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Father-figure battles to keep kids in school

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Willie Thornton is on a rescue mission. One morning in March he set out to save Desmond Dunklin, a 19-year-old who should have graduated last year from Greenville High School in Greenville, Alabama.

Thornton, 48, the school’s dropout prevention coordinator, and Lt. Malcolm Owens, the school’s police officer, drive the five minutes to Dunklin’s house.

“I need for you to show up,” Thornton tells a sleepy Dunklin, who clearly has just been awakened by the men’s repeated knocking on his door.

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The basis of the rebuttal