FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK -- The American Civil Liberties Union expressed disappointment today over the release of new Title IX regulations that invite sex segregation in public schools.
Title IX was passed in 1972 and requires gender equity for boys and girls in every educational program that receives federal funding. The new regulations, however, invite public schools to segregate students by sex, both at the classroom and the schoolhouse level, leaving the door open for school districts to provide very different classroom experiences to boys and girls, on the basis of overbroad and inaccurate gender stereotypes.
The following quote may be attributed to Emily Martin, Deputy Director of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project:
“The ACLU is committed to ensuring that all children have access to quality and equitable education regardless of sex. Sex segregation is not the way to achieve this goal. These regulations invite public schools to violate the Constitution, which forbids sex segregation in education in almost all instances. They represent a through-the-looking-glass interpretation of the Title IX statute, which flatly prohibits excluding any student from an educational program on the basis of their sex. By ignoring applicable law, the new regulations muddy the water and invite schools to undertake dangerous experiments with students’ civil rights.
“The regulations allow schools to separate girls and boys for virtually any reason they can dream up – including outdated and dangerous gender stereotypes. And although the Administration’s regulations claim to make these programs optional, sex segregation can never be truly voluntary. Girls are never allowed to choose to be in the boys' class. Boys' are never allowed to choose to be in the girls' class. That's the nature of segregation, and precisely why we as a society have chosen to reject segregation in schools.”
The ACLU’s 2004 letter to the Department of Education is available here: www.aclu.org/womensrights/edu/13176leg20040423.html
The ACLU was involved earlier this year in a challenge to single sex education in Livingston Parish, LA. For more information go to: www.aclu.org/womensrights/edu/26367prs20060803.html