Target: Dr. Patrick Law, Superintendent of Wood County, West Virginia School District
Goal: Stop the practice of segregating students at Van Devender Middle School by gender
Van Devender Middle School currently has a practice of segregating students by gender. The two classes are kept in very different environments, and are not treated equally. This is a clear violation of Title 9, by giving the students different and sometimes preferential treatment based on their gender. The school district is disrupting the students’ ability to get an education by keeping them apart in these differing classes.
Everything about the classrooms for the boys and the girls is different, including the lighting and the temperatures. Girls are forced to sit quietly at their desks while boys are allowed to move around the classroom. If students misbehave, even in minor ways such as a girl fidgeting, they are sent to the other gender’s classroom and not allowed to participate in the lessons. The school claims that many studies support the idea that boys and girls learn in different ways, and base their classes accordingly. However, the overall performance of the students at this school has faced a sharp decrease since the introduction of segregated classes.
The ACLU has asked the school to stop this practice, and they have refused. In its argument, the ACLU cited the regulations put forward by Title 9 for segregated classes: ‘The first is that schools must offer persuasive justification for the decision. The programs must be completely voluntary, meaning that parents and students have the option of declining this. And third, there must be a substantially equal co-educational alternative that has to be available within the school.’ All that Van Devender has done is offer some justification, but the ACLU and other critics are hesitant to call it persuasive. There are no other options available for the students, nor are the two classrooms equal. These reasons show that the segregated classes are violating the students’ rights, and should be stopped.
Dear Dr. Law:
Van Devender Middle School currently segregates students by gender. The classrooms for the students are very different environments, which gives the students different and sometimes preferential treatment based on gender. This is a violation of Title 9, which protects students from discrimination based on gender.
I ask you to stop the practice of segregating students. The students of Van Devender Middle School are failing to get a good education because of this. The performance of the students has been shown to drop dramatically since the single-sex classrooms were introduced. This segregation is both harmful to the students and a violation of their rights. Stop it now, and let the students get a normal and useful education.
[Your Name Here]