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All of Scout's mistakes on the first day of school seem to come from her penchant for defending the wrongfully accused. After Miss Caroline discovered that Scout could read well above grade level, the teacher criticized her for it and demanded that her father stop teaching her how to read. Scout responded by defending herself--and Atticus. After recess, Miss Caroline blasted Scout for knowing how to write cursive, telling her that she shouldn't learn this skill until the third grade. Scout held her tongue this time, but when the teacher hounded Walter Cunningham Jr. for having no lunch money, Scout tried to explain why. But she ended up accusing Miss Caroline of "shamin' him," so the teacher "whipped" her with her ruler. The children erupted in laughter at this, bringing forth the teacher from the adjoining class to threaten the whole class. Like Atticus, Scout already had discovered a penchant for defending the underdog.
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