The First Bell series is a growing collection of stories from students, parents, and educators about pivotal experiences in education. To tell your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org with "My First Bell" in the subject line or tweet with the hashtag #MyFirstBell.
Parrish went to Istrouma High School in Baton Rouge during the mid ‘70s.
He was a jock with a lot of anger, caught up in the racial violence of the time.
And then he walked into Fred Shirley’s English class
Shirley was the teacher who would introduce Parrish to counter-cultural books like the Great Gatsby and Slaughter House Five.
And he showed Parrish there was a different way to be a man.