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Ms. Caroline sees a "cootie" in Burris Ewell's hair. This is undoubtedly lice. She is terrified, particularly since she has very little experience with country folk. Burris has traditionally only come to school on the first day, so he exits after this embarrassment and makes comments to Ms. Caroline that are so harsh she begins to cry. While Scout does feel some degree of empathy for her teacher, she soon loses respect for her when Ms. Caroline tells her that Atticus should not read to her from the newspaper anymore. Scout also learns just how harsh and abrasive the Ewell clan can be, which foreshadows the climactic events later in the novel.
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