A Letter to My Students on the Day After the Election

BY VERONICA VARELA

Courtesy of Veronica Varela

Courtesy of Veronica Varela

November 9, 2016

Hey You,

    Have I told you lately that I love you? I love you so much. When I was 5 years old, I would dream about being a teacher when I grew up. I have dreamed about teaching you for decades. You are my dream.

    And I know last night didn’t go how we expected or wanted it to. I know you’re afraid. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t scared too. It can be scary to think that the majority of the people in this country see our community as invisible, unlovable, and unworthy. I want you to know that I completely disagree. They don’t know what hell they’re talking about. I want you to know that you are seen, that you are loved, and that you are worthy of so much more than this shitty world has offered you. I want you to know that you are wildly brilliant, and beautiful, and resilient, and wise. I want you to know that you’re the reason why I get up every morning and hope for tomorrow. I want you to know that every day I’m fighting for you, and your mom, and your sister, and your family, and my family, and for all of us.


 

I want you to know that you are seen, that you are loved, and that you are worthy of so much more than this shitty world has offered you.

 


    Today is a day for mourning. It is a day we cry, we squeeze each other a little tighter, and we sit in the ashes together, and tomorrow we begin the process of moving forward. On some days we run towards justice, but today is a crawling kind of day. I want you to know that I’m here by your side. I’m crawling with you. I haven’t given up. We can’t. In the coming days and weeks and months, we will pick ourselves up off of this floor, and we will walk, and we will run, and we will keep pushing, but today I pray that we are okay with just sitting and just grieving and just healing our broken little hearts in this community together.

    I’m here in this fight to stay. I’m here because I stand on the shoulders of giants, and I’m here so that you can stand on my shoulders too. If I could, I’d build a wall around us all and keep us safe and keep us sane and keep us loved - but I can’t. We can’t. We have too much to offer, too much to share with this world, too much fight for. We have too much to lose if we allow our fears to dictate our tomorrows. 

    So, my sweet babies, I want you to know that you mean the world to me. We are the sum of a million tears and dreams and prayers from the mouths of our ancestors. I want you to know that, even though it may not feel like it, there are people who are rooting for you, and I want you to know that I have a small army that loves you and prays for you and cheers you on from a distance. Today was hard, and tomorrow holds one thousand uncertainties, but if there is one thing I have always been certain of, it is you. It has always been you.

 

With Grace and Grit,

Ms. V