During the 2020 presidential election, High School Insider invited students to share their thoughts on issues affecting young people. Dozens of students submitted letters to the next president, urging action on everything from immigration to education to climate change. Here are some of their messages to the next president.
I want a leader who serves everyone, not just those who are old enough to vote. As a young person, my worth should not be measured by my potential to contribute to the labor market or pay taxes. I’m sick of politicians touting that I must create a “better world“ for tomorrow’s generation when they themselves are not actively considering youth when creating policies.
Right now, America’s 74 million children are growing up in a time of incredible uncertainty and strife. My little brother’s vulnerability scares me. He deserves to grow up in a country that allows him to thrive. One where every political decision is measured by its impact on the health and well-being of America’s future: children.
I ask that you ratify resolutions like the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to send a clear message that our humanity is still of great importance to this nation.
We deserve a President who views the pandemic as the health crisis that it is. Read more.
Rani Chor, junior
Glen A. Wilson High School
Before you take office, you should know the danger of political polarization.
Instead of forming our own opinions, some people chose to follow the perspectives of those they idolize and refuse any other views. It is serious when making societal issues into political issues, such as the virus. It stops an understanding between people because one or both sides are close-minded, and they don’t waver from the side they chose.
This “with or against me” narrative has affected news sources as well. It is not a priority to be unbiased, only to cater to your audience. Read more.
Tariq Stone, senior
Inglewood High School
The air smells acidic. It burns my throat as I try to look out the window. Climate change has made our forests more prone to wildfires and longer fire seasons.
Across the globe, the oceans are acidifying, diseases are festering, species of flora and fauna are disappearing, the ferocity of natural disasters worsens each year, garbage is floating in our oceans and human life hangs in the balance.
Our world is deteriorating. We have known it for almost a century and now we have less than 10 years to save our planet.
As president, you must implement federal policies within our country to ensure that we move towards the preservation of our environment. You must rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and devise a plan to cut carbon emissions, protect climate refugees and deal with the global issue of waste. Read more.
Celine Choi, junior
Cleveland Charter High School
As you enter your presidency … you must confront the deep racial inequality within the United States of America.
The public killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbury and George Floyd just this past summer should serve as a wake-up call. In the United States, a Black man is 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than a white man. One in three Black children live in poverty. One in six Black adults regularly experience racial discrimination. These, along with dozens of other statistics can show what we have already known: the United States is deeply racist.
With the movements for racial justice taking place across America, you cannot afford to stand still. Accept the role you play as a representation of all the American people, as the leader of a great world power. Read more.
Rina Huang, sophomore
The College Preparatory School
According to the CDC, studies show that 1 in 5 college women experience attempted or complete sexual assault. As we approach our college years, we want to feel safe under an administration that fights for all survivors, enacting regulations that put power into the hands of victims.
Listen to female survivors out of empathy. A college diploma should not come with lifelong trauma for nearly a quarter of us. We are not past the days where sexual assault is swept under the rug by officials who claim to protect us.
It is vital that our next president not only provides schools with the necessary protocols and resources to prevent sexual misconduct on campus but, as a figurehead, lead the country toward a culture that fights against all versions of violence against women. Read more.
Claire Judson, senior
Claremont High School
Please stay away from unnecessary hate toward people from outside countries. Educate our society on people from all backgrounds and identities. Stress the importance of diversity and inclusion within our society. Strip the inaccurate and racist stereotypes from your mind and from the minds of those who follow you. Make every single person in our country feel safe and comfortable in their own skin. Call out the lies that spread through the media and make sure to not stay silent.
Be our role model, not our presidential cyberbully.
Emily Mojica, senior
Maywood Center for Enriched Studies
Read more student perspectives here.