no point in it being illegal. If at 17 I can get an intermediate license and go to jail, I should be able to get a tattoo if I want to. Being able to get them at 16 is kind of pushing it but it could work because if someone too young gets a tattoo they regret, that’s on them. There are many health benefits of tattoos. Some of them improve your immune system, reduce stress, help in athletics, and they boost confidence and self-esteem. 

Colored people and LGBT people should be equal to everyone else. The definition of human rights is it’s the belief that everyone should be treated equally no matter what the circumstances are. Us all being equal does not mean that we are all the same. Everyone is different, so we should respect everyone so we can be respected too. No one should ever be discriminated by their color or preference in people. Sexual orientation and gender identity should never lead to discrimination or abuse. LGBT people are constantly being judged, refused healthcare, can’t marry in some states or in certain religions, cannot use certain bathrooms, are being refused service, not being able to have the same insurance as their partners, etc. It’s not fair. Colored people are also as equal as LGBT and everyone else. The civil rights memorial is committed to 40 martyrs of the modern civil rights movement. There’s been a huge increase in hate crimes ever since 2016 and an increase in the number of hate groups for colored people, and that is not okay. 

I think college tuitions need to be lowered. There are so many studies on how much more successful people could be if the tuition wasn’t so high. Once they are lowered, it reduces stress on so many people. The parents, grandparents, guardians, and more of the child are nervous about spending all that money on college. It will eliminate so many student debts if it is lowered. Some people cannot be what they’re passionate about because they cannot afford to go to college for that certain profession. If the tuition was lower, everyone could be what they wanted. There are many people who don’t go to college. It is for many reasons, but one of them is because it is too expensive. If it was cheaper, more people would go. Some people grow up preparing not to go to college because they will know that they can’t afford it, which is not a very fun thought. 

I also think all punishments for people in jail should be fair. People with drug possession could be fined a few weeks to more than 10 years. Rapists could be in jail for 3-5 years, and that’s not fair at all. It is better to have drug dealers on the streets than rapists. That is not fair at all to society. 

My last topic I am addressing is that the government needs to push more funding for mental institutions, homeless people, healthcare, and the foster care system. Studies show that after the 2008 recession, states had to cut over $4 billion in public mental health funding. Now it’s 2020 so they can add more funds back to it. For people who are homeless with mental illnesses, somewhere for them to stay with added mental help can really help them a great amount. Studies show that almost one in five people suffer from a mental illness. Suicide rates have grown by 33% from 1999-2017. That number could be decreased if more funds were towards suicide prevention centers and mental institutions. Studies show that when people needed a mental hospital, there was one bed for them per 3,000 Americans. That is not okay. People cannot help their mental issues so it should be an important part of funding. Also, some people cannot help their health problems so for people who have major health problems but cannot afford it, funds should also go to that. 

Thanks for reading. I hope you consider everything written in here.

 

Hunter S.

Dear Mr. President,

One change that I would like to see would be a change in the cost of going to college. The cost of going to a good college is very high which makes it harder for the people with less money get a good job. The student loans cause people to be broke because they spend their whole life trying to pay them off. I think that the cost of college should be lowered to a reasonable price to make things easier for the people who are less fortunate. During my time being alive, I have seen how negatively the college tuition prices have affected people.

Some people go to college and have to pay a lot of money to pay off their student loans, and the job they end up getting doesn’t pay well. An example of a job like this would be a teacher, most teachers don’t get paid well which makes it hard to live off of the money they make from this job. The student loans just make it even harder because they have other bills to pay on top of the student loans. Most people don’t get scholarships, so they are stuck paying the expensive college fees.

In conclusion, I think that the cost of going to college should be lowered, to make it easier on the people who don’t make as much money.

 

Ty'riana R.

Dear Mr. President,

Police brutality or excessive use of force by law enforcement can be illegally defined as civil right violation, where law enforcement officers exercise undue or exercise force against a subject. Police brutality should not be handled the way it's handled. Policemen take advantage of their powers, instead of using them for important reasons. Over the course of years, on social media and news sites, mainly colored people are the ones who are getting shot at and beat. Colored and even people not of color should not have to be afraid to attend public events. They are afraid of risking their lives. This is due to people who are supposed to protect you, and not hurt you. To prevent this, police officers can be offered to wear body cameras. While wearing the body cameras, policemen will most likely prevent the act of police brutality because they are being recorded. The body cameras will capture any misconduct, generating law enforcement to become more explicable.

Black lives matter, rather you like it or not. In the world today and even back then, colored people were and are treated horribly. In Louisville, KY, Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black, medical worker was shot and killed by a Louisville police officer. Ms. Taylor did not receive any medical treatments after she was shot several times. 911 was not informed about the situation until about 5 minutes after the shooting when they realized she was seriously wounded. At the time, she did not get any medical attention for more than 20 minutes. The Jefferson Country corner reported that she most likely died less than a minute after she was shot, and nothing could have changed that. From what I understand, the officers did not acknowledge themselves as they knocked at her residence. In the event, the officers should have been handled differently. I totally understand that it was not meant to happen, but they did not do the right thing. They were looking for her ex-boyfriend, but instead they took her life, and this was wrong.

Police brutality needs to be prevented due to all the lives being taken. Even though, not all policemen are not bad, but most of them are. They are causing colored lives to be taken and it needs to stop. Black Lives Matter is the saying that will never go away because colored people want to feel and be treated the same way as everyone else. The hashtag Black Lives Matters speaks out against police brutality and systemic racism caused by people not of color. The act of police brutality is the reason-colored people use the hashtag, Black Lives Matter to make their voices heard.