Selden v. Livingston Parish School Board - Statement of Michelle Selden, plaintiff

Document Date: August 2, 2006

My name is Michelle Selden and I am thirteen years old. I will be starting eighth grade at Southside Junior High on August 9, 2006.

I have gone to Southside since I started sixth grade. I have gone to public school in Livingston Parish since my parents and I moved here in 2000. Around half of the students at Southside are boys and about half are girls.

In about May of this year, at a school assembly, we were told that Southside was going to have all single-sex classes starting in the fall. That was the first I ever heard from any of the teachers or school officials about this plan, and by that time, the decision had already been made.

I don’t want to be required to attend all-female classes when I go back to school. I don’t agree that all girls learn one way and all boys learn another way. I don’t agree that all girls behave one way and all boys behave another way.

I just became certified as a scuba diver. I am a firefighter cadet, which is a junior volunteer firefighter. I have a purple belt in Shaolin Kung Fu. I don’t know whether most girls would be interested in these things or not. I have done these things because I wanted to, whether or not the “average girl” would want to.

I have always had boys in my classes before when I have gone to school. I don’t think that having boys in the class has made it hard for me to learn. I think that boys and girls should be treated the same way by teachers and that is unfair for girls to be taught one way and boys to be taught another.