A young man lies on his bed, looking at the ceiling. Kelly Rowland sits across from him, worried. The young man is unaware of her existence. He grips his bag.
He walks downstairs to the kitchen, where his mother and sister are eating breakfast. Rowland is sitting on the counter, observing. Her mother looks to him, her eye bruised. The young man gasps and the mother puts her hands over head, embarrassed. His sister has checked out her mother’s crying. He leaves for school.
He walks into school alone. As he passes the lockers, Rowland is scared. He walks into the bathroom. A young woman passes by the lockers and jumps when she hears a gunshot.
Rowland sits in a classroom of disconcerted students. The young woman walks inside the bathroom and into the stall. She finds the young woman, dead and screams. She runs for help.
The ambulance is outside the school. The coroner picks up his body and carries it out. Rowland sits on a tree branch, watching the students who are gathered. A reporter sticks a microphone in some student’s faces. Another young woman bursts into tears.
At school, the young man would eat his lunch by himself. A popular junior would point and mock him as he ate his sandwich. Meanwhile, students are talking about what type of person he was to reporters.
The young woman shuts a cabinet in the bathroom and cries in the corner. She visits the doctor, in tears. She considered herself a good Christian girl. She didn’t think she would get pregnant the first time.
At the basketball court, a young man dunks the ball into the net. Next, he is lifeless on the pavement, his eyes wide open. About five minutes ago, he had been talking his crush when his friend let him know a group of guys who were after him arrived. He looks and then is shot. His friends race over and someone calls 911.
The young woman visits the mural for the two young men who died, her baby in the stroller. She takes a look at her little boy, who is sleeping. A man raises a basketball to the mural in memory of his friend. Rowland stands by the mural as the students come to grieve.
The young woman writes “Think before you act” by the painting of the young man she found dead in the bathroom a year before. She returns home. Rowland walks away while some students linger.
The teenagers had a lot of life and potential inside them. For the young man, who committed suicide, he could’ve grown up to become a lawyer, helping out woman like his mother. The second young man could’ve gone on to college on basketball scholarship, graduated with honors with a degree in sports medicine. Both young men could’ve had families and broken the cycles of violence and poverty in their homes.
The young woman, though, still has a chance. Her teen years may be over. However, she can go back to school once the baby is older and get her GED. She can take night classes at the community college to become a nurse. Her life may not have turned out the way she planned but there is still hope and the beginning of a new dream.
As Kelly Rowland observes, she wishes she could help. She was like them once and lost her life in the process. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the classroom, where she once sat ten years ago, she sees the broken students, silently pleading for someone to listen to them and believe they matter.
Director: Sanaa Hamri Year: 2002
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