October 30, 2008
“We fight each other for 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 Writers depicts students from different gangs facing problems from school life at day to gang violence at night. A new teacher at Wilson High School by the name of Myer Gies connects education with her troubled students’ daily lives to bring them together past the boundaries drawn by gangs.
Myer Gies teaches at Wilson High School, located in Long Beach. She is the teacher of her 23, “below school average,” students in room 203 where she teaches English. Due to different experiences, Myer Gies struggles to understand how to educate students affiliated in gangs who struggle to survive every day. “To realize what an experience or empirical situation, means, we have to call to mind the sort of situation that presents itself outside of school; the sort of occupations that interest and engage activity in ordinary life” (Dewey 302). 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 given special treatment by being placed in honors classes while African Americans and other minorities are denied that right. “Being black made me an automatic outsider” (Hooks 517).
The learning objective for the class of room 203 demanded by the school was to teach them a fifth grade reading level. Mrs. Gies learning objective was to graduate...