Mitchell Harlow, a 16-year-old boy currently attending an inner-city high school in the Bronx, amazed some of his teachers yesterday when his standardized test scores placed him in the top five percentile of other students his age across the country. Mitchell’s math teacher, however, was not surprised by the score’s results.
“Mitchell doesn’t try very hard,” Mitchell’s math teacher Deborah Swinton reportedly said during a Parent-Teacher Conference with Mitchell’s single mother who’s struggling to balance three jobs. “But he’s a bright boy. He only pretends to be unintelligent to fit in with the other boys his age.”
Ms. Swinton then recommended that Mitchell be placed in advanced classes, however Mitchell’s mother is against this idea and wants her son to leave school and find a job so he can help raise his younger siblings.
This of course has left Mitchell conflicted. Deep down the high school student wants to continue his scholastic career and eventually go to college despite peer pressure from his friends to ignore schoolwork. At the same time, Mitchell feels that staying home and helping his mother is the right thing to do for the family, despite his youngest sibling urging him to continue schooling because she no longer can due to a generic, chronic illness.
Mitchell will presumably have the spend the course of the next few months battling these internal conflicts over a period of short, minutes-long interactions and occurrences that total to about two hours while trying to win the respect of his peers and acceptance of his mother. Also Ms. Swinton could be played by Sandra Bullock.
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