8th Graders write letters to the President

8th Graders write letters to the President

Submitted Work

     Andria Morningstar-Gray’s 8th grade English students wrote letters to the new president about issues they researched of local and national importance. In addition to mailing physical copies of  their letters, the students also tweeted a message and digital file since the new commander-in-chief shows an affinity for that form of communication. Here are their concerns:

From McKenzie Bender

Dear Mr. President,

Foremost, I would like to congratulate you on your win. I hope that you can help fix this critical issue; I would like your help to change the requirement of standardized testing. These standardized test reek countless hardships on children’s lives. The following reasons I’m listing are just a few of the poor effects of standardized testing.

To start with, standardized testing costs a great deal of money, a great deal of money that could be put to better use. David Berliner of Arizona State University agrees, he says that this money should be used  for “paying  to out-of-school factors, such as child poverty, family violence, nutrition, and race and ethnicity” (Koh, Tsin Yen). Issitt, Micah L. and McMahon, Maureen also writes that “federal funding could be better used to improve pay rates and benefits for teachers, especially since tenure and reappointment are often based on test scores.” This shows that it is not just me who disagrees with standardized testing, others do too. According to a news report by the Washington-based Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution calculated that states spend $1.7 billion all together on tests. This is a lot of money that could be used to help children with more important things. We could use this money to feed children or make sure they can obtain a warm, happy house to go home to. If children are starving and living on the streets, standardized testing is going to be the least of their worries. So maybe we should spend more money on helping children receive something to eat, rather than on a test that will be forgotten about a couple weeks after.

Moreover, these tests are also unfair. Some children are just poor test takers. So why should one test define a whole students’ year? Maybe the student is just not a good test taker, but is more of a hands on learner. These tests do not allow students to show all they honestly know. Badertscher, Eric and Newton, Heather made a great point saying,  “Standardized tests do not take into account the uniqueness of each child, with his or her own individual learning style, and the academic progress each student has made over the course of a school year.” Each student has a different way of learning and showing they know the material, but these tests do not give these children those options. “Even children with high intelligence may find themselves placed in remedial courses if they do not perform well on standardized tests” (Badertscher, Eric and Newton, Heather). A child may be generally successful in school and completely understand the lessons, but then perform poorly on the test. As schools only look at the test scores, they would think the student did not understand anything and that the child should not be allowed to advance onto the next grade. But how fair is that? It is not.

Nevertheless these tests also cause children to over stress. I am a perfect example of this. I am an extremely stressful person in general, consequently these tests make it even worse. I know I am not the only child that worries about these tests. In the back of your mind while you are taking the test, all you can think about is “What if I fail? I will be required to repeat this grade again.”  While taking the test those are not the thoughts that should be going through your head. You should be able to focus on the material in front of you so you can succeed. But taking the test is not the only stressful part, the weeks and even months leading up to the test are also unquestionably stressful. A couple months before the test all we do in class is practice problems after practice problems. Teachers do not even know exactly what kind of questions are going to be on the test. Due to this, teachers try to refresh kids on problems that took all year to teach. This causes kids to become stressed because they are trying to remember lots and lots of information, just for one test. I am a prime example of being too stressed about these tests. They would cause me to have headaches which would lead to migraines. These migraines would cause me to become very sick and occasionally even though up. So why are you putting the kids through all of this stress? All this pressure and stress is highly harmful for their health.

Some people may say that schools should be required to give these tests so schools can grade the teachers and the children. They may say that it is the only way to evaluate if children are truly understanding what they are learning. Some may also argue that is how the state grades the teachers. But why are we punishing the children, just for the sake of the teachers. Shouldn’t there be a better way of determining how educational a teacher is, without harming the children in the process?  

I hope this was very eye-opening for you, and you will honestly consider fixing it. These tests are just unfair, overly expensive, and a threat to children’s health. Hopefully you can come up with a better system for schools to rate children on. And I hope they will not be so harmful to  children. Thank you for your time.


                                                           McKenzie B.

Works Cited Page


Badertscher, Eric, and Heather Newton. “Counterpoint: National Education Standards Overlook Individuals and Local Communities.” Points of View: Standardized Testing, Mar. 2016, p. 3. Points of View Reference Center, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pwh&an=12462181&site=pov-live&authtype=cookie,ip,custuid&custid=infohio.

Issitt, Micah L., and Maureen Mcmahon. “Standardized Testing: An Overview.” Points of View: Standardized Testing, Mar. 2016, p. 1. Points of View Reference Center, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pwh&an=23463780&site=pov-live&authtype=cookie,ip,custuid&custid=infohio.

Koh, Tsin Yen. “Counterpoint: The Common Core Distracts from More Fundamental Reforms in Public Education.” Points of View: Common Core State Standards, Mar. 2016, p. 1. Points of View Reference Center, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pwh&an=96222713&site=pov-live&authtype=cookie,ip,custuid&custid=infohio.


From Caleb Carlson

The rights of our second amendment may possibly be violated in the future.  The idea to ban assault weapons has been recently put out into the media.  I however, do not believe it is necessary to ban weapons from responsible gun owners who are using them legally (hunting, target shooting, home defense).  People who responsibly use guns should not be subject to gun control laws; “gun regulations only hurt law-abiding gun owners since criminals simply ignore them.”(National Rifle Association).  Drugs like heroin are illegal but that does not keep them off of the streets.  This doesn’t mean people who obviously should not own a gun should be able to buy one.

After the Orlando shooting, Hillary Clinton said that there is no need for assault weapons and semi-automatic pistols and that they could not be used for hunting.  She was wrong.  In 24 different states is is legal to use a semi-automatic assault rifle to hunt.  Maybe politicians should do a little research before they make claims.

    Hunters like me are hurt by laws like these.  These laws take away the guns we use for hunting moose, bear, elk, and deer and are putting a huge restriction on our pastime.  I remember my first time hunting with my father.  We were hunting squirrel in September and we only managed to snag one, but that hunt made me like the sport of hunting.  Had I not have had my gun, and my dad his, I would not have ever had this experience.  Gun control laws are taking traditions like this and affecting the future generation of hunters.         

     In fact, we already have acceptable safety laws for buying firearms like background checks.  These laws keep firearms out of the hands of people who should not have them.  A law in Texas says, “They told managers to make sure that customers who openly carry firearms have licenses. Cashiers or door greeters who see someone with a gun are to alert the highest-ranking manager. He or she must approach the customer and ask to see the permit ” (Bloomberg News).  A law like this is reasonable because you should have your license with you if you are openly carrying a firearm especially since this can scare some people.  Laws like background checks and checking for permits are reasonable and keep people safe, but why would you make a law who hurts law abiding people that won’t affect criminals? Hunting is a great sport that has been around since the start of humanity, and great memories and stories are created when people like me go hunting, like when you get the big buck, or like one I have heard, when a man fell asleep in a treestand, and a wild turkey landed on his treestand.  The man woke up all of the sudden and yelled because he didn’t expect to see the turkey in front of him. Hunters like me could lose the sport in our tradition.     


Caleb C.

Works Cited Page

Bloomberg News. “Issue Overview: Guns in America.” Newsela, Newsela, newsela.com/articles/overview-guns-in-america/id/19143/.

Bloomberg News. “Quirk in Texas Law Forces Wal-Mart to Enforce Gun Laws in Its Stores.” Newsela, Newsela, 1 Jan. 2016, newsela.com/articles/walmart-guns/id/14037/.

From Natalie Cluckey

Dear Mr. Trump,
  People have different assumptions about whether abortion should be illegal or not. I think that abortion should be illegal because it is not okay to kill an unborn child. According to ProCon.org, “The debate over whether or not abortion should be a legal option continues to divide Americans long after the US Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision on Roe v. Wade declared the procedure a ‘fundamental right’ on Jan. 22, 1973.” It also states that anyone that is content with choosing abortion as a right that should not be limited by government or religion is considered pro-choice, therefore those who oppose abortion call themselves “pro-life,” and state that anyone who allows the right to have an abortion “anti-life.” In May of 2014, 46% of the Americans considered themselves pro-life and 47% of them said that they are pro-choice.
    “Abortion: An Overview” by Alex K. Rich states that the definition of abortion is “the act of removing a human embryo or fetus from the uterus of a pregnant woman prior to the completion of the full term of pregnancy.” In my opinion, abortion is the killing of a human being. Abortion should be illegal and only be used in certain situations. Abortion should only be legalized, for example, in the case of rape. “By 1967, a number of states had modified their laws to allow abortion in cases of substantial risk to a woman’s mental or physical health, cases of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, and cases of a fetus with serious physical defects” (Encyclopedia of Education).  It is not their fault in this case that they are pregnant.
    Because the embryo or fetus is unborn, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t alive. According to ProCon.org, “Life begins at conception, so unborn babies are human beings  with a right to life.” Abortion should be considered a homicide due to the baby being a breathing human being. If women get pregnant, they should accept the responsibility of having and raising a child. The unborn child should not be punished by a mistake that the adult has made. If the women gets pregnant and either doesn’t want the baby or doesn’t have enough responsibility, she should at least put them up for adoption so they could have a better chance for a better future.
     “Abortion takes away from the unborn the unalienable right to life that the Founding Fathers intended for all human beings”(ProCon.org). In the Declaration of Independence, it states that all men are created equal. Moreover, that right includes all human beings. For this reason, unborn babies are human beings and should be treated like them too. Please help stop the killing of these innocent lives.
  Natalie C.

Works Cited Page

“Abortion.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Detroit: Gale, 2016. N. pag. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Nov. 2016.

By 1976, after Roe v. Wade Had Legalized Abortion Nationwide, This Number Dropped to Two. [7] The World Health Organization Estimated in 2004 That Unsafe Abortions Cause 68,000

Maternal Deaths Worldwide Each Year, Many of Those in Developing Countries Whe. “Abortion ProCon.org.” ProConorg Headlines. Procon.org, 30 June 2016. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.

Rich, Alex K. “Abortion: An Overview.” Great Neck Publishing, n.d. Web. 7 Nov. 2016.


From Rachel

Dear Mr. President,

I know you have challenging decisions to construct since you just became the President of the United States. There’s probably more important things to worry about like ISIS, but this is important to the future generations of our country. From the age we have hit 5 years old we have gone to school, spending seven hours in a building using our brains to help us receive an education. We are taking midterms, finals, SATS, ACTS, AIR tests, and everyday testing are just a few tests we take on average, but when is enough, enough?

Students want to have a childhood, they don’t want to sit in a school building taking tests. “‘Kids spend too much class time taking standardized tests,’ President Barack Obama said on October 24. According to a new report, “students spend 20 to 25 hours each school year, taking these tests”(A Call). Students are spending a whole day staring at a computer or paper bubbling in answers that they won’t even remember the next day. Kids aren’t learning anything from these tests either, we could learn so much more by being taught not being thrown out on a limb. In addition to taking everyday tests, students take 112 standardized tests from preschool to 12th grade. Why do kids even take tests that have not even counted?

The standardized tests students do take don’t even show what they actually know. The article, Standardized Testing, says, “They fail to measure such important attributes such as creativity and critical thinking skills” (Harris). People are going to say that “extended response show your creativity and multiple choice answers won’t,” but in reality extended response question don’t. Clearly it’s still limiting you by making you follow the guidelines in order to obtain points so in reality you aren’t able to show your creative side. Every time I take an enormous test, I get all stressed out over nothing. Although they don’t count for anything, they don’t show who you are or what you are capable of, students still become stressed out. All our teachers do is prepare us for tests and not life skills. When we step out into the massive world, we don’t even know how to do the little objectives in life such as paying bills. Schools should start teaching us the things that we actually use later in life and not useless things.

Why are we keeping something that is not giving us any benefit? We are putting so much stress on the future generations and it isn’t going to do us any good. According to Stanford School of Medicine, “One recent study indicates that the number of children, age 7-17, treated for depression more than doubled between 1995-2001”(Wilde). So many children are getting treated for depression since stress is the leading cause in school. “Fully 83 percent of teens said that school was ‘a somewhat or significant source of stress’.Twenty-seven percent reported ‘extreme stress’ during the school year, though that number fell to 13 percent during summer.”As a matter of fact, I never did a superior on standardized tests, but I was a phenomenal student and I got all A’s.There was only two of us left and I could feel the time dwindling down to the final last second. I couldn’t figure out the problems I had left and she told us that our time was up. I felt like I failed the test and started crying. I can remember being so nervous and stressed out before taking the test even though they give you the speech it doesn’t help. Stress is a six letter word that can do plenty of damage.

Indeed are we spending so much money on testing when we should be spending it on something that matters. According to the Education of the Week article, “We spend over 1.7 billion dollars on standardized testing” (Ujifusa). That is $65 per student on average. Now imagine every child in the United States subsequently, it all adds up. Considering this, you maybe be wondering where this extra money might go? I believe we should be spending it on more important things such as cancer research, giving it to homeless people, animals in need, or field trips for hands on learning. A handful of students are tactile or kinesthetic learners which mean they are hands on. Therefore, taking students to field trips for hands on learning will help them so much better than sitting in a classroom. According to Wize Learning, “Fifty percent of students fall into kinesthetic learning category.” I understand that education is important, but these tests are useless and kids might not be learning anything at all.

Think of all the people we could save from cancer with that 1.7 billion dollars, but instead it is being wasted. The tests do not even mean anything, they do not count, they do not show what you are capable of, and they do not show your creativity. What is the point of keeping something that is doing more harm than good?I believe that we can make a difference for our country.



Works Cited Page

“A Call for Less Testing.” Time for Kids (Grades 3-4), vol. 6, no. 8, 6 Nov. 2015, p. 2. Middle Search Plus, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mih&an=112313334&site=eds-live&authtype=cookie,ip,custuid&custid=infohio.

Harris, Phillip et al. “Standardized Tests Do Not Effectively Measure Student Achievement.” The Myths of Standardized Tests: Why They Don’t Tell You What You Think They Do, Edited by Dedria Bryfonski, 2011, pp. 33–45, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/viewpointsdetailspage/viewpointsdetailswindow?disablehighlighting=&displaygroupname=viewpoints&currpage=&dviselectedpage=&scanid=&query=&prodid=ovic&search_within_results=&p=ovic&mode=view&catid=&limiter=&display-query=&displaygroups=&contentmodules=&action=e&sortby=&documentid=gale|ej3010478218&windowstate=normal&activitytype=&failovertype=&commentary=&source=bookmark&u=cort85574&jsid=4d81e8d8cb7cdb2cc1476da68ac2edc0.

Hobbs, Tawnell D. “Student Testing Foes Shift Gears After Law Change.” Wall Street Journal, 1 Oct. 2016, p. A.2. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com.

Layton, Lyndsey. “Study Says Standardized Testing Is Overwhelming Nation’s Public Schools.” Washington Post, The Washington Post, 14 Oct. 2014, www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/study-says-standardized-testing-is-overwhelming-nations-public-schools/2015/10/24/8a22092c-79ae-11e5-a958-d889faf561dc_story.html.

Ujifusa, Andrew. “Standardized Testing Costs States $1.7 Billion a Year, Study Says.” Education Week, 11 May 2016, www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/11/29/13testcosts.h32.html.

Wilde, Marian. “Are We Stressing out Our Kids? | Parenting.” Parenting, Great Schools, 11 Mar. 2016, www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/stressed-out-kids/.

Sharpiro, Margaret. “Stressed-out Teens, with School a Main Cause.” Washington Post, The Washington Post, 7 Feb. 2014, www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/stressed-out-teens-with-school-a-main-cause/2014/02/14/d3b8ab56-9425-11e3-84e1-27626c5ef5fb_story.html.


From Alexa Dorma

Dear Mr. President,

The government needs to do more to secure the United States from threatening terrorist groups such as ISIS. Our government does not realize how miserable this world can come to, if we do not do anything to stop it. ISIS has made a huge impact on the lives of numerous Americans, and not in a good way.  Furthermore, they have killed innocent people, destroyed  buildings, and have used our tools and weaponry against us. We will be safer if the government starts taking action. We should have more security throughout the nation, such as inside of airports.

There has been multiple times that ISIS has come into our country and killed innocent people. There was recently an attack in Orlando, Florida. According to authorities, “ISIS gunned down 49 people early Sunday morning at a gay nightclub in Orlando” (New York Times). This attack did not only kill 49 people, but 53 were left wounded. If you are not familiar with this story, there was a 29 year old security guard named Omar Mateen, who worked for ISIS. Pulse was hosting a Latin Night party, when Omar scampered through the door and ambushed the bar. Therefore, most of the people who were in the club, were Latin. The people were trying to have a night to celebrate their culture and nationality, and it ended up being known as the deadliest mass shooting from a single shooter. Consequently, many of the people did not make it out. If there was any sense of security there, maybe all of them could have been rescued and saved.

At least once throughout school, we should take a course on first aid. If we are familiar with first aid, we can help save more people’s lives. “Basic knowledge can stop the impact of terrorist attacks, turning into a disaster” (Herrick). If everyone takes a succession in first aid, we can make a massive impact and we can reduce the number of deaths caused by terrorists. Since everyone will know first aid, everyone will be able to help each other. For instance, if everyone knew how to keep pressure on a wound, or knew how to give CPR, more people could have been saved at the Orlando Gay Club. Therefore, an innocent person would be able to step into someone’s life and become their doctor for that time, until help arrives. We will be more secure if everyone knows at least some first aid.

The attack on 9/11 is another example of innocent U.S. citizens losing their lives. When Al Qaeda flew the planes into the World Trade Center, thousands of people died. “In total, nearly 3,000 people lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks” (9/11 Attacks). Accordingly, the government could have prevented this from happening if they had more security at our airports; there would have been no way that anyone with a deadly weapon could get on the planes. If they were more strict and checked everyone and everything before entering a plane, 9/11 would have never happened. Instead, the government lets Al Qaeda hijack our planes, and use them to pummel into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and thankfully, only an empty field in Pennsylvania, before reaching D.C.

Terrorists take our weapons and machinery for granted. Groups like Al Qaeda can easily hijack our planes. “The hijackers seized control of the four planes and directed them back to New York and the Washington D.C area” (9/11 Attacks). Many acts that terrorists perform are used with our own products. How is it fair that they use our airplanes to destroy our own buildings, and that they use our guns to kill our people? We have let this happen too many times. They are using our weapons and machinery against us. We can resolve this problem by having more security. Notwithstanding, we should not let people carry guns around who have poor records. It is very easy to get your hands on guns, or any other deadly weapon. If less people are carrying guns, that gives terrorist a less chance to take them.

Our government needs to do a more superior job at keeping things private. Hillary Clinton has a website with information that anyone can view or inspect, including ISIS. A little while back, Trump quoted during a debate, “ISIS dreams of having her as a president” (Kandor). Trump is implying that ISIS would vote for Hillary, since she leaks information. Hillary recently added to her website how she plans to destroy ISIS. A huge part of security, are the secrets that lie within. It is not a great idea for someone as powerful and significant as Hillary to reveal any important information.

I hope you take your time to read this letter, and I hope you will understand. As a future president, I believe that you can impact the American lives by shielding us from the dangerous terrorist groups that are invading the country. Americans are terrified to go to sleep at night, they never know if they will wake up. We have become so frightened because we do not trust our government anymore.




Works Cited Page

“9/11 Attacks.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, Detroit, 2015, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/referencedetailspage/referencedetailswindow?disablehighlighting=true&displaygroupname=reference&currpage=&scanid=&query=&search_within_results=&p=ovic&mode=view&catid=gale|aaa000036353&limiter=&display-query=&displaygroups=&contentmodules=&action=e&sortby=&documentid=gale|pc3010999052&windowstate=normal&activitytype=&failovertype=&commentary=&source=bookmark&u=cort85574&jsid=f12686e040e049e547efbe8cca6c5f65.

By the way, the Associated Press reported Trump’s website had, at the time of writing, just over 9,000 words of policy. Hillary’s website? 112,735 words and counting.), Daniel Kantor. “9 Times Donald Trump Accused Hillary Clinton of Doing All the Terrible Things He’s Done.” 9 Times Donald Trump Accused Hillary Clinton of Doing All the Terrible Things He&Rsquo;s Done, 16 Sept. 2016, www.hillaryclinton.com/feed/9-times-donald-trump-accused-hillary-clinton-of-doing-all-the-terrible-things-hes-done/.

Collinson, Stephen. “Clinton Goes After Trump at First Debate.” CNN Wire Service, 27 Sept. 2016, p. n/a. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com.


From Taylor Garvin

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulations! You are probably very busy considering you were just elected as the president of the United States, and you probably have tons of issues to deal with like ISIS, and terrorism. Sometimes the biggest problems could be ones that we do not even think about, like cancer. Around 13 million people have this disease and most get the support they need, but what about children with cancer? They do not have a voice in anything compared to the adults who have it, leaving them with only a little amount of money for research or funding. Kids are equally important to adults and we need to change that. Children with cancer should be one of our top priorities because they are the future generations. Without them, what would we do?

Childhood cancer deserves a bounteous amount of funding and attention towards it. Only a certain amount of money goes to researching for cures and the rest goes to adults who have cancer. Generally, only a little amount of money goes toward research; multiple scientists have a difficult time coming up with cures and tools to help children. Thousands of kids are starting to notice how unfair the ratio for childhood cancer and adults who have cancer and are trying to speak up about it. Connor Pate, who is now nine years old and used to have cancer, states, “I pray that the government realizes that childhood cancer research needs to be a priority. The government only allocates 4 percent of its funds to find a cure. This is unacceptable. Kids matter! They suffer so much while going through treatment” (Pate). If we are able to increase 4 percent up to even 50 percent, things could look so much better for children with cancer and we could have so many more cures, that could also possibly affect the lives of adults with cancer also.

Along with Connor Pate, many other kids agree with him as well. One of my closest friends Bella, is thirteen years old and she has been battling osteosarcoma for about a year now. Osteosarcoma is a rare bone cancer that originally started in her right tibia. It makes her whole body weak and she is overwhelmed with nausea. One of the worst characters about dealing with cancer is all of the chemotherapy and radiation that she goes through. One of the things that the government used the money for was Immunotherapy. “Immunotherapy refers to any treatment that uses the immune system to fight diseases, including cancer. Unlike chemotherapy, which kills cancer cells, immunotherapy acts on the cells of the immune system, to help them attack the cancer”(Grady). This was a useful way to use some of the money that is used for research and we need more so we can continue to do great things like this. One of the side effects that is going to effect a lot of children who survive, are that it will lead to premature aging as they are adults. Premature aging is when someone experiences symptoms that someone older than them would have. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Researchers are also examining the role of chemotherapy on premature aging. The concerns have led to efforts to use lower doses of medicine and avoid radiation when possible” (The Wall Street Journal). These are some of the major examples of what is happening now that proves that childhood cancer is not getting enough money. If they continue to only receive 4 percent, this could lead to even worse problems for not only them, but also the future generation.

Alongside with children who have cancer, adults who have had cancer when they were a child are still being affected by it.  Those adults are facing completely new health problems like premature aging. This could possibly be a major concern considering it could affect their work habits or even the way they think. They are also more common to problems that older people face like frailty, and serious memory impairment. The Wall Street Journal describes one real life situation like this, “Brandy Wilbanks, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, at 13 and had a relapse at 16, is now showing signs of frailty at age 32. She took an exercise stress test as part of the St. Jude Lifetime study that showed she had fitness levels comparable to a 65-year-old woman”(Amy Dockser Mark). Consequently, since there are a limited number of ways to try to cure childhood cancer, the adults who suffered as a kid, are suffering as an adult now.

Lastly, we need to try to find more ways to cure different kinds of childhood cancer. Some of the most common cures are chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and certain vaccines. Despite some of them working well with certain kinds of cancer, they are all painful in some way to the kid who is going through it, whether it be nausea or even when they constantly suffer from being poked with needles all day. “Since 1980, fewer than 10 drugs have been developed for use in children with cancer compared with hundreds of drugs that have been developed specifically for adults” (The New York Times). Tons of problems are leading back to how we do not have enough cures available to childhood cancer, so we need to put a stop to it now with more funding.

Childhood cancer is a huge problem that we need to address as soon as possible. These kids are the future generation and we should take care of them the best we possibly can. Although we have bigger problems outside of the United States,  this is inside, so we need to take care of it once and for all. I don’t think people realize the extent of the problem because this will affect them and us later in life. Thank you for taking this life changing decision into consideration.



Works Cited Page

“Miles” Ventimiglia, Jack. Daily Star-Journal, The (Warrensburg, MO). Daily Star-Journal, The (Warrensburg, MO), 2015, Daily Star-Journal, The (Warrensburg, MO), search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pwh&an=2w64273457636&site=pov-live&authtype=cookie,ip,custuid&custid=infohio.

Grady, Denise, and Andrew Pollack. “What Is Immunotherapy? The Basics on These Cancer Treatments.” New York Times (Online), 30 July 2016, sks.sirs.com.

“Families Urge to Continue Childhood Cancer Fight Past September.” The Brunswick News [Brunswick, GA], 1 Oct. 2016, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/newsdetailspage/newsdetailswindow?disablehighlighting=false&displaygroupname=news&currpage=&scanid=&query=&prodid=ovic&search_within_results=&p=ovic&mode=view&catid=&limiter=&display-query=&displaygroups=&contentmodules=&action=e&sortby=&documentid=gale|a465159518&windowstate=normal&activitytype=&failovertype=&commentary=&source=bookmark&u=cort85574&jsid=09cb567083d4fa3771e3374fe974f6a8.

Dockser Marcus, Amy. “Childhood Cancer’s New Conundrum.” Wall Street Journal, 27 Dec. 2013, p. A.3. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com.


From Haleigh Haake

Dear Future President,

    As an eighth grade student, I’ll be going to college in five years, and with any luck, not paying nearly as much as students pay now. The current student debt totals $1.4 trillion, with an average debt of $37,000 per student. That’s insane. What about the smart students who can’t afford college? The ones who could turn their life around by getting their degrees? According to an article from The Christian Science Monitor, “This average is higher than ever before, and it represents a huge range of average debt loads at different schools, from $3,000 to more than $50,000.” Debt is forcing many students not to finish college and go straight into work.  That means they’ll get stuck working at McDonald’s.  The rise in college fees has been an issue for many years now and it haunts millions of Americans.

    Not only is college extremely expensive, but the fees just keep increasing. “In the four years since the 2011-2012 academic year, net tuition has increased by 3.1%,” says Tampa Bay Times. People can not afford college now, and their debt will only increase. I, myself, sometimes worry about college and how much it will cost. But there is some good news.  Fares are rising, but the increase has gone down. The New York Times says, “The average rate of increase has gone from 3.9 percent in 2012 to 2.27 percent in 2016.” Nevertheless, why is there an increase? Maybe we can keep lowering that rate of increase, or demolish it completely.

    Don’t forget that colleges require you to buy the textbooks yourself. College textbooks cost a fortune, and it stockpiles onto the already trifling cost (The cost of buying textbooks can add up to about $1,000 a year or more.) Keep in mind that you won’t use the textbook forever, you’re done with it once the course is over.  That’s not all, though. The textbooks keep increasing. “College textbook prices rise about 6 percent, on average, every year,” according to The New York Times. When textbooks rise, so does student loan debt. What I want to know is, why do public schools hand out textbooks for free, but not colleges? There are many options that colleges and  companies can make to lower the cost or hand them out for free.  Textbooks should not be costing this much.

    All students want to be successful. People who want a great education should get it. So I ask of you, please lower college tuition. Not everyone can afford it, and we all have different financial statuses. Some students are luckier than others. After students graduate, they want to be worry-free and they want to find a job. They don’t want to worry about paying off their student loans.



Works Cited Page

Beck, Christina. “Average Student Loan Debt Increases Again.” The Christian Science Monitor 19 Oct. 2016: n. pag. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Nov. 2016.

Bernard, Tara Siegel. “Cheaper College Textbooks.” The New York Times 7 Aug. 2010: B4(L). Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Nov. 2016.

Burns, Katherine. “WE’LL GIVE COLLEGE TUITION PROMISE PARTIAL CREDIT.” Tampa Bay Times [St. Petersburg, FL] 12 Sept. 2016: n. pag. Opposing Viewpoints in Context.


From David Hoover

Dear Mr. President,

We need to work on making terrorism a thing of the past because people are dying and the numbers keep getting higher. For example, terrorism has gradually intensified in craziness since the 1960s and 70s. Nicola Clark from the New York Times says that airport security has become more intrusive since terrorism has obviously picked up since September, 11, 2001 which is probably the most notable attack in history because of how horrifying it was and how it was carried out. The reason these attacks are happening is because we need more security in places that do not have a lot such as places like malls, there should even be more security at airports because even though there is quite a bit now there are still ways to get past it leading to the endangerment of innocent lives.  People complain,  but in the end will it even matter when it comes to their lives?

Airport security is really safe nowadays, but we still need to add more measures to make it as perfect and safe as possible. The Chicago Tribune says that people are getting murdered and that terrorism needs to be eliminated,  which leads to the point of adding more measures to keep travelers and employees safe. Airports would almost never have another hijacking or terrorist attack and that is the goal. If you have noticed security breaches have decreased more and more as metal detectors and x-rays have gotten implemented as well as additional bomb screenings in the 1980s. This is exactly what proves this point because if terrorism can be eliminated in airports we are taking a big leap forward and it gives us an increased chance of decreasing terrorism as a whole.

There have been many stereotypes made about foreigners, and it isn’t fair to them but, we still need more measures made to make sure the foreigners coming to the airport are not affiliated with any crimes or acts of terror. Ron Nixon from the New York Times says the U.S. has done many things to help with this because people have been denied access into the country if they did not have a  proper visa or had a criminal record. For instance, in 2015 10,700 people were denied access into our country because of the reasons above which is honestly scary because that means they could have been potential terrorists. A lot of people probably still got into our country, and even if they didn’t do an attack, they could have done something else. These people could have robbed or killed someone and got away with it which means some of these people are out there, which is terrifying.

Overall, we need to increase security measures and background checks in airports to decrease terrorism as much as we can so that we do not really have to worry about airport terror attacks anymore. Doing this will help the fight in the war against terrorism so much and it will put a ton of people at ease when they travel. Security measures are getting more and more advanced and eventually we will have airports labeled as some of the safest places in America. Even though some people think airport security is intrusive, it needs to be upped because at the end of the day, do you want safety or to be a little annoyed? Thank you for reading this future president and I would love to see these changes in place, I also look forward seeing how you will improve America.


                                              David from Ohio

Works Cited Page

Clark, Nicola. “Why Security Breaches Have Become Relatively Rare.” <I>New York Times</I>. 30 Mar. 2016: A.7. <I>SIRS Issues Researcher.</I> Web. 06 Nov. 2016.

“This Long War Demands Resolve.” <I>Chicago Tribune</I>. 16 Jul. 2016: 9. <I>SIRS Issues Researcher.</I> Web. 06 Nov. 2016.

Nixon, Ron. “Preclearance at Foreign Airports Is Seen As a Necessity to Fight….” <I>New York Times</I>. 25 Jul. 2016: A.18. <I>SIRS Issues Researcher.</I> Web. 06 Nov. 2016.


Madelyn Moss

Dear Mr. President Trump,

Why is smoking even legal in the first place?  Are people just trying to be cool, or are they trying to feel better?  Are people just addicted, or do people really want to smoke?  None of these sound like appropriate excuses to me.  Why would you smoke to feel superior, or to be cool?  What if your best friend, who smoked, wandered up to you and offered for you to smoke?  They would say, “Hey, you should smoke.  Everyone does it, do not worry!”  Would you smoke, or not?  Please consider my opinion that smoking should be illegal.  

First, smoking should be illegal because it is terrible for you.  You can get cancers and diseases just from smoking.  Paul Brodish, author of “Smoking Has Serious Health Effects,” explains that you can start to have blood-vessel diseases the more you smoke, which makes it hard to walk, run, and move.  If you smoke you could moreover ruin your lungs and won’t be able to do sports or everyday activities.  Some teens might say, “But, I smoked for a week and nothing happened.”  If someone says you could get sick from smoking, it does not mean that you are going to get sick the first day you smoke.  It could happen the first day, it could happen in a month.  Everyone is different, so you cannot go from what one person says to you and stick to it.

Second, smoking should be illegal because it unpleasant for others to witness and tolerate.  Say you were at a party with your family and you want to go outside for some fresh air.  If someone is smoking out there and you breathe in some of the nicotine, that could be a bad situation for you as much as the smoker.  Africa News Service explains, “Smoking kills or smoking seriously harms others around you, especially children.”  I feel bad for children that have to witness parents or family members smoking everyday because they shouldn’t have to smell the nicotine and smoke.  I understand how it feels to have a family member smoke because my aunt used to smoke; however, she tried to stop and has not smoked for at least a year.

In the end, I think that you, the president, should ban smoking by stopping factories from making them, and stop people from growing the leaves to make the cigarettes.  Even though smoking is all over the world and it would take a very long time to get rid of, it is possible.  Everyone should think to do the right thing and smoking isn’t the right thing to do.  For many teenagers and adults futures, please help me get rid of smoking for the greater good.


Madelyn M.

Works Cited Page

Tavernise, Sabrina. “Experts Say Vaping Alarm Is Overdone.” New York Times, 2 Nov. 2016, p. A.1. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com.

Kaplan, Karen. “New Insight into Tobacco’s Toll.” Los Angeles Times, 30 Oct. 2016, p. A.15. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com.

“How A Pregnant Woman’s Choices Could Shape A Child’s Health.” Morning Edition, 2013, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/audiodetailspage/audiodetailswindow?disablehighlighting=false&displaygroupname=audio&currpage=&scanid=&query=&prodid=ovic&search_within_results=&p=ovic&mode=view&catid=&limiter=&display-query=&displaygroups=&contentmodules=&action=e&sortby=&documentid=gale|a343699427&windowstate=normal&activitytype=&failovertype=&commentary=&source=bookmark&u=cort85574&jsid=8da206f292c065f29d08dcdb811133f3.

“EU Gets Tough to Stub Out Smoking.” Africa News Service, 2001, p. 1008136u3718.Opposing Viewpoints in Context, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/newsdetailspage/newsdetailswindow?disablehighlighting=false&displaygroupname=news&currpage=&scanid=&query=&prodid=ovic&search_within_results=&p=ovic&mode=view&catid=&limiter=&display-query=&displaygroups=&contentmodules=&action=e&sortby=&documentid=gale|a74568811&windowstate=normal&activitytype=&failovertype=&commentary=&source=bookmark&u=cort85574&jsid=362a5b69d41a9d8169f482a33dfa5bce.

Brodish, Paul. “Smoking Has Serious Health Effects.” Www.acsh.org/Publications/Booklets/Iesmoke.html, Edited by Laura K. Egendorf, 2000, Opposing Viewpoints in Context,


From Avery Probst

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulations! You have made it through the name-calling, pressure, and anticipation of the election. Being president should be easy for you, you have made it this far. I am sure there are countless issues you have to address and more letters to read, that are far more important than a thirteen year old’s, but I wanted to write to you about something that is very important to me.

Type one diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow glucose to produce energy. At this time, type one diabetes has no cure. But I want you to help change that. My grandma has type one diabetes, and is constantly struggling with her blood sugar, insulin pump, vision, and anything else that diabetes wants to throw at her to make her day miserable. But nevertheless, she cooks dinner, cleans her house, takes care of a garden, pays bills, and acts like nothing is wrong. My grandma is one of the strongest people I know. However, I do not want her, and other diabetics, to have to live like this any longer. She owns an insulin pump, and it has truly helped her. But it malfunctions frequently, occasionally does not give her the right amount of insulin, and is a vexation. According to Gina Kolata, a reporter at the New York Times who is trained in science and has a degree in mathematics,  “even when patients take the right steps to control diabetes, the grueling process can simply wear them down.” Struggling with her insulin pump is time-consuming, and often keeps her up at night trying to regulate her blood sugar.

Diabetes can also affect children. Type one diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes, which means it is more commonly diagnosed in kids. At my dance studio, an eight year old girl that I am very close with, was diagnosed with diabetes about a year ago. It was devastating. To find out that someone else I love was diagnosed with a horrible condition, that has no cure, broke my heart. If there was a cure, my friend would not need to miss parts of dance class when she felt shaky. If there was a cure, she would not need to leave her classroom at school to go to the nurse to check her blood sugar levels. This little girl is so strong that she stays in class, although she knows her blood sugar dropped or spiked. This endangers her life. “The amount of type one diabetes, an autoimmune disease, climbed 21% from 2000 to 2009 to 1.93 per 1,000 children,” according to a study presented Saturday at the Pediatric Academic Societies’ meeting in Vancouver, Canada. That is quite a jump if you think about it. Consequently, these numbers will probably jump up again if we do not start helping to find a cure.

Type one diabetes seems to becoming lost in the scheme of major diseases. What most people do not know is that diabetes is a major disease. “Diabetes is anything but minor. It wreaks havoc on the entire body, affecting everything from hearing and vision to sexual function, mental health and sleep. It is the leading cause of blindness, amputations, and kidney failure, and it can triple the risk for heart attack and stroke,” (Tara Parker-Pope). I see so much on the news and internet about type two diabetes, but what about type one? Type one diabetes is more serious than type two since you can die faster if you do not obtain the right treatment for low blood sugar.Diabetes affects 25.8 million people of all ages in the United States, or about 8.3% of the population,” according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. Numerous people are suffering with type one diabetes, and not very many people know about it. I would like you to help change these numbers for the better, and make type one diabetes more known as a serious disease that needs more research.

We need more diabetes awareness. Kids and adults with diabetes, and kids and adults without diabetes should know more about the condition. I feel that it is not earning enough research as a result of not enough people know information about it. Kids that have been recently diagnosed with type one diabetes should be taught the symptoms of a blood sugar drop or spike. As well as adults. According to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Protection, “just seven percent are getting all the treatments they need.” People are missing treatments because they either do not know they need them, or they do not know what can happen if they skip a treatment or two. “Largely because of misunderstanding of the proper treatment, most patients are not doing even close to what they should to protect themselves,” according to Gina Kolata. Patients should be focused on surviving this condition and protecting themselves from all of the different effects. Without enough knowledge of their condition, this is nearly impossible.

Type one diabetes is not something that should be easily forgotten. It affects everything; your eyes, your kidneys, your heart, your nerves, and more. It is terrifying. We need to be moving forward faster to find a cure for this horrible chronic condition that is affecting so much of our country. People of all ages are suffering, and be required take insulin every day to survive. Taking insulin with insulin shots can be painful and using a pump can be difficult to work. If there was a cure, no one would have to take time to mess with shots or pumps, their pancreas would function properly on its own. With your help, we can progress faster, and make diabetes something that is easily curable.



Works Cited Page

Kolata, Gina. “Six Killers: Diabetes–Looking Past Blood Sugar to Survive with …” New York Times (New York, NY), 20 Aug. 2007, p. A1+. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com.

Manning, Anita. “Diabetes Strikes Younger Ages.” Usa Today, 12 Nov. 2007, p. n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com.

Parker-Pope, Tara. “Diabetes: Underrated, Insidious and Deadly.” New York Times (New York, NY), 1 July 2008, p. F5. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com.

Szabo, Liz. “Diabetes Rates Skyrocket in Kids and Teens.” Usa Today, 5 May 2014, p. A.9. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com.


From Kyle Roberts

Dear Donald J. Trump,

One issue you must address during the duration of your presidency is the issue of domestic violence. Domestic violence used to only take place in the home, but it has made its way to out in public. One example of this is the Ray Rice elevator incident when he punched his fiancee in February 2014. If we as a nation do not find ways to combat the issue quickly, more and more women will be beaten by their spouse every day.

Moreover, one reason domestic violence is such an enormous issue and also what I think you should do as president is to set up more programs to combat the issue. According to a national survey, 45% of shelters viewed their main role as promoting feminist political activism, while only 25% focused on providing treatment for abused women. Considering this,  that the programs are set up to combat a different issue than they set out to solve. Additionally, in a quote from Angela Moore Parmley, PhD, she states,” We have no evidence to date that VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) has led to a decrease in the overall levels of violence against women.” VAWA was a law signed to combat domestic violence. If we want to stop domestic violence offenders and help the victims, we need to set up programs that are used to solve this issue, not another one.

Subsequently, another reason why this issue is not being well combated is because not many big groups, organizations, or companies are involved. In a quote from the article “Domestic Violence Is Not a Serious Problem in the NFL”, National Organization for Women president Terry O’Neill says,” The NFL has lost it’s way. It doesn’t have a Ray Rice problem, it has a violence against women problem.” This means that the NFL has not shown enough concern for the issue. Also, R- S.D., John Thune has scolded numerous sports leagues for not sending their commissioners to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee. Future President, if you want to stop domestic violence, you have to get big groups involved, because they simply are not doing enough. Also, with all of the kids and teenagers like myself that watch the NFL, the league should be trying to put out a message to stop domestic violence.

Although domestic violence takes place in the home, it still has a strong correlation with guns. According to the article “Laws Prohibiting Domestic Violence Offenders from Owning Guns Will Reduce Homicides”, it states,” American women are twice as likely to be killed by their partner as a stranger- and guns cause that risk to skyrocket.” Accordingly, this means we must find a way to get guns out of the hands of those convicted of prior domestic violence offenses. Also, according to the same article,” Approximately 700 women are shot and killed by their intimate partners each year.” Future President, this alone should be motivation and proof to set up programs and get companies involved to strongly combat the issue of domestic violence for the victims and the offenders.



Works Cited

Brown, Ryan. “Laws Prohibiting Domestic Violence Offenders from Owning Guns Will Reduce Homicides.” Salon.com, Edited by Louise I. Gerdes, 2010, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/viewpointsdetailspage/viewpointsdetailswindow?disablehighlighting=false&displaygroupname=viewpoints&currpage=&scanid=&query=&prodid=ovic&search_within_results=&p=ovic&mode=view&catid=&limiter=&display-query=&displaygroups=&contentmodules=&action=e&sortby=&documentid=gale|ej3010126409&windowstate=normal&activitytype=&failovertype=&commentary=&source=bookmark&u=cort85574&jsid=81f4099fb0910fc5e5df822347cb0835.

Bryfonski, Dedria, editor. “Domestic Violence Programs Are Ineffective and Sometimes Harmful.” Domestic Violence Programs Are Ineffective and Sometimes Harmful, 2010, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/viewpointsdetailspage/viewpointsdetailswindow?disablehighlighting=&displaygroupname=viewpoints&currpage=&dviselectedpage=&scanid=&query=&prodid=ovic&search_within_results=&p=ovic&mode=view&catid=&limiter=&display-query=&displaygroups=&contentmodules=&action=e&sortby=&documentid=gale|ej3010045263&windowstate=normal&activitytype=&failovertype=&commentary=&source=bookmark&u=cort85574&jsid=8fcde4fc5aecd93fce3cb04346f36197.

Graves, Lucia. “The NFL Is Working Hard to Combat Domestic Violence.” Nationaljournal.com, Edited by Tamara Thompson, Feb. 2014, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/viewpointsdetailspage/viewpointsdetailswindow?disablehighlighting=false&displaygroupname=viewpoints&currpage=&dviselectedpage=&scanid=&query=&prodid=ovic&search_within_results=&p=ovic&mode=view&catid=&limiter=&display-query=&displaygroups=&contentmodules=&action=e&sortby=&documentid=gale|ej3010975216&windowstate=normal&activitytype=&failovertype=&commentary=&source=bookmark&u=cort85574&jsid=22294b078ee84aaece369a867578dbe1.


From Jordan Shackelford

Dear Future President,

Animal abuse is a serious problem in America, one that your predecessors have failed to acknowledge, but I implore you to listen to the cries of the animals, the cries that for decades have gone unheard. Animal testing, a form animal cruelty, has been overlooked by so many. We humans do not seem to care about what goes on behind the curtain as long as it doesn’t affect us directly. We do not stop to think, how did scientists get the cure for influenza, as we sit in the doctor’s office dreading  the shot that we get every year. We do not wonder who tested the newest shade of lipstick to make sure it was safe for human use. We probably don’t even care about what happened to the animal that was forced to test the newest cosmetic. No, we humans do not care; but as president it is your job to make us care, to set us on the right course, to stand up for those that can’t stand up for  themselves. It is your job to put a stop to animal testing.  

I’m sure you have heard of animal testing before; animal testing or animal experimentation is the process of using animals to test the safety of products for human use. Animal testing is a cruel and torturous process for the animals. The animals are infected with disease, stabbed with needles, and shoved into tiny cages. The  Journal of Trauma and Dissociation in 2008, found that chimpanzees used in animal testing were later diagnosed with PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder). Not only does this prove that the animals were abused during the testing, but it also proves that chimps can feel pain and emotions just as humans do. Would you put your children in a cage and have them tested, just so we could make sure cosmetics are safe to use? Animals can feel pain just as we do, animal testing is unethical, it’s cruel, and disgusting.

Animal testing is not a good way to predict how humans will react. In the article Zika Response Should Not Include Animal Experiments, Kathy Guillermo states, “Animals rarely have the same diseases humans do, and when they do their bodies react differently from ours.” Correspondingly, animal science is not even always accurate.   “Animal models often fail to provide good ways to mimic disease or predict how drugs will work in humans, resulting in much wasted time and money while patients wait for therapies,” the National Institute of Health confirms.  In a study at the University of Wisconsin monkeys were infected with the Zika virus, the monkeys and their babies weren’t affected at all, but the human females seemed to be affected at all stages of pregnancy. This highlights just one way in which animals are not a reliable way to test the safety of products or to find cures for humans. Animals don’t react to diseases or to chemicals like humans do, so why would we use them to test the safety of products it really does not make any sense.

Furthermore, animal testing is cruel. The article   Animal Testing Is Cruel and Immoral Regardless of the Benefits Associated With It by George Wright and Steve Hoagland states, “There are many examples of humans taking advantage of their ability to dominate other species.” Some of the scientists at research labs are disgusting, torturing the animals for their own amusement, or just for the thrill of being in control. The animals are subjected to torture, not for the sake of science, but for the pleasure of their captors. For example, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania were found to be smashing hydraulic equipment into monkeys’ heads, causing severe brain damage. There are also other cases where animals were mutilated while still alive, for the supposed benefit of science. The NIH, one of America’s largest funders of animal experimentation, conducted studies of dogs, cutting them open, while they were still alive.

Animal testing is animal abuse hiding behind the name of science. Animal testing is pointless, it doesn’t show anything about the human body or how the human body will react to certain substances. If you allow animal testing to continue, you will be allowing hundreds, if not thousands of poor innocent animals to be slaughtered. These animals are not simply killed, they are tortured. Diseases like cancer, leukemia, even ebola are injected into these poor animals. If you allow animal testing to go on  you will be responsible for the deaths of thousands of creatures.  Maybe you had a favorite pet as a child, a dog or cat; imagine having the animal taken from you, imagine seeing it shiver inside a cage, imagine it yelping and barking, staring at you with big scared eyes as scientists bare down on it with needles and knives, while you just stand there, not able to do anything. That is what’s happening to thousands of animals across America today. These animals are scared for their lives, and if you don’t do something to stop it, thousands more will have the same fate. If you don’t stop it, the cries of the animal will go on unheard; they are the silent victims of America’s  lust for knowledge.



Works Cited Page

“Animal Experimentation.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, Detroit, 2016,Opposing Viewpoints in Context, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/referencedetailspage/referencedetailswindow?disablehighlighting=true&displaygroupname=reference&currpage=&scanid=&query=&search_within_results=&p=ovic&mode=view&catid=gale|00000000lvv7&limiter=&display-query=&displaygroups=&contentmodules=&action=e&sortby=&documentid=gale|pc3010999220&windowstate=normal&activitytype=&failovertype=&commentary=&source=bookmark&u=cort85574&jsid=342a1d505b688aa019f38bcd0a105ae5.

Guillermo, Kathy. “Zika Response Should Not Include Animal Experiments.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, 28 July 2016, p. n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com

Wright, George, and Steve Hoagland. “Counterpoint: Animal Testing Is Cruel and Immoral Regardless of the Benefits Associated With It.” Points of View: Animal Experimentation, Mar. 2016, p. 3. Points of View Reference Center, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?dire



From Grace Thomas

Dear Future President,

An estimated forty-one million adults, aged eighteen and older, in the United States smoke cigarettes, and on top of that number there are over eight million Americans that use smokeless tobacco. That means there are over forty-nine million American citizens putting themselves and the people around them in danger of disease and permanent damage to their body. Tobacco in any form is very harmful. The use of tobacco should be illegal in all fifty states because it harms people in so many different ways and no matter what way people are using it they are harming themselves.

Three in ten cancer deaths are caused by smoking nationwide. In her article ‘New Insight Into Tobacco’s Toll’ Karen Kaplan wrote, “Cigarette smoking can be blamed for at least 167,133 cancer deaths in the U.S. in a single year.” That does not even account for the other diseases and health problems it causes. Studies done by the National Health Institute have found an entire list of the types of cancer that could be caused by smoking, which include cancer of the lung, bronchus, trachea, oropharynx, esophagus, larynx, stomach, bladder, kidney, ureter, pancreas, cervix, colon, rectum, liver, mouth, throat, and it can also cause acute myeloid leukemia, which is a type of cancer that develops in the bone and bone marrow. Smoking also causes nearly one-third of the deaths due to coronary heart disease, or disease in the heart’s major blood vessel. It also causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a lung disease that blocks the airway), diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Smoking does not only harm the people doing it. According to the Center for Disease Control, “Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke.” But secondhand smoke doesn’t only affect the people who are around it, it can also harm your pets. On the website Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights they wrote, “Exposure to tobacco smoke has been associated with certain cancers in dogs and cats; allergies in dogs; and eye and skin diseases and respiratory problems in birds.” Secondhand smoke has been associated with lung cancer in birds, lymphoma and oral cancer in cats, and nasal cancer in dogs.  Secondhand smoke isn’t the only way smoking can harm animals. Animals can also become ill by the ingestion of cigarette/cigar butts or chewing tobacco. The toxins in the cigarette butts can make the animal sick, or the nicotine could make them sick. By making tobacco illegal you can reduce the number of people and animals killed by the secondhand smoke and toxins emitted by cigarettes.

Although smokeless tobacco does not produce the deaths caused by secondhand smoke, it is still extremely harmful to the people using it, so smokeless tobacco is not a good alternative. In the article ‘Smokeless Tobacco Is Harmful to Human Health’ the author wrote, “A recent study by researchers at the University of Minnesota concluded that smokeless tobacco is not a safe substitute for smoking. It found that users of smokeless tobacco had a similar exposure to one of tobacco’s most potent cancer-causing agents, known as NNK. If all forms of tobacco are illegal, it will reduce the amount of cancer deaths in America by so much. According to the National Cancer Institute “Smokeless tobacco contains 28 cancer-causing agents, including formaldehyde (the same chemical used in embalming), butanol (an industrial solvent and alternative fuel), and polonium-210 and uranium-235 (both used in nuclear weapons).” These people believe that chewing tobacco is a safer alternative, but they are being fooled.

Making tobacco illegal does nothing except benefit the people. It can stop the adolescents and children from becoming addicted to tobacco and nicotine,  it can save pets and people who are around it from being infected with diseases from secondhand smoke, and it can prevent all of the diseases in the people who smoke or chew tobacco. Making all forms of tobacco illegal can save so many people’s and animal’s lives and it will prevent other people from being harmed by the effects of tobacco in the future.   



Works Cited Page

  • Brody, Jane E. “No Such Thing As a Healthy Smoker.” New York Times, 21 June 2016, p. D.7. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com
  • Kaplan, Karen. “New Insight into Tobacco’s Toll.” Los Angeles Times, 30 Oct. 2016, p. A.15. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com.
  • “The NSDUH Report.” The NSDUH Report, 12 Apr. 2012, p. N.p
  • Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada. “Tobacco Advertising Is Harmful to Public Health.” Tobacco and Smoking, edited by Susan Hunnicutt, Greenhaven Press, 2009. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/ViewpointsDetailsPage/ViewpointsDetailsWindow?disableHighlighting=false&displayGroupName=Viewpoints&currPage=&scanId=&query=&prodId=OVIC&search_within_results=&p=OVIC&mode=view&catId=&limiter=&display-query=&displayGroups=&contentModules=&action=e&sortBy=&documentId=GALE%7CEJ3010170289&windowstate=normal&activityType=&failOverType=&commentary=&source=Bookmark&u=cort85574&jsid=f346298597ac3299b91e0ccb0bdef8fe. Accessed 3 Nov. 2016. Originally published as “Cigarette Marketing in Canada: More Ways to End Tobacco Advertising,”
  • Wire, Business. “Smokeless Tobacco Is Harmful to Human Health.” Tobacco and Smoking, edited by Susan Hunnicutt, Greenhaven Press, 2009. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/ViewpointsDetailsPage/ViewpointsDetailsWindow?disableHighlighting=false&displayGroupName=Viewpoints&currPage=&scanId=&query=&prodId=OVIC&search_within_results=&p=OVIC&mode=view&catId=&limiter=&display-query=&displayGroups=&contentModules=&action=e&sortBy=&documentId=GALE%7CEJ3010170274&windowstate=normal&activityType=&failOverType=&commentary=&source=Bookmark&u=cort85574&jsid=5dc9134b78930631f83263d6209b5c86. Accessed 3 Nov. 2016. Originally published as “Dental Experts Blast Tobacco Companies for Expanding Smokeless Product Lines, Urge Congress to Pass Bills Giving FDA Oversight of Tobacco Products,” Business Wire, 2008.
  • “Burden of Tobacco Use in the U.S.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 May 2016, www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/resources/data/cigarette-smoking-in-united-states.html
  • By ingestion of cigarette or cigar butts which contain toxins. “Smokefree Pets.” – No-Smoke.org, www.no-smoke.org/learnmore.php?id=623


From Andrew

Dear, Donald J. Trump::

I feel gun control should be enforced more than it already is. There has already been 142 school shootings since the “Sandy Hook” elementary shooting. “There has been over 137 fatal school shootings since 1980 alone before Sandy Hook Elementary, killing over 297 people” (Bloomberg, adapted by Newsela, “Issue Overview: Guns in America”). Guns have been connected to multiple acts of terrorism as well.  Guns have been connected to many types of terrorism, and killing the future of America, children who can grow up to become many things. It is in a way crippling us. Over 2,961 deaths have occurred by terrorist attacks since 9/11, in American soil. Guns can be helpful and protect us, but they can also harm families, and by making these weapons so easy to obtain they also make people have the ability to take their own lives.
Guns have been linked to countless homicides, murders, and suicides. People have threatened each other with guns, and it causes mistakes to be made and people get killed. “Over 85% of suicides happen to include a firearm” (Harvard Public Health.)  A 27 year old widow named, Emily Frazier stated, “There’s a gas station, maybe a five-minute drive away from us, and the gas station sells guns. I didn’t realize places like that existed. Ryan just walked in and bought a handgun. We had gotten into an argument—which we hardly ever did—and he left. The next morning, the police knocked on my door. A construction crew had found him dead in his car at an abandoned railroad station.” Her husband had killed himself after an argument, which they very rarely have. At most gas stations and gun stores it is really easy to acquire and sell guns (cleanly of course).  (Harvard Public Health).

Places that sell guns should have more security and more of a way to set up background checks. People should be asked to show credentials as they buy a gun, and be checked for any past circumstances they exhibited any criminal/ suspicious behaviour. I feel that gun vendors should be checked regularly and would have to renew their licenses multiple times a year to stay in business. The safety of the people, the nation, and the nation’s future is of utmost importance when it comes to the threat of terrorism, and suicide. The soldiers put their lives on the line for us on the battlefield, so let’s make sure they don’t come home to a smoking pile of rubble.

In conclusion, gun control should be a higher priority. It is important so that we can stop kids from worrying about what is going to happen at school tomorrow. It is also important that we become more strict with whom we are letting carry firearms, and buy these firearms. After all that America has been through, we can overcome this problem. A nation that is damaged from the outside can rebuild, but one that is damaged from the inside can never be fixed.



Works Cited Page

Bennett, Matt. “Gun Control Can Prevent School Shootings.” Www.brookings.edu, Edited by Noah Berlatsky, Nov. 2013, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/viewpointsdetailspage/viewpointsdetailswindow?disablehighlighting=false&displaygroupname=viewpoints&currpage=&scanid=&query=&prodid=ovic&search_within_results=&p=ovic&mode=view&catid=&limiter=&display-query=&displaygroups=&contentmodules=&action=e&sortby=&documentid=gale|ej3010981211&windowstate=normal&activitytype=&failovertype=&commentary=&source=bookmark&u=cort85574&jsid=d157d516ee1ee7096e307b771cb23ddf.

Bloomberg, adapted by Newsela. “Issue Overview: Guns in America.” Newsela, Newsela, 0ADAD, newsela.com/articles/overview-guns-in-america/id/19143/.

Harvard Public Health. “Guns &Amp; Suicide.” Harvard Public Health Magazine, Harvard Colledge, 4 Oct. 2016, www.hsph.harvard.edu/magazine/magazine_article/guns-suicide/.

Verbruggen, Robert. “Fewer Guns, Less Homicide?” National Review, 21 Dec. 2015, p. n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com.


From Trent Walk

Dear Mr. President

Standardized testing is an impractical, and outdated form of testing. It was a good idea when it first started, but now it’s just gotten out of hand. The tests do not measure creativity or critical thinking which can be a huge factor in some careers. The idea came from an IQ test that working men would take during World War I. (Fletcher, Dan. “Standardized Testing.”)  When I take the test I find it to be too stressful when piled on top of after-school activities. As an eighth grader I still find these tests to be over-stressed, furthermore, they just seem too important.

French psychologist Alfred Binet created the first IQ test to help war veterans get jobs. This would soon become a standard form of testing. “By World War I, standardized testing was standard practice: aptitude quizzes called Army Mental Tests were conducted to assign U.S. servicemen jobs during the war effort.” ( Dan Fletcher, Standardized testing a brief history). We got the idea of standardized testing from an IQ test designed during World War I.

Critical thinking and creativity aren’t measured in this test. “When things like these aren’t measured isn’t it like rewarding shallow thinking?”(Philip Harris, Standardized Tests Do Not Effectively Measure Student Achievement). When an architect is drawing up plans they need to think outside the the box. Tests only measure superficial thinking and not the creativity. I am a creative person, therefore I like to make things up and make my own stories. The fact that these tests only measure routine thinking is disappointing.

The standardized test is a very stressful obstacle in an already stressful world. A lot of students have things going on after school that have an element of stress in them. A student with low grades might be pressured and stressed by their parents to get better grades which is extremely stressful. When a student takes the standardized tests they sometimes feel stressed to their breaking point.


Trent Walk

Works Cited Page

Fletcher, Dan. “Standardized Testing.” Time, Time Inc., 11 Dec. 2009, content.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1947019,00.html.

Harris, Philips . “Standardized Tests Do Not Effectively Measure Student Achievement.” Opposing Viewpoints, Opposing Viewpoints, ic.galegroup.com/ic/ovic/viewpointsdetailspage/viewpointsdetailswindow?disablehighlighting=&displaygroupname=viewpoints&currpage=&dviselectedpage=&scanid=&query=&source=&prodid=ovic&search_within_results=&p=ovic&mode=view&catid=&u=cort85574&limiter=&display-query=&displaygroups=&contentmodules=&action=e&sortby=&documentid=gale%7cej3010478218&windowstate=normal&activityty