Unlawful Single-Sex Education Case Settled in WV Court
A settlement reached this week between the ACLU of West Virginia and the Wood County Board of Education will result in the abandonment of single-sex education attempts for the next two years in the West Virginia school district.
Beginning in the 2010-2011 school year, Van Devender Middle School implemented a program requiring mandatory separation of students based on sex during all core curriculum classes. The separate classes were taught using gender-based strategies that have not been proven to improve student performance. Accommodations like seating arrangements, lighting, and punishments all differed based on "overly broad sex-based generalizations," according to the West Virginia ACLU. After the settlement was reached, an attorney with the ACLU praised the school's agreement to end the "blatantly unlawful program."
Representing the mother of three female Van Devender students who had experienced adverse effects from the gender-based strategies, the ACLU filed their 2012 lawsuit based on the program's violation of education equity, gender equality, and US Constitutional law. According to the ACLU, sex segregated classes in coed public schools are often inappropriately justified based on false beliefs that boys and girls learn differently and thus need to be taught differently and in sex separated classes.
The settlement also requires permission from the court for any future re-implementation of single-sex classroom programs in the Wood County school district.
Media Resources: ACLU 7/8/13; San Francisco Chronicle 7/2/13; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/4/12
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .