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Group of children standing in classroom
This is just a fantastic thing to have public money paying for: sex-segregated schooling that's all about reinforcing gender stereotypes. In Florida's massive Hillsborough County, that's exactly what's happening, according to a Title IX complaint the ACLU has filed, alleging that:
... trainings relied heavily on stereotypical emotional differences between boys and girls," such as the idea that "girls do not like to take risks and believe success is from hard work," while boys "show love through aggression." The complaint lists techniques employed in classrooms across the district: One teacher gave each girl a dab of perfume on her wrist for doing a task correctly, teachers comforted girls when they made a mistake, and teachers "spoke in a firmer and more authoritative and loud voice with the boys." Boys were also instructed to do jumping jacks before math and were allowed to bring their electronics to school if they behaved.

According to the complaint, the teachings also rely on the controversial idea that schools should be tailored based on innate biological differences between male and female brains—for example, that girls struggle with abstract thinking as it relates to math. "The assumption that such differences are innate or 'hardwired' is invalid," noted Scientific American in 2009. "Experiences change our brains."

There are arguments to be made for single-sex schooling, if it's done responsibly. But once you introduce perfume for girls and electronics for boys as rewards, never mind claims that girls have trouble with abstract thinking ... yeah, a Title IX complaint is in order. This is not a problem isolated to one county, either. Single-sex schooling is spreading, and ACLU complaints about it are spreading, too.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue May 20, 2014 at 07:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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