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Student Letter to the President: "Help our community in Buffalo by keeping whites from killing blacks" | Education

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Two days after racially motivated shootings that killed 10 blacks and injured 3 on Jefferson Avenue Tops, students in Serena Borek’s fifth grade class felt traumatized and frightened.

“Some of our kids live in that block or a few blocks of that tops. Some of them were there early in the day,” Börek said.

Some were crying and some were quiet. And instead of teaching math and science, Börek comforted, spoken and listened to his students, working on life lessons that no one wanted to learn.

The next day, the bilingual students at Frank A. Sedita Community School were still discouraged. The conversation in class continued and I made a poster.

“We had a really big discussion about what racism is,” Borek said.

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Borek felt helpless and helpless, so he came up with the idea of ​​giving them the opportunity to do positive things.

“I said,’Let’s write a letter to the president,'” she said.

Perhaps inspired by President Joe Biden and his wife Jill’s visit to Buffalo to comfort the victims’ families, the children soon came up with the idea.

“They were really excited. Writing is not a favorite job of a 10 year old person. They wanted to skip other subjects and work on their letters,” she said. rice field. “It was a moment of empowerment.”

The children talked about racism in a letter and begged the president to do something about it.

“Racism means hating skin color,” writes one student.

“As president, blacks don’t have access to grocery stores, so I think we should build more grocery stores,” another student wrote. “As our leader, you need to stop racism. Help our community in Buffalo by keeping whites from killing blacks.”

“Because we were Hispanic, I experienced racism when my neighbor wanted to move my family,” said another child.

“Racism is a horrifying event. As our leader, we need to sign a law on discrimination penalties. Help our community in Buffalo in an attempt to end racism.” The child pleaded.

“Help the Buffalo community by separating schools, stores and services,” wrote one student who also left a phone number in case the president wanted to call.

“One way racism affects people is that when someone says something bad to them, they feel uncomfortable. Explain racism to others and tell everyone. By being kind and respectful, you can fight racism …. As president, I think you should take racial crime very seriously, “another child suggests. did.

Others wanted to fight racism with the sign that “black life is important.”

“It’s important to talk about racism, or whites will continue to kill blacks,” wrote one child.

Borek said he asked the students if they had ever experienced racism.

“Most of my students are Hispanic and interracial, and almost every student could talk about when they saw it for themselves or when they realized it happened,” she said. Told. “It was powerful, but also sad, because I can’t go back and fix it for them.”