The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Robyn Shepherd, (212) 519-7829 or 549-2666;

ACLU in Federal Appeals Court Tuesday to Argue Against Sex-Segregated Classes

Sex-Segregated Program in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana Public Schools Based on Harmful Stereotypes


The American Civil Liberties Union will be in court Tuesday, October 5, to argue that a sex-segregated program at a middle school in Vermilion Parish School District perpetuates gender stereotypes and violates federal law.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the program in September 2009, claiming it violated Title IX, which prohibits discrimination based on sex and sex stereotypes, and the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection. In April, a district court denied the ACLU's request for an order blocking the program, ignoring the plaintiffs' claims of violations under Title IX. With respect to plaintiffs' equal protection claim, the court wrongfully held that although the school intentionally segregated students by sex, the school board did not violate the Equal Protection Clause because it did not intend to harm the students. The ACLU appealed the decision in June.

More information about the case is available online at:

Oral arguments in Doe v. Vermilion Parish School Board, a federal appeal seeking the discontinuation of the sex-segregated program at Rene A. Rost Middle School in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana.

Mark W. Friedman of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, will be arguing the appeal. Other attorneys on the case who will be in attendance are Mike Potenza, also from Debevoise & Plimpton; Lenora M. Lapidus and Amy L. Katz from the ACLU Women's Rights Project and Katie Schwartzmann from the ACLU of Louisiana.

Attorneys and plaintiffs Jane, Jill and Joan Roe and witnesses will be available for comment following arguments. The argument will be heard by Judges Rhesa H. Barksdale, Carl E. Stewart and Leslie H. Southwick of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010
9:00 a.m. CDT

John Minor Wisdom United States Court of Appeals Building
600 Camp Street
New Orleans, LA
Room 209

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