The newest group of Media Lab students, a group of seniors from Journalism & Media Lab, began their school year with a series of short videos, titled Dear POTUS. Taking the opportunity to include enhance student voice in the current election cycle, the students created their video letters as submission pieces for the national campaign, Letters to the Next President 2.0. The publishing site from the National writing Project and KQED, a SanFrancisco public media station, aims to provide a platform for teens to share their insights on important issues during this year’s election.
Watch the JMA student letters below and find more letters from students across the nation at letters2president.org.
Cyncere Preston: College is Unaffordable
“Tuition rates keep rising every year, which is bad news for current students and the students graduating after us. The inflation rate hasn’t risen in the past year, but tuition went up 3 percent. Getting a quality education is becoming impossible. I’m going to be the first one in my family to go to college and I want to set an example for my younger brothers, but it’s a crazy amount of money to go a good school”
Jhan Spears: Black Lives Matter
“My video was about extending the Black Lives Matter hashtag to education because whether you’re a minority in a city school or a White person in a suburb, we should have the same level of education. I wanted to talk about justice in the school systems around the country. Minorities in cities are often put into low-income schools and not offered the same education as suburban schools. A few of my friends get bussed out to the better schools, but I don’t think it’s fair that we have to move to get a better education.”
Ashley Floyd: We Need Fair Sentencing Laws
“My video was about prison sentencing. In the U.S., sentencing is not fair. People are in jail for drugs, most of which is marijuana, and they get sentenced to five years. But now they’re legalizing marijuana, so why are people still in jail? And look at cases like Brock Turner, who got 6 months in jail for raping an unconscious woman. What’s worse—marijuana or rape?”
Madyson Frame: We Need Black History in Classrooms
Black history isn’t taught enough in public schools. Students learn too much about Columbus and other White men when there are so many people of color and women who have contributed so much to history.