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Minority students share fears about future under Trump presidency

DENVER -- The presidential election results proved disappointing for about half of the American people.

But for some Denver metro area students, the election of Donald Trump means fear.

Minorities, especially Latinos, woke up Wednesday morning with anxiety over what a Trump presidency means for their futures.

At Noel Community Arts School in Montbello, about 70 percent of students are Latino.

On Wednesday morning, teachers noticed kids were visibly upset, some crying, others angry. So, they started talking about it.

Teachers learned Trump’s election is so much more concerning for them because they feel personally targeted.

"At first, I was very shocked, distraught about it," junior Naomi Martinez said.

"I expected the tears. I expected the sorrow. I remember waking up and crying in bed and saying,' What will I say to my kids? How do we deal with today?' said language arts teacher Stephanie Cohen.

Minority students said they’re scared about Trump as  president with talk of banning Muslims, building walls and deportation squads.

"He proposed (deporting illegal immigrants) to be his main goal for his political career. He's going to get it done," senior Elena Martin Hernandez said.

Students shared their frightened feelings during an all-school assembly, then in classes.

"To me, it hurts me because I know some people’s families might be deported. He’s breaking the love and laughter and happiness in some people’s family. It’s not OK,” a freshman girl said.

Those feelings then put onto paper and read as a letter to the community.

"We are feeling shocked and astonished at the results of this year’s election. We do not understand how anyone could vote for a man who has shown such disrespect to all the members of our community,” reads the letter.

It continues for six paragraphs. It ends with, “We can’t stand in silence as the voices of our peers and friends are targets. …We are united in defending their voices and our voices. Hatred is not welcomed here. We will continue to seek our education; we will continue to shine. We are unconquered. We are strong. We are Noel Community Arts High School.”

"When I came to them today, I said, 'I get to go home and maybe my life won't be affected by this. But it breaks my heart that your lives could change,’" Cohen said.

But in the end, students go from shock to understanding that a single man can't change all their lives.

Only they can control being their best.

"We need to give a message that just because he won, we are not going to give up," Martinez said.

Cohen said the election of Trump could actually serve to motivate some students to be more involved in school and government.