AL School Sued by ACLU: ‘Boys Are Better Than Girls in Math Because Their Bodies Receive Daily Surges of Testosterone’
The American Civil Liberties Union is asking the U.S. Department of Education to investigate what it calls “unlawful” single-sex education programs in Birmingham’s Huffman Middle School and another district in Idaho.
The ACLU filed complaints with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, saying the programs appear to violate federal law by forcing students into a single-sex environment with little or no alternative options, rely on harmful gender stereotypes and deprive students of equal educational opportunities merely because of their sex.
“We understand that teachers and parents want to provide the best education for their children. But coeducation was never the problem with failing schools, and single-sex programs are not the answer,” said Christina Brandt-Young, attorney with the ACLU Women’s Rights Project. “These programs are poorly designed and based on pseudoscience and stereotypes that do nothing to enhance learning, and only reinforce discredited ideas about how boys and girls behave.”
The single-sex program at Huffman Middle School has been in place since 2010 and students who wish to be in coeducational classes must transfer to another school. Huffman students are separated by sex for all classes, even during lunch.
According to the complaint filed by the ACLU, instructions for teaching boys call for stressing heroic behavior that shows what it means to “be a man.” According to the ACLU, the school relied on a book that teaches that boys are better than girls in math because their bodies receive daily surges of testosterone, while girls have similar skills only a few days per month when they experience increased estrogen during the menstrual cycle.
This is harmful, no doubt, but also kind of weird.