As part of Mrs. Gruwells struggle, she is faced with a group of students whose lives revolve around war, gangs, violence and protecting their own. Her racially opposing students most often choose to be a part of the epidemic which now governs the school. Yet, Mrs. Gruwell takes on the challange to defeat the odds. She realizes that these kids are looked down on because of their race and as a result they rebel and create borders among themselves.
These mini territories are created to bring a sense of equality among those of the same race. Overcoming adversity, family relationships, inequality in education, success and goal setting is what Mrs. Gruwell aims to have instilled in those around her. A theme which surfaces in the movie is that of Mrs. Gruwells courage. How would one react if they were placed in such a troubled school setting away from the safe environment that they are used to?
Mrs. Gruwell had the courage to take on the task of helping those to pursue their goals. Her never ending attempts to teach the unteachables and her desire to help her students succeed are inspiring. Her attempts to relate with so many of her different economic, cultural and racial students took a lot of courage. Another difficult challenge for Mrs. Gruwell was to teach students who were at war with each other.