ACLU fights single-sex classes

A Louisiana middle school’s single-sex classes are being challenged by the ACLU, which will be in court Wednesday arguing that mandatory sex segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.

Rene A. Rost Middle School, a middle school in Vermilion Parish, offers both single-sex and coed classes.  However, parents sued when both daughters were placed in all-girl classes and told the coed classes were full.

It seems like there should have been an easy fix for this. But it will be interesting to see if the court thinks access to coed classes is an equal rights issue.

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  1. I would argue that even non-mandatory sex segregation is unconstitutional. Separate but equal has already been shot down as inherently unequal. If you want single-sex education, then private schools are the way to go.

  2. A lawyer friend of mine once wondered what “equality” principle requires non-discrimination wrt race but allows (oe even requires) discrimination wrt sex in athletics. He had no answer. What if track meets did not have separate categories for men and women? How often would women win foot races, shotput, or high jump?

    I’m old-school. The fewer items on the table, the easier to reach agreement. Here’s the principle: if we disagree, take the issue off the table. So…require near-unanimous agreement for all State (government, generally) functions and where near-unanimous agreeement is impossible (or unnecesssary) leave the function to non-State agents.

    Get the government out of the education business and allow non-State actors to discriminate on the basis of any silly reason whatsoever and a raft if contentious issues become non-issues.

  3. The Jr. High in our district tried it but the ACLU waited until 3 days before school started to file suit. The school abandoned the plan. One little girl wanted to have boys in her class. The spoiled brat and her selfish parents didn’t care that it was better for everyone.

  4. It appears my school is not only planning an all girl class, but one just for Asian Pacific Islander girls.

    “Em-power is looking for Asian Pacific Islander girls who you feel would benefit from their services? These girls would have an elective class during the school day. If you have any suggestions, please reply.”

    What happened to Title IX?

  5. Single sex classes – or even schools – aren’t discrimination. Boys and girls develop at different rates. It would also take away a lot of the distraction for both sexes. I have no problem with it. Those who do…just send your kids elsewhere.

  6. I think it is a great idea for middle school, especially, but it must be a choice. We have some single sex classes in PE and shop, but kids can opt for co-ed sections.

  7. The ACLU should have bigger fish to fry, like schools closing for religious holidays. The argument being; if the schools didn’t close, no one would attend that day. Whatever happened to separation of church and state?

    Religious days such as Good Friday should not be days off from school. There are Jewish holidays that fall into the same category. Of course Christmas in the middle of a week is disguised in many districts by calling it Winter Recess.

    Come on ACLU. Be consistent, already.

  8. Title IX used to strictly prohibit single sex classes in shop and PE and all classes in public schools.

    Was it revised? Repealed? Or did they just stop enforcing it?

  9. Paul: Some districts, like Montgomery County (MD), do not have school on the Jewish holidays. The decision probably reflects the size of the local Jewish community. When I moved to that area in the late 70s, I was told that schools had been open on those days in the past, but that so many of the teachers (and substitutes) were Jewish that it was not possible to find enough substitutes to cover their absence.

  10. Schools ought to be open on religious holidays and teachers & students should get a reasonable number of excused absences to use on the holidays of their choice. So if I’m Catholic, I could go on Yom Kippur & Rosh Hashanah but skip Ash Wednesday & Good Friday.

    My DH’s office does that. He covers for his Jewish colleagues on their holidays and they cover for him on Catholic holidays.

  11. What I find truly stunning, especially given the universally accepted REALITY that boys are under performing in Education at every single level…is that these programs are for GIRLS…


    So how badly undereducated do boys have to get before they’re given a fair shake? Do they have to become a permanent underclass of “support workers” (read: janitor) in the new Matriarchy before they deserve some kind of consideration? Will they get it even then?

    70-80+% of teachers are female, yet no affirmative action to draw men into the profession? Why not?

    Sexism is destroying the Education system, more than any other toxin.

  12. Men don’t want to be teachers for some unfathomable reason.

  13. Not too sure how well the ACLU will fare if the school district puts up a fight… I’ve read of other public schools (some in California that I remember) that have been running same-sex classes for a while. If I remember correctly, as long as the classes are segregated and not the schools, the districts were not found in violation of any law.

    When I read the article I saw no mention of any intended benefit for girls only. I have taught unintentionally all-male classes before (scheduling just worked out that way), and I can say that the classes were awesome. Plain and simple, for 99% of the school population, boys and girls have different interests and ways to interact, and focusing on just one benefited both me and them.


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