Interesting question! In the book The Freedom Writers many of the students are unwilling to associate with other students from different ethnic or racial backgrounds.
Throughout the book, students comment about their unwillingness to associate with others from different backgrounds. Although many of the students find this behavior in others (such as during their reading of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet) to be wrong or illogical, they find the segregation to be normal with themselves.
In the book, several of the students express that blending the different backgrounds into one classroom seems problematic. Many of the students segregate during lunch. This appears normal to many of the students. As one student reveals:
“This school is just asking for trouble when they put all of these kids in the same class. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.”
Although there are numerous different explanations about this intolerance, there are some particularly noteworthy causes. As some students illustrate, the segregation has existed for years; thus, change seems unlikely. Furthermore, many of the students do not believe they can cause a change of such magnitude. Others appear scared of upsetting their parents. Lastly, violence instills this separation as well.
Consequently, segregation is commonly seen in this book. Throughout the story, students begin to question the intolerance. However, several factors encourage their unwillingness to associate, such as violence and fear.