Hearing Begins Wednesday on Sex Segregated Public School in Louisiana

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Maria Archuleta, ACLU national, (212) 519-7808 or 549-2666; media@aclu.org
Marjorie Esman, ACLU of Louisiana, (504) 522-0628

Hearing Begins Wednesday on Sex Segregated Public School in Louisiana

ACLU Representing Family Fighting Policy at Middle School in Vermilion Parish

LAFAYETTE, La. - In
the first court hearing ever about sex segregation in coed public
schools, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Louisiana
will present witnesses and evidence Wednesday through Friday
demonstrating that the school board in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana
illegally discriminated against both boys and girls by segregating
classes by sex at a public middle school. The lawsuit was filed on
behalf of two girls who were placed in single-sex classrooms at Rene A.
Rost Middle School, the only middle school in the city of Kaplan,
Louisiana. 

Two weeks before school opened in
the fall of 2009, parents of students at Rene A. Rost Middle School
were informed that all five core-curriculum classes in all four grades
would be segregated by sex. The ACLU objected to the mandatory sex
segregation policy on behalf of two students and informed the school
district this was illegal. The school district amended the plan to
offer a nominally coed option and told parents they could select coed
or segregated classes for their children. However, parents soon learned
that the only "coed" option was a class for students with special
educational requirements.

The ACLU contends that sex
segregation in public schools violates Title IX of the Education
Amendments of 1972, the Title IX regulations of numerous federal
agencies and the U.S. Constitution.

The ACLU's complaint is available online at: www.aclu.org/womensrights/edu/40947lgl20090908.html

WHAT:
Evidentiary hearing in Doe v. Vermilion Parish School Board, a challenge to sex segregation in a public middle school in Louisiana

WHO:
Lenora Lapidus of the ACLU Women's
Rights Project, Katie Schwartzmann of the ACLU of Louisiana and
Debevoise & Plimpton attorneys led by partner Mark Friedman will
present witnesses and evidence before U.S. District Court Judge Richard
T. Haik

WHEN:
Wednesday, February 24 - Friday, February 26
Hearing starts daily at 10:00 a.m. CST

WHERE:
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
Suite 2100
800 Lafayette Street
Lafayette, Louisiana

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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