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Erin Gruwell

Erin Gruwell (born 15 August 1969) is an American teacher. Gruwell began student teaching in 1994 at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California. As a student teacher, she was assigned the lowest-performing students in the school. One student, a boy she referred to as "Sharaud", seemed determined to make her life miserable. However, a few months into the school year one of her other students passed a note depicting Sharaud (an African American) with extremely large lips. Infuriated, Gruwell told the class that that was the type of caricature that the Nazis had used during the Holocaust. When only one of the students knew what the Holocaust was, Gruwell changed the theme of her curriculum to tolerance.