Two school districts have implemented same-sex educational programs, prompting the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to file a federal complaint against them.
ACLU claims that two schools, Middleton Heights Elementary in Middleton, Idaho and Huffman Middle School in Birmingham, Alabama violated federal law “by forcing students into a single-sex environment with little or no alternative options, rely on harmful gender stereotypes and deprive students of equal educational opportunities merely because of their sex.”
According to ACLU, Birmingham schools produce specific guidelines on how to teach boys to behave like men. On the other hand, Idaho schools provide boys with an environment of exercise and movement while girls are limited to a ‘quiet environment.’ Also, to reinforce a stereotype that boys are more competitive than girls, boys are seated shoulder-to-shoulder while girls are seated face-to-face.
“We understand that teachers and parents want to provide the best education for their children,” Christina Brandt-Young, an attorney for the organization explained. “But coeducation was never the problem with failing schools, and single-sex programs are not the answer. These programs are poorly designed and based on pseudoscience and stereotypes that do nothing to enhance learning, and only reinforce discredited ideas about how boys and girls behave.”
Perhaps Alabama and Idaho need to take a page from the Swedish school system of gender neutrality.