Freedom Writers

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The main events depicted take place between 1994–1996, beginning with scenes from the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Swank plays the role of Erin Gruwell, a new, excited school teacher who leaves the safety of her hometown, Newport Beach, to teach at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, a formerly high achieving school which has recently put an integration plan in place. Her enthusiasm is rapidly challenged when she realizes that her class are all "at-risk" high school students, also known as "unteachables", and not the eager-for-college students she was expecting. The high school students self-segregate into racial groups in the classroom, fights break out, and eventually most of the high school students stop attending class. Not only does Gruwell meet opposition from her high school students, but she also has a difficult time with her department head, who refuses to let her teach her high school students with books in case they get damaged and lost, and instead tells her to focus on training them discipline and obedience. One night, two high school students, Eva (April Lee Hernández), a Mexican American girl and narrator for much of the film, and a Cambodian refugee, Sindy (Jaclyn Ngan), frequent the same convenience store. An additional student, Grant Rice (Armand Jones) is frustrated at losing an arcade game and demands a refund from the owner. When he storms out, Eva's boyfriend attempts a drive-by shooting, intending to kill Grant but misses, accidentally killing Sindy's boyfriend. As a witness, Eva must testify at court; she intends to guard "her own" in her testimony. At school, Gruwell intercepts a racist drawing by one of her high school students and utilizes it to teach them about the Holocaust. She gradually begins to earn their trust and buys them composition books to record their diaries, in which they talk about their experiences of being abused, seeing their friends die, and being evicted. Determined to reform her high school students, Gruwell takes...
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