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

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.

Make a Difference

Your support helps the ACLU defend women's rights and a broad range of civil liberties.

Give Now

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.

Statistics image