Press Play to start audio

September 15, 2008

At-Risk Teacher

Produced by


Last September, Connie Heerman couldn't wait to teach her students about The Freedom Writers Diary. It's a book about "at-risk" students just like Connie's, who lead chaotic lives and have little expectation of finishing high school. Through perseverance and the guidance of a dedicated teacher, all of the students featured in the book made it to college. 

Since the book contains swear words and racial slurs, Connie repeatedly requested permission from her school administration to teach the book. When she received no response, she went ahead and gave the books out to her kids, and started teaching the unit. 

When the school found out, Connie was suspended for insubordination. She continues to plead her case. She talks with Dick Gordon about standing up for her students and for herself.

Tough Job: How To Drive Defensively

Anthony Ricci discovered early on that cars could be used defensively.  He now teaches bodyguards, Navy SEALS, and contractors headed to war zones how to protect themselves through driving techniques. He talks with Dick about how hard it is teaching people who sometimes think they already know it all.

You might also like…

Daily Story Update

Get daily updates and special announcements about The Story.

Produced by

WUNC North Carolina Public Radio 91.5 logo