The Student Who Raged Against My Politics

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During the first few weeks that Ashley Lamb-Sinclair taught 15-year-old Connor Cummings’ sophomore English class, the two of them had a great rapport. But their relationship changed dramatically a few months later, when Lamb-Sinclair returned from maternity leave. It was 2012, an election year, and the teacher started getting pushback from some students at North Oldham High School, located in a Louisville, Kentucky suburb, about her liberal leanings. Connor was a ringleader of the resistance. On one memorable occasion he erupted during a heated class discussion, shouting something along the lines of, “Liberals like you are ruining the country.” All of Lamb-Sinclair’s efforts to talk through differences with Connor that year proved in vain. It wasn’t until years had passed that the two of them had a frank discussion about what had transpired in the classroom that spring. And Lamb-Sinclair learned that, for Connor, the outbursts and rage were about far more than politics.

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