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Wisconsin Public School Practices Gender Discrimination, ACLU Says In Complaint

Title IX, are you still there? The ACLU files a complaint against a Wisconsin middle school whose leaders believe girls only perform well in math during hormone surges.
Wisconsin Public School Practices Gender Discrimination, ACLU Says In Complaint
Image from: flickr

Maybe the school's copies of the Constitution, its 14th amendment and Title IX got lost in the mail?

CHICAGO – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Wisconsin on Thursday asked the federal Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education to investigate a single-sex education program at a middle school in the Somerset School District in Wisconsin.

The ACLU complaint, which followed an analysis of documents received through open records laws, contends that the program violates federal and state law by relying on harmful gender stereotypes and depriving students of equal educational opportunities merely because of their sex, and potentially by failing to ensure that participation in the single-sex classes is truly voluntary.

“There is no solid evidence supporting the assertions about supposed differences between boys’ and girls’ brains that underlie these programs, and there is absolutely no evidence that teaching boys and girls differently leads to any educational improvements,” said Galen Sherwin, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project. “It’s harmful for schools to promote these types of generalizations about boys and girls.”

The complaint was filed against Somerset Middle School in Somerset, a village in St. Croix County.

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.

In addition to this being unlawful, Somerset produced no valid evidence demonstrating that sex separation or sex-differentiated teaching methods improve educational achievement or meet the program’s vague goals.

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,

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