Former President Comments to High School Newspaper

by senior Caleb McCullough

The Pirate Press newspaper staff received an email of a lifetime October 17th from former President Barack Obama.

In preparation for the October issue’s feature on race relations at Hudson, seniors Hailey Elder and Abby Lashbrook reached out to Waterloo mayor Quentin Hart, and, on a whim, President Barack Obama-  both the first African-Americans in their respective offices-  for comment. Hart’s office replied almost immediately with a response from the mayor.

Much to her surprise, managing editor Lashbrook later received a reply from the 44th president of the United States. It read:

“Dear Abby,

 

“Thank you for your thoughtful message. At the heart of America’s founding is the idea that we are all created equal, and I’m glad you took the time to tell me how you feel.

 

Our country is home to people of every background and belief. While we may look different or come from different families, all of us deserve the same rights and opportunities. And as Americans, we share a lasting responsibility to show each other kindness and respect and to treat each other the way we want to be treated.

 

The more we practice those values in our own lives, the better off we will all be. By speaking out, you are helping hold our nation accountable to our highest ideals, and I hope you’ll stay engaged on the issues that matter to you.”

“At first, I didn’t think it was real,” Lashbrook said. “I was surprised to see such an influential person respond to a small town publication like us.”

The staff was excited to see the email during their work time on the district yearbook and newspaper website and tried to get it into the October issue. Unfortunately, the response came minutes too late and the newspaper had been sent to press by the publisher, Hudson Printing.

The feature on race and the president’s email can be viewed on the newspaper’s website: hudsonpiratepress.com. Also, the staff hopes if enough funds are raised, a special commemorative issue of the October issue, featuring the president’s quote, will run in the October 26th Hudson Herald.

Those wishing to contribute to having this special edition published may drop off donations for the printing costs at the high school office or mailed to the newspaper staff at 136 South Washington, Hudson, Iowa  50643.