The ACLU alleges the school uses different teaching techniques for girls and boys. They also allege that the segregation is not voluntary, but mandatory:
Records show that the school uses different teaching methods for boys and girls and separates the majority of its students into single-sex homerooms. It also separates boys and girls in all core subjects, as well as extracurricular activities and non-academic periods such as lunch and recess.
The ACLU insists they school has provided no evidence to show that these decisions are producing any beneficial educational results. From the ACLU press release:
Instead, Somerset Middle School’s program promotes impermissible, overly broad stereotypes concerning the interests and abilities of boys and girls. The school presented materials outlining numerous purported differences between boys and girls, including the following claims:
· Girls and boys are ”genetically programmed” to learn differently
· ”Girls and guys notice different things (boys: motion; girls: bright colors and people)”
· ”Girls are more easily distracted than boys and prefer quiet and focus”
· ”Girls hear better”
· ”Boys are messy”
· ”Teams work for boys as boys value team affiliation above friendship”
· ”Adulthood in terms of brain development is age 22 for females and age 30 for males”
· ”Girls draw nouns. Boys draw verbs”
Wow. This is a huge crock, isn’t it? How long has this school been getting away with this?
The programs are based on the teachings of two proponents of sex-segregated education. Both of their ideas are thoroughly outdated, filled with stereotypes and frankly, ridiculous. Dr. Leonard Sax believes “boys who like to read, do not enjoy contact sports and do not have many close male friends should be firmly disciplined, required to spend time with ‘normal males’ and forced to play sports.” Author Michael Gurian believes boys are just naturally better at certain subjects and should also been given time during the day to hit things. Not kidding:
Boys are better than girls in math because their bodies receive daily surges of testosterone… Boys are abstract thinkers and so are naturally skilled at subjects such as philosophy and engineering… Boys should be given Nerf baseball bats with which to hit things so they can release tensions during class.
Oh boy. That an entire administration of a school got behind these ideas is pretty disturbing. That parents don’t mind their kids are being taught in such a fashion is disturbing as well.
The ACLU demands that the OCR “investigate and enforce federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on sex in schools and ensure that the sex-separation program is discontinued.”
(photo: Getty Images)