A message of love from the students at Highland Park High School in Topeka, KS

Dear Charlottesville,

Here in Topeka, Kansas you’ve been on our minds a lot lately.

In August and then again this past weekend, we could hardly believe our eyes as we watched  the torches of hatred lighting the streets of your hometown.  Stunned and saddened, we saw our basic American beliefs about equality and democracy under open attack. We feel it is critical that hatred not go unanswered, so we are sending this message.  In it is our love, our best and only answer to hate.

We want to stand arm in arm with you, Charlottesville, to express love, unity, and fraternity with you and with all Americans. Through empathy and understanding, we begin to heal the wounds caused by hatred. And so we the students of Highland Park High School send our most loving well-wishes to you.  Like your city, ours has its own complex chapter in the larger story of America’s struggle toward fuller and truer freedom for all.  Bound together by the past, we look hopefully toward the future. 
We love you and stand with you Charlottesville!

Sincerely Yours,

The Students of Highland Park High School

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Dear Children of Charlottesville,

When we heard about what happened in your town we thought about you. This letter is a hug from far away at Highland Park in Topeka Kansas. Sometimes people can be very mean but we want you to know that there are even more people who care about you and your feelings.

You may be confused and scared about this whole thing, but we promise everything will be okay. There will always be people by your side no matter what. Even though there are bad people in this world there are also a lot of good people who will help you through moments like this. If you were affected by this scary event and need to talk to someone, there are many people you can go to like school counselors, your family, and your friends.  

We think this happened because the bad people in this world were not taught to love.  These bad people were not always bad. When they were your age they were sweet and loving. Not loving people will make you do some not-so-good things. Yes, people can be bad but anyone can decide to be good. Bad people can learn to love. Just like you learned to love.

We are very sorry that these bad people came into your town. There will always be people who will help you like your family, your best friend, and teachers. This is one more really big hug from us, the students of HP and everyone around the world.


Amerikas Hernandez and Dezyre’ Cushinberry

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