Freedom writers paper

1 "Freedom Writers" Movie Paper Assignment Deborah Boyanski Columbia College CJAD 325 February 23, 2022
2 "Freedom Writers" Movie Paper Assignment Sometimes in life, there are opportunities to make the right decision or to take the wrong path. There are always two roads to take for everyone, regardless of who you are, where you come from, or what you have done. There are some people who have the love, patience and empathy for others who strive to help them succeed, no matter what the circumstances are. A good example of this is portrayed in the movie called Freedom Writers , in which a teacher shows how her effort can change so many lives by just understanding her students and showing them that she is devoted to helping them succeed. Even though everyone else had given up on these students, Erin Gruwell did not. This film shows how the juvenile justice system and schools have such a significant impact on juvenile behaviors. Plot Summary The movie shows how a young female teacher inspires her class at the risk of the students to help them learn tolerance and pursue education and understand its importance. The film is set back in 1994, when Erin Gruwell started her career as a sophomore and freshman teacher of English at Woodrow Wilson High School. The school had implemented a voluntary integration program two years before Erin's joining the school. Most of the existing teachers believed that the program had ruined the school, since the school's previous academic achievements were stellar. This integration program allowed many students who had both behavior issues as well as academic issues. The implication is that the school had recruited students, some of which are in gang groups and very stubborn. Erin was not prepared for what awaited her in the classroom. The students in her classroom live by strict generational codes that require them to protect themselves at all costs. Thus, most of them are in gangs seeking to defend their ethnicity or friends (LaGravenese, 2007). Erin voiced her opposition to a recent drive-by shooting to the
3 students and assigns a writing assignment to the students that wasn't graded, but also would not be read unless the students wanted her to read. This made the students open up to her. Erin fought obstacles with not only the students, but also with colleagues, who did not provide her with the resources she feels she needs to teach properly. Nonetheless, Erin was determined and indeed made significant changes among the students. Character Analysis The character of focus in this analysis is Andre Bryant, a Black American. On his first day at school, he seemed very annoyed and unpleasant with being at school by always leaning back on his desk. He also did not care about anything except himself. He started showing inappropriate behavior when he disapproved of anyone. Andre's life started changing in the second semester when the class was taken to Holocaust Museum, where he learned that studying is more important than fighting and gang life. Because of criminal behavior, his brother had been jailed for life. He started to interact with his classmates and became respectful to the teacher in his sophomore year. When he found that his brother's trial had been declared, he turned back to the old ways of selling drugs and skipping school. Andre, nonetheless, turned out to be a successful person in life, despite passing through many challenges in his life. Analysis of the Response by the Justice System and the Teacher The juvenile justice system is highly integrated and diversified since it encompasses both the community's justice system and social institutions. In Andre's case, both the juvenile justice system and the school played a significant role in changing the offenders differently. People are expected to commit delinquent acts irrespective of their race (Hirschfield, 2018). However, there is a varying frequency in which these acts are committed. According to Hirschfield (2018), justice does not mean that the bad guy has to go to jail but that someone has to pay for the crime.
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