This text is an abridged excerpt from chapters \f and 2 of Case Studies on Diversity and Social Justice \fducation, reproduced here \bith permission of Routledge. CASE STUDIES ON Diversity & Social Justice E d u c ati o n BY PAUL C. G\fRSKI & SEEMA G. P\fTHINI SAMANTHA, A VIVACIOUS seventh grader at Hillside School, a middle school in the predominantly low-in – come mountainous outskirts of north- ern Virginia, loves science class. By all apparent accounts, Samantha has a gift for the sciences, too. She aces all of her quizzes and tests and regularly helps classmates who are struggling with experiments. This makes it particularly diffi- cult for Ms. Grady to understand why Samantha rarely turns in her sci – ence homework. Wondering whether there was an issue at home, Ms. Grady has touched base several times with her colleagues who have Samantha’s younger siblings in their classes to see whether they were noticing similar patterns. To the contrary, she learned that her younger siblings always turn in their homework. Ms. Grady has reached out to Samantha every way she knows how, from pleading with her to offering to give her more advanced work that might engage her in new ways. On sev – eral occasions she has asked Samantha why she rarely turns in her homework. “It’s nothing,” Samantha typically responds. “I’ll do it next time. I promise.” Regardless of how often she calls Samantha’s parents, nobody answers.

Imagine how successful Samantha could be if only her parents cared enough to support her education, Ms. Grady has often thought to herself. As a conscientious teacher, Ms. Grady wants to support Samantha. On the other hand, she has roomfuls of other students who also need her atten – tion. And, when it comes down to it, Ms.

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Grady’s grading policy is clear: stu- dents are allowed to turn in one home- work assignment one day late without 44  TEACHING TOLERANCE penalty—she calls this her “life hap- pens” rule; but in every other instance, failure to turn in homework results in a grade of

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