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'Dear President Biden': Buffalo 5th-graders write letters about recent mass shootings

Frank A. Sedita students are some of the children who live by and shopped at Tops on Jefferson Avenue.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Dear President Biden,

If only math were the biggest worry for 10-year-olds in Selena Borek's fifth-grade class at Frank Sedita Academy. 

"Some of my students live near that Tops. They go to that store, some were there earlier that day," Borek said. 

Omaliel Laboy's parents shop there frequently. 

"It's sad to see Black people die, and it's not OK for people to just do that and kill people," Laboy said. 

He and 19 classmates must relive the trauma caused by gunman after gunman these past few weeks, forcing them to ask Borek questions no child should have to ask. 

"I can't go grocery shopping now? I can't go to school now," she said. 

"I do not feel safe at all because you never know, in the future someone might come and ruin our lives," said Yoamy Paulino, one of Borek's students.

They want you, the leader of our nation to hear their voices, so please, read those 20 letters coming across your desk.

Pencil to paper has not only become their therapy.

"We spent a whole day on it. They actually asked to skip some of their other classes with me to continue writing," Borek said. 

Her fifth-graders know what being a target of racism feels like. They need solutions. 

"I said we can't solve all the problems, right? But there's people that can and I think it gave them a sense of hope and power that they didn't have before they wrote them," Borek said. 

If a teacher can give that to her students, surely you can give it to a nation and beyond. 

"I would be very happy. If he read it, maybe he could do some things to change this world," Laboy said. 

"It broke all of our hearts," Paulino said. 

"No, no one deserves it. Teachers don't. Students don't," Borek said. 

If we continue to sit by and let tragedy reign, our legacy will be nothing more. 

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