Nothing will stop Rachel. Her decision to fight for environmental justice through her academics was rooted in becoming involved with the ACLU. Her interest in Middelton’s same-sex classrooms is only the beginning.
Is the old, illegal educational theory of “separate but equal” dead? Not in Idaho, it isn’t. I am a debater, and in preparing for this year’s Public Forum debate, I researched the question: “Resolved: Single-gender classrooms would improve the quality of education in American public schools.”
I read that the ACLU had been working hard and succeeding on shutting down public, single sex classrooms. Why? Because the reasons used to justify single sex classes are both erroneous and sexist. The data starts by talking about how males can learn better in a different temperature than women- but it’s not just the temperature that’s the difference in these classrooms, the curriculum varies also. For example, if there is a reading assignment, the girl’s classroom would be reading a book that is fictional, more emotional, with an emphasis on love stories. The males would read a book with a large amount of action, hunting, and dominant male provider characters. This curriculum is putting impressionable young adults and children into a set stereotype and gender role. In a world where only girls like writing, being accepted, and caring for others and where boys like math, exercising, and being a leader, there is no room for kids that are different.
During a recent ACLU meeting that I attended I found out that in my own area a middle school has some of these single gender classrooms. I also learned that the ACLU is getting involved and trying to stop these classrooms. I feel proud that there is an organization that can stand up for the small voices of children that do not have a choice of which environment they are learning in. With the ACLU we can take these small voices, make them heard, and make them larger than life.