weekly activity 3.2

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Instructions: Read the following case study carefully. Please answer the questions at the end of the case study. Your response should be at least 500 words in length.Be sure to answer each question completely.

Danny Green is in the eighth grade at Union Middle School. Danny lives with his mother and two younger brothers in a low-income housing development. The city commissioners have attempted numerous times to have the buildings condemned because of unsanitary and inhumane living conditions. However, each time the measure is voted down because local residents argue that if the housing development is condemned the people living there will have nowhere to go and will likely end up homeless. Danny’s teachers report that he is a “C” student at best and they feel that he really doesn’t make an effort to improve his academic standing. As a matter fact, Danny seems to do the minimum amount of work, which is just enough to keep his mother happy. Although Danny is not a stellar student, he has never been in any trouble at school. Lately, that has changed. He seems more aggressive and he has been verbally lashing out at his friends and some of his teachers. Recently, school officials learned that Danny may have been exposed to large doses of lead and manganese, which have been found in the housing development. (Manganese is used in steel production to improve hardness, stiffness, and strength of the steel.) Studies do show that exposure to these metals are significantly correlated with juvenile delinquency (e.g., Piquero, 1997). When brain chemistry is altered by exposure to heavy metals and other toxins, research suggests that people lose their ability to control violent behavior.

1. Do you think that Danny’s poor school performance may be linked to his exposure to the heavy metals? Why or why not?

2. Do you think that Danny’s aggressive behavior is linked to his exposure to the heavy metals? Why or why not?

3. As a city commissioner, what can you do about Danny’s situation? In other words, what policy recommendations would you make regarding Danny and the other citizens living in the housing development? Can your plan be reasonably implemented?

4. As a school official, what can you do about Danny’s situation? How would you try to get Danny (and his family) some help?

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