Voices of Today

Voices of Todayvoices

5th Grade
First Place: Jesse Hollars submitted an editorial titled, "Freedom." Teacher: Sylvia Hayes, Indian Trail Elementary School, Indian Trail, NC

People today take for granted being able to do everyday things, such as going to a Jewish synagogue every Sunday, while their neighbors go to an Episcopal church. Maybe their friends don't go to church at all. This is one of the many freedoms of American citizens. In other countries, religion is a law. We are very fortunate that it's not that way in the United States.

Americans tend to forget how fortunate they are, especially when they are unhappy with something in the society. For example, freedom of speech is allowed in America. Sometimes, if a mayor, governor, or president says something or proposes a law that a citizen disagrees with, the speaker or proposer may think that nothing can be done about it by the citizen. But, because of the law of freedom of speech, the citizen can lead a protest or create a potition (sic) against it.

jhollarsWomen also tend to forget how things used to be, when women couldn't vote. Women fought for their vote, and lots of other rights. That's why women can have well-paying jobs and be treated equally to men. Americans have fought for and earned their rights throughout the years, and are planning to keep them.

Now, schools are integrated with all races. Some people used to be prejudiced, but now not as many are. An American child in a school may have an African-American, Native American, Hispanic European, or Asian best friend, and it wouldn't make a difference to anyone. That's one of the freedoms in American. All races are equal and should be able to do the same things anyone else can.

If you hear someone say, "It's a free country," you can know that it's true for you and all other true Americans.

Second Place: Lauren Hough submitted an editorial titled, "Do Not Abuse Freedom." Teacher: Gwen Sinclair, Indian Trail Elementary School, Indian Trail, NC

Freedom does not come easily. To get our freedom, we fought battles and we won. Americans everywhere take their freedom for granted. Some Americans abuse their freedom. We have the freedom of choice, freedom to vote, freedom of speech, and many others.
Some abuse the freedom to vote. People will say, "I don't want to vote," and then when someone wins, they do not like it and they complain about it. If you want someone to win, then you should vote because your vote could make the biggest difference. Your vote could have helped the person you wanted to win.

Who votes....If you abuse freedom of choice, then you abuse the right to choose something different. For example, if one person says they want a pink outfit and you are so much of a friend to that person, you may say you also want the pink outfit, even though you hate pink. Then you would be abusing the freedom of choice.

A lot of people do not have any freedom at all. To have these freedoms is a great honor. Do not take them for granted and do not abuse them. If you abuse them too much, they could disappear.

Third Place: Kelsey Covington submitted an editorial titled, "Freedom." Teacher: Gwen Sinclair, Indian Trail Elementary School, Indian Trail, NCcovington

I think freedom is when you can have freedom of religion. This means you do not have to have the same religion as someone else. For example, if you celebrate Christmas, all people do not have to celebrate Christmas.

Freedom is also being able to go to school. Girls in Afghanistan did not get to go to school until this year because people thought girls should not be educated. I am free to get an education.

Another freedom is freedom of speech, not like saying "bad words", but giving your opinion and telling how you feel. For example, if you do not like what President Bush is saying, tell people you do not like it or write a letter to the editor of the newspaper.

Freedom is a very powerful thing. I am very happy to be an American girl!

Honorary Mention: Kaci Sanderson submitted a News story titled, "The Women's Rights Movement." Teacher: Sylvia Hayes, Indian Trail Elementary School, Indian Trail, NC

The Women's Rights Movement

Indian Trail, NC- In the women's rights movement, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was not noticed a lot. Elizabeth was born in 1815. She is believed to be the driving force behind the convention in 1848. Elizabeth played a leadership role in the Women's Rights Movement. She was a leader for 50 years out of the 87 yeears she was living. Elizabeth was good friends with Susan B. Anthony, but was sometimes over looked by her. In London, Elizabeth meet (sic) Lucretia Mott. Mott discussed the need of a convention on women's rights with Stanton. Stanton, Mott, and Susan B. Anthony planned the first Women's Rights Convention in the United States. Stanton's role was a leader in the movement. Unwilling to commit to vigorous traveling, Elizabeth waited until her children were grown. So Elizabeth wrote a lot of speeches for delivery by Anthony. About thirty years after the Seneca Falls Convention, Elizabeth and Matilda Joslyn Gage authored the Declaration of Rights of Women of the United States, which Susan B. Anthony presented, while being uninvited at the centennial celebration in Washington in 1876.

In Stanton's later career she focused increasingly on social reforms related to women's concerns other than suffrage. Gage split completely with Anthony over Anthony's success and effort to merge the MWSA which is a more conservative counterpart into the National America Women's Suffrage Association. Stanton agreed to serve as President of the Combined Organization for a brief period. In 1902, Elizabeth Cady Stanton died.

Like Anthony and Gage, she did not live to see the Women's Suffrage in the United States. Elizabeth is nonetheless regarded as one of the true major forces in the drive toward equal rights for women in the United States and other women around the world. A statue of Stanton, Mott, and Anthony is in the United States capitol (sic).

Honorary Mention: Katie Lefler submitted an editorial titled, "Freedom." Teacher: Gwen Sinclair, Indian Trail Elementary School, Indian Trail, NCklefler

"Freedom"…isn't it a wonderful word? Can you believe that some people take this blessing for granted? Now I'm not pointing any fingers, but some people who have the right to vote do not even step foot near a poll. These are the ones who usually complain that our President, mayor, or governor is doing everything wrong.

Now, on the other hand, people are finding ways to give freedom to the citizens of other countries. For example, in the latest issue of Time For Kids, even organizations like Ecuador's Banana Exporters Association are trying to minimize child labor, or better yet, abolish it completely.

Some kids complain about school being too long, or that we have too much work, or that we do not need it at all. We are lucky we have school and have so many opportunities after we get out of high school or college.

Drawing of the Charlotte ObserverIf we did not have that liberty, to get an education, then the only thing that wouldn't be forbidden would be working on a farm or in the fields, eat, sleep, and breathe. Even if we had job opportunities, we probably would not meet the standards because there was no time for school.

You have to shout to be heard! Lots of people have ideas about freedom, but do not know how to share them. Even if you are a kid, you still have the right to be heard. All you have to do is write a letter to a newspaper and express your opinion. That is freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Basically, my point is to seize your freedom and liberty because someday, somehow, you might lose it.