Paul's science class is assigned a big research project, which they have to do in groups.
Paul forms a group with Tino, Joey, Theresa, and a kid named Henry D.
Tino's cool with it, but makes sure they know he's in charge.
Joey gets mad at Paul for putting him in the same group as Tino, and when Paul explains that it'll help him make friends with more soccer team members, Joey tells him that he quit the team.
Paul can't believe it, but Joey goes on to say he doesn't want to play soccer at all anymore. He's going to switch to football.
Then Joey says something awful about Tangerine Middle School. And we mean awful: "This place is like darkest Africa. Like the Amazon jungle. Like we're learning to live among the natives here" (2.11.31).
Paul reflects, "I took in the ugliness of Joey's words, and I saw, for the first time, how different he was from me—different parents, different friends, different brother" (2.11.32)
But does Paul stand up to his friend? Nope. Instead, he just mutters, "I'm sorry you feel like that" (2.11.32), and heads out into the hall, without Joey.