The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Alabama sent a letter last week to the Mobile County School System, the largest school system in Alabama, warning that mandatory sex segregation policies are illegal. Hankins Middle School, one of the system’s schools, was segregated by sex for the 2008-2009 school year and currently has no co-educational options. This move was allegedly made without notifying students’ parents and goes so far as to prohibit students from interacting socially with those of another sex, according to the ACLU.
The letter (see PDF) states that the segregation reported to the ACLU by parents of students at Hankins Middle School “appears to violate Title IX and its implementing regulations, the Equal Educational Opportunities Act (EEOA), and the Constitution.”
According to Allison Neal, ACLU Alabama staff attorney, “mandatory sex segregation in public schools is not only clearly against the law, it’s also an empty promise for failing schools…Inevitably these experimental programs deny equal opportunity to girls and boys and distract much needed time and money from efforts that we know work like smaller classes, highly trained teachers, sufficient funding and involved parents.”