boys in school

 Boys at work in their classroom.  Photo: Seattlepi/ Jessie L. Bonner / AP

Can someone tell me why the American Civil Liberties Union is determined to stamp out single sex education in public schools (evidently they can’t do it to independent schools)? Aren’t these the same people that say there is a right to same-sex marriage — that’s, like, single sex marriage?

When the US Education Department allowed some choice on this matter starting in 2006, more schools began to offer all-boy and all-girl classes and now some 500 have this option. In many, if not most, cases the aim is to help boys catch up to girls in achievement, by gearing methods to the different needs of either sex. There is also the small matter of removing the distractions that come from mixed classrooms. Parents can opt out if they want their kids in a co-ed classroom. So, no compulsion — right?

And yet in May the ACLU launched a national campaign against the practice and is targeting selected schools to force them to drop single sex classes. A number of schools have bowed to pressure. The pressure group, supported by the American Psychological Association, claim that segregated classes, even within a co-ed school, promote “gender stereotypes” and lead to “sexism”. They claim there’s “lots of data” and “evidence” to support their view. Really? If the studies are of the same calibre as the research about lesbian parenting that the APA has promulgated with the solemnity of holy writ, it will be perfectly useless.

Doug Bonney, legal director for the ACLU of Kansas and West Missouri, where he has succeeded in getting single sex classes suppressed in one school district, says they promote “false stereotypes about sex-based differences that don’t exist.”

That’s the agenda, isn’t it? To deny differences between the sexes and make us all homosexuals. And they further try to discredit single sex education in public schools by tracing its roots to the South and opposition to desegregation.

Nancy Levit, a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, addressed this issue at a meeting of the Association of American Law Schools: “Think about it, in terms of race,” she said. “What would people say if the state paid for an all-white school or an all-black school? As long as there was a racial element nobody would have a problem seeing a constitutional difficulty.”

Well, piffle! Race and sex are completely different issues. Completely. And a federal judge said as much in a court case about single sex classes last year. No wonder single sex education advocate Dr Leonard Sax got hot under the collar about this nonsense.

“Either they’re really stupid and not able to grasp what the judge is saying in the ruling, or they’re being deliberately misleading,” he told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

The ACLU is clearly very selective about what it considers “civil liberties”.

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet