Illustration by James Yang
After Donald Trump won the 2016 election, we posed a question to students via their teachers: What advice would you give to the new president? Students took this question very seriously; their answers made it clear that they are listening closely to the president-elect and that they care deeply about what the next four years will mean for the United States, for the people who live here and for the rest of the world. Some responses arrived formatted as essays and letters; others came in as drawings and cartoons and even an acrostic poem.
As we looked through the hundreds of submissions, some themes rose to the top. Think before you speak. Make good choices. Don’t be prejudiced. Keep us safe. Many students had words of encouragement for Donald Trump, telling him, “We know you can do it.” One of the most frequently mentioned themes? “Don’t build a wall between the United States and Mexico.”
Here is a small sampling of the responses. Read them all here.
I advise Donald Trump to choose wisely what words come out of his mouth. By doing so,our country could become less divided, and more united. All of this division was caused by words—a powerful weapon that can be used for good or bad.
Use the power of your role in this nation to better it and to eliminate the sense of separation in the world. To create a country where we can really say we are free. After all, your slogan is to “Make America Great Again.” And I believe many people would love to see that happen.
Please make America a place where girls can walk around not afraid.
My advice would be to not have your actions only be based on how you live your life but how everyone else lives theirs. You have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. You have to realize that every one of your actions can affect so many people’s lives in a major way.
Could we please have no more wars because
it’s tremendously harmful to the human population and the Earth. It also costs a lot of money we could be using to clean the Earth. Let’s keep this world clean and healthy for the future people who live here.
Please let Mexicans stay here because they may be our parents.
Try to be everyone's president.
>> Over 1,000 Students Speak submissions were printed and mailed to the president-elect prior to the inauguration. See the original submissions here.
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