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  Case: Cannot Cooperate
Aisha is known as a responsible and smart student. I have known her for the last two years, but this year is the first time she is taking one of my classes. She is in my 10th grade US History class. Recently, I started using small group projects in my class. I simply want my students to learn to cooperate, exchange ideas, and produce the project together. Although Aisha is willing to take part in these small group projects, she does not want to be in groups with male students because of her religious beliefs. When she told me about this, I told her that she was in the United States and that she had to work with whoever she is in a group with. In the first group project, Aisha was in a group with three males and one female students. She simply did not participate in any of the group activities. I wonder if should reconsider my original position on this issue and accommodate Aisha by having her work only with girls. Would I be doing her a disservice? What should I do?
Solution: (Rates are posted for this solution!)
I think it is unfair of you to make her work with male students if it is against her religious beliefs. How would you like it if someone forced you to do something that is against your beliefs because you are in their country? The United States prides itself on freedom. You are not allowing her this simple and basic right. Even "illegal immigrants" have basic rights when they are in this country, even if they are here illegally. It is what the United States prides itself on-freedom. If I were you, I would allow her to work with all females and maybe talk with her parents to see if you could work something out with them. You could also allow her to speak to a counselor. That might help as well. You could also try to research her religion to see if you could get a better understanding on why her beliefs are this way. Be compassionate. Not everyone is like you or believes what you believe.