The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Maria Archuleta, ACLU national, (212) 519-7808 or 549-2666;
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


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,

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:

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

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

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

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

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

(212) 549-2666