Sarah Gross Panther Report: Mack High students’ post-election thoughts

On Nov. 8, America determined its future. The people spoke, and we have to accept the result of our actions.

Now, Donald J. Trump is president elect, and America is starting to explore the realms of possibility in regards to what this means for them.

One of the most unconventional presidents elected yet, Trump, a Republican candidate, holds a majority in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. This could also change with a shift in Supreme Court Justices potentially being appointed by Trump, according to Dr. Gary Glassman, teacher at McKinleyville High.

The school recently held a mock election, one that mirrored the California ballots, and any student was allowed to come vote.

Very few students on our campus are allowed to vote in the real elections, and that concerned me.

All of us will be going into the world shortly, and none of us had a say on who we wanted to have as our president. We had to live with the choice that our fellow Americans made.

With so little voice in the 2016 elections, I chose to give some students a chance to say their opinions of the outcomes and concerns they have with an upcoming Trump presidency.

The most common sentiment I found was that of confusion. Students wondered about how someone who, in the past, has made sexist and racist remarks, previously denied climate change, and whose Twitter account dominates social media, could become president of the United States.

None of them were able to fathom him as president, and still have major concerns for what is to come.

Logan Strait wonders whether the Trump Administration will result in less money in the education system, and potentially government funding for college through FAFSA.

All of those interviewed shared concerns over a potential increase in sexism and racism, and Sarah Hilton is worried that Trump supporters will think that related actions are justifiable because the president elect has acted with said prejudices.

In Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, she said that “we owe Donald Trump an open mind.” Orion Nelson shared that same idea, and said that we don’t have to like Trump or his policies, but we owe him an open mind because he’s now our president.

Summer Driscoll wanted to stay out of foreign entanglements, and everyone felt that despite that, it would be beneficial to America to take in refugees and the right thing to do.

Consuelo Padilla is concerned about what this election will mean for minorities and women. She said that, “People of the same background are uniting and taking a stand because they don’t want to fall apart.”

There was controversy over whether or not the nation would come together to rise above this division, or if the election would create a further divide.

While unsure of the outcomes, all of them showed respect for the Americans who are taking to the streets in protest of this election, Trump’s policies, and his unjustifiable actions towards women and minorities.

Social sciences teacher Dr. Gary Glassman said that there was a lack of respect that he’d never seen in a campaign before  and it was “the most mean-spirited campaign” in his lifetime.

Since the election, Glassman sees his students, in particular female and minority students, concerned for their safety and future.

The day after the election was one of the hardest days to teach for Dr. Glassman, next to Sept. 11, 2001, because of the fear that erupted amongst the nation, and in our students, in response to Trump. He explored this election in depth and gave his students a voice in the classroom so that they would be heard.

In whatever way possible, we must take a stance for what is right. One cannot disregard morals for political or personal gain, such as the demagogue Donald Trump; we must come together as a nation, a group of people, a democracy, not a society dominated by superiors.

This idea is embodied in the words Mahatma Gandhi is famous for: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” If we are to heal, mend the divide, live through the next four years, we must act according to these words, not in fear and hatred.

Sarah Gross attends McKinleyville High School.


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