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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!)
Though the teacher has known the student for two years, it sounds like there is still more to know about this student. If a student has a religious belief about activities that will be required for the class to do, then the parents do need to notify the teacher of these concerns/issues. I think the teacher should call a parent meeting to discuss the matter and maybe they could come up with a compromise about working with the male students. However, if the parents are reluctant to meet with the teacher to explain the issue, the teacher could at least be a little lenient and not group this student with the majority being males in her group.