ACLU files complaint over Hillsborough's single-sex classrooms - WFLA News Channel 8

ACLU files complaint over Hillsborough's single-sex classrooms

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The American Civil Liberties Union has a problem with how boys and girls are treated differently in single-sex classrooms in Hillsborough County. The American Civil Liberties Union has a problem with how boys and girls are treated differently in single-sex classrooms in Hillsborough County.
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Boys get to have an “electronics day”, while girls get “a dab of perfume” as a reward for a job well done.

The American Civil Liberties Union has a problem with how boys and girls are treated differently in single-sex classrooms in Hillsborough County.

The ACLU filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights asking for a federal investigation into Hillsborough County Public Schools.

The ACLU claims the district spent “almost $100,000 on outside consultants to promote the idea that boys’ and girls’ brains are inherently different.” The group also claims that teaching methods were based on “sex stereotypes in sessions with names like ‘Busy Boys, Little Ladies'.”

“We just received it late this evening and certainly will be sharing it with our attorney and going through their concerns,” said Superintendent MaryEllen Elia about the complaint.

“We do have two single-gender middle schools,” added Elia. The district also has ten other schools that have single-sex classrooms along with traditional classrooms.

“I think the strategies are different. It’s not that we aren't teaching science, we aren't teaching the standards. There are more activities perhaps that are more hands on but that cuts across both boys and girls. I can't say that it’s necessarily that different but when there are fewer distractions in the classroom that can also help and support academic success,” said Elia, who also told us both single gender schools have made huge improvements.

The ACLU made these claims in a press release Tuesday:

“The Complaint provides evidence that in Hillsborough County, impermissible gender stereotypes were incorporated into almost every aspect of the educational environment. For example, the District encouraged teachers in boys’ classrooms to “be louder” and “have high expectations,” while teachers in girls’ classrooms were expected to be “calmer” and “less critical.” In one instance, boys had an electronics day, where they could bring in all their electronics and play them if they behaved, while girls did not. In another, the teacher in a girls’ classroom gave each girl a dab of perfume on her wrist for doing a task correctly.”

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.

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