Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

June-07-10

ACLU Files Appeal Brief Challenging Sex-Segregation Case

On May 28, the ACLU Women's Rights Project and the ACLU of Louisiana filed an appeal brief challenging the legality of sex-segregated classes at Rene A. Rost Middle School in the Vermilion Parish School District of Kaplan, Louisiana. The ACLU contends that the school district's policy, which is based on the idea that sex-segregated classes cater to the different learning styles of boys and girls, is in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments, the Equal Education Opportunities Act, and the US Constitution.

The case originated in August 2009 after "Joan Doe", a mother of two students at the school learned that her daughters would be forced to enroll in sex-segregated classes, despite Rene A. Post being a public, coeducational school. Several weeks later, after Joan Doe was told that the district would be revising their system to introduce more coeducational options, she found that the revised system only allowed students to choose between sex-segregated classes and pre-existing coeducational special education classes.

In September, the ACLU filed suit against Vermilion Parish School District on behalf of Joan Doe. In April, the ACLU reports that a district court rejected their request for a preliminary injunction against the program, citing that the sex segregated program did not breach the Equal Education Opportunities Act as the program was not meant to damage the students. The court remarked that the sex-segregated program required modification because it was based on "extremely flawed" data and had been wrongfully implemented.

An amicus brief filed by the National Women's Law Center states that "because of the Defendants' failure to show an exceedingly persuasive justification for the single-sex plan, the plan is unconstitutional both as implemented and as modified by the order of the District Court." The brief continues, "The inaccurate, unreliable, and inconclusive study on which Vermilion Parish's single-sex classes are based and the harmful stereotypes about differences in the interests and abilities of boys and girls that it claims supports the differentiated instruction simply cannot survive heightened constitutional scrutiny."

The ACLU Blog of Rights argues that "It is indeed unlikely that any sex segregation within a coed school can be acceptable under Title IX, which was intended to prohibit sex-based distinctions among students in the same manner that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited race-based classifications." It continues, "The real world does not segregate men from women. A public school environment that teaches that males and females are so fundamentally different that they must be educated separately does all children - and ultimately society - an injustice."

Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 2/26/10; American Civil Liberties Union 5/28/10; United States Court of Appeals 5/28/10; American Civil Liberties Union 2/24/10


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1. The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
 
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case. UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
 
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately. The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .