Racism and Kathryn Hess English

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Kathryn Hess
English 12/ Hero's quest
period 8
Mrs. Dunn
In the beginning of the movie Freedom Writers, the students initially only trust their peers from their racial groups. This is because they only trust the people in their gangs. Almost all the kids were in racially segregated gangs. At first, Ms. Gruwell has difficulty getting anything accomplished. Many of these students have never been shown any respect in the past. Eva and some of the other students tell Ms. Gruwell that they will not just hand her their respect, she must earn it. Ms. Gruwell begins to earn the respect of her students when she moves the students around, out of their racial divisions. She attempts to show the students that they are united by playing the “Line Game” with them. She puts a line of thick red tape across the classroom and tells the students to move forward when a statement she makes applies to them. Her most effective form of reaching out, however, comes in the form of a composition notebook. Trust is an important component of a teacher-student relationship because if a student doesn't trust the teacher, nothing the teachers teaches is affective.

Ms. Gruwell eventually managed to get her students to show tolerance for one another. She teaches them about the Holocaust and that despite the students’ ethnic backgrounds, they aren’t all that different from each other. For example, she takes them to the Museum of Tolerance. This shows that the students aren’t realistically the different despite the color of their skin or their ethnic background. This is important because Ms. Gruwell could not effectively teach the class until they could get along. As a result, the students begin to build up a tolerance for one another.Part of Ms. Gruwell’s outlook on racism was affected by her father. For example, growing up, her father was a civil rights worker. This shows that his work most likely  influenced her views on racism as she grew up. This is important because it taught her not...
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