Freedom Writer

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Freedom Writes
“ In Long Beach all comes down to what you look like Latino, Asian, Black, or white. We fight each other over territory; we kill each other over race, pride, and respect. We fight for what is ours. They think they’re winning by jumping me now, but soon they’re all going down, war has been declared.”

Freedom Writes are students from different backgrounds and gangs facing many hardships in their personal lives: physical violence, emotional abuse, substance abuse, Poverty, homelessness, gang violence, and deaths of family and friends to the streets.

The Teacher Mrs. Gruwell connects education with her troubled student’s daily lives to bring them together past the boundaries drawn by gangs. She is the teacher of her 23, “below school average,” Students. Due to different experiences, Mrs. Gruwell at the beginning struggles to understand how to educate students affiliated in gangs who struggle to survive every day.

In her classroom, students sit next to those of similar race and reject to acknowledge those who are different. Any acknowledgement between different races results in fights breaking out in the courtyard. Another pattern of behavior is those of similar race coming to aide “their own” during fights whether it is with guns or fists. “The man that put your father in prison, he knew he was sending an innocent man. But you know, he was just protecting his own”. Furthermore, in Freedom Writers, Caucasians are give special treatment by being placed in honors classes while African Americans, Latinos and other minorities are denied that right. “Being black made me an automatic outsider” The objective for the class of room 203 demanded by the school was just to keep the students for as long as they will show up to class.

Mrs. Gruwell learning objective to her students was for them to graduate high school and attend college she never gave up on the even when situation got dangerous,...
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