“No matter what race we are, what ethnic background, sexual orientation, or what views we may have, we are all human. Unfortunately, not all humans see it that way.” –Erin Gruwell, The Freedom Writers Dairy. Freedom writers a film about a teacher,Erin Gruwell who is very enthusiastic and thrilled new teacher. She leaves her comfort life from her town Newport Beach to teach high school in Long Beach. In the beginning of the movie Gruwell’s character thinks that she is going to get achieving students but promptly understands that the students are not teachable according to the school staff. Gruwell is challenged by a group of Black, Latino and Asian gang members who hate her even more than each other. The students of classroom 203 are not interested in education or school in general. They come from such neighborhoods that it is a huge task just to get to the school every day. After an occasion that brings about the death of a student at Wilson High School and Gruwell catches a very horrible cartoon drawing. Gruwell actually is able to bond with her students. Gruwell starts to really let the students feel that they are more then capable and can go places in their lives. As the movie continues she begins to use a very different approach to teach these “not teachable” students. Gruwell motivates her students and help them see life from a whole new perspective. She eventually has the students write down their experiences and feelings in journals she bought with her own money. These journals really help the students connect with each other provide an outlet for them as well. The rest of the movie is showing Gruwell teaching her student’s through their years in high school and bringing in people to help motivate her students. Erin Gruwell becomes so dedicated to her new job as teacher and her students her life starts to fall apart. Her husband ends up leaving her and is she constantly challenged by a staff member from higher ups. As the class begins to read The Diary of Anne Frank after visiting a Holocaust museum the students are inspired and get more involved in the classroom activities. The first guest she brings to her students is Miep Gies, who is the woman who helped protect Anne Frank. At this point in the film the one the students is affected by the story of Anne Frank and especially meeting Miep Gies that her life begins to change for the better. She understands that she needs to do the right thing concerning the murder of a student earlier in the film. Gruwell eventually tells her students to write their journal entries in book form. She then takes all the entries and puts them together and names it “The Freedom Writers Diary”. The film then ends with telling the audience that Gruwell was actually able to bring many of students to graduation and send them to college. The film demonstrates a lot of the topics we have talked about in class. Social conflict theory applied to this film is how Erin Gruwell’s students who don’t have that many recourses verses, the other students on campus who’ve had a lot of more resources.
Gruwell’s student’s education compared to some of the other students on campus who have a lot more education obtain a lot more opportunities. Ms. Gruwell finds out that the only way to connect with her students in their learning is to provide them with material that they can connect with and have a say in. She is met with a lot of confrontation on the part of the school staff at her school on the base of budget restrictions, lack of materials. In order to make the children feel worthy, she personally buys all new books for them to read by picking up two different part time jobs. Another example for social conflict theory applied to this film would have to be the minorities. The school is mostly made up of minorities and the people in “power” the principle and teachers are mostly white. Most of the students in the class are either gang members or know