Kaprice is the “surrogate mom” to many kids at Oakland High. Cherie even calls her “Mom,” like many other students do, and they all keep Kaprice updated on their grades and write her little notes, which Kaprice hangs all over her tiny office. “We are a family,” Kaprice tells them. “This is your sister. This is your brother. You have no say in the matter.”
Kaprice is completely dedicated to the students at Oakland High, and her nickname of “Mom” reflects this. Several of O High’s students are without one parent or another, and Kaprice helps to fill this role.
Kaprice’s office is “a safe zone for Richard,” and there she reminds him of his goals: “go to class, get your grades up, graduate, stay of jail, survive.” Richard asks to call Kaprice “Mom,” but she tells him no. Richard already has a loving mother, and Kaprice doesn’t want “to take that spot.” Instead, she says, “I’ll be your auntie.”
Richard’s goals reflect Oakland’s social inequalities. Richard’s goals do not include college, travel, or marriage and family like many other students’ do. Instead, he hopes for the bare minimum—to graduate high school and stay alive.