Education A National Roundup

Plan for Same-Sex Classes Dropped by La. District Amid Legal Challenge

By Alyson Klein — August 08, 2006 1 min read

Under the threat of a lawsuit, a Louisiana school district last week dropped a plan to offer same-sex-only classes at two of its junior high schools.

The decision came Aug. 3, one day after the American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge on behalf of Michelle Selden, 13, an 8th grader at South Side Junior High School in the 23,000-student Livingston Parish school district. Ms. Selden and her parents said a single-sex learning environment would have led to different educational opportunities for boys and girls.

The suit sought to bar the district from implementing the plan, which had called for dividing most classes in the two schools by gender. It had been scheduled to go into effect on Aug. 9, the first day of school.

The plan would have violated both Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits schools that receive federal funds from discriminating on the basis of sex, and the Louisiana state constitution, said Joe Cook, the executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana, based in New Orleans.

A version of this article appeared in the August 09, 2006 edition of Education Week