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Feminist News


September-10-09

Sex Segregation Suit Filed in Louisiana

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a sex segregation lawsuit Tuesday against the Vermilion Parish School District in Louisiana. The complaint was filed on behalf of the unnamed parent of two students who claim they were denied equal opportunity for co-educational classes at Rene A. Rost Middle School after being assigned to single-sex classrooms.

According to the complaint (see PDF), "Plaintiff Joan Doe was told that if she wanted to attend co-educational classes, those classes would be held with the 'special needs' section, which is not being segregated on the basis of sex" and that "Plaintiff Jill Doe attempted to enroll in co-educational classes at Rene A. Rost and was told that the classes were 'full,' and that she must maintain a sex-segregated schedule."

The school district's superintendent Randy Schexnayder told the Associated Press that about 25% of students at the middle school are in co-educational classes and that single-sex classes are voluntary.

Emily Martin, Deputy Director of the ACLU's Women's Rights Project, said in a press release, "We have seen time and time again that sex segregated programs are inherently unequal for both girls and boys and in some instances, can shut students out of the best classes in the school simply because of their sex...Sex segregation leaves students less prepared for success in a coeducational world. In fact, there is no consistent evidence that segregating students by sex improves learning for either boys or girls."

Media Resources: ACLU Press Release 9/8/09; Associated Press 9/8/09; Jane Doe v. Vermilion Parish School Board