The Obama administration is now trying to outlaw single-sex classrooms, a practice that has been growing as parents and teachers see its good results. The Obama administration is discouraging that option in conformity with demands by the feminists who believe in the interchangeability of the genders and insist that schools forbid any deviation from their peculiar belief that there is no difference between male and female.
The Minnesota State High School League, which controls policy for all extracurricular activities in all schools, public and private, voted 18 to 1 to outlaw recognition of all sex differences in high-school sports. The new policy, adopted Dec. 4, allows students the choice to play on either boys’ or girls’ teams if they claim transgender status.
Obviously, the school didn’t clear this radical new policy with parents. A group of parents opposed to this agenda ran an ad in the Minneapolis Star Tribune stating “A male wants to shower beside your 14-year-old daughter. Are you okay with that?”
Under this new policy, there can be no recognition of sex differences in high school sports, on the field or in locker rooms or bathrooms or hotel rooms. Minnesotans sent more than 10,000 protest emails to the State High School League, but their protests were overruled.
The National Federation of State High School Associations published language to “guide” organizations that may have to respond to parents’ complaints. This national explanation reads: “It is important for policy-makers to understand that transgender girls (who were assigned a male gender at birth) are not boys. Their consistent and affirmed gender identity as girls is as deep-seated as the gender identity of non-transgender girls.”
This nonsense comes out of a belief that schools and sports should ignore obvious anatomical differences because children supposedly become a boy or a girl only after they are old enough to decide which gender they choose to be. This sets up an authority for the child that conflicts with parental authority and probably emanates from the controversial judicial fiat once enunciated by the Ninth Circuit that parents’ rights stop at the threshold of the school door.
The perpetrators of this nonsense try to convey the impression that they are merely fine-tuning the rules of Title IX, but that is not true. Title IX was written to support equal opportunities for girls in schools and colleges, but allowing boys to play on girls’ sport teams certainly does not promote that goal, nor was it ever intended.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has moved to suppress the effort by a few public schools to experiment with single-sex classrooms. The senior counsel of the National Women’s Law Center criticized single-sex classrooms because they supposedly rely on “sex stereotypes” that assume boys and girls respond to different methods of teaching.
The terrible sin that precipitated the lawsuits was that the boys were assigned to read a story about hunting and dogs, while the girls’ classes were assigned a love story. “Stereotyping” has become an epithet like “racist” to silence opposition.
The ACLU filed some 10 administrative complaints against stereotyping with the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights against schools in Florida, Wisconsin, Idaho and Texas. The ACLU sued schools in Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky and West Virginia in 2009 and 2012.
The ACLU sent a letter to the Gloucester County, Virginia, School Board urging it to reject the policy that would limit school restrooms and locker rooms to “the corresponding biological genders.” On Dec. 9, the Board voted to retain boys’ and girls’ restrooms and allow transgender students to use “an alternative private facility,” but the ACLU rejected that compromise and says it will sue.
Time Magazine reported scientific studies that show that girls’ and boys’ brains are “hardwired” differently and support the view that separating the genders will improve learning. These studies suggest that “girls learn better in emotionally supportive, collaborative groups and may not be as good at grasping abstract mathematical concepts, while boys thrive in competitive environments and tend to struggle with reading and art.”
Principal Skyles Calhoun of Woodbridge Middle School in Virginia has been so successful in using different teaching styles for boys and girls that grades and test scores for both have soared. He will now be in violation of the new rules, and that will kill a good thing that has produced wonderful results.
There is nothing compulsory about the single-sex option. Woodbridge School offers parents a choice for their children’s education, and requires them to answer 33 questions so the schools can be sure that the parents really, really want the single-sex classroom and are not worried about stereotypes.
Meanwhile, the feminists have renewed their drive to put the Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S. Constitution. Since the operative word in ERA is “sex” and not “women,” judges would probably rule that ERA would put their transgender sex nonsense into the U.S. Constitution.
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Phyllis Schlafly is a lawyer, conservative political analyst and author of 20 books. She is the co-author, with George Neumayr, of the New York Times Best-Seller titled “No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom.” She can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.