Mother Challenges Gender-Based Classes in West Virginia

Public middle school implemented system in 2010


A West Virginia public school system segregates boys and girls into different classes, tailoring lessons to stereotypical gender differences, a mother claims in Federal Court.    

Jane Doe says her three daughters are starting seventh grade at Van Devender Middle School in Parkersburg. W.Va, but will not get to learn math, science and other classes with boys in the same school. Single-sex classes at Van Devender began in fall 2010, Doe says.

"Defendants implemented the sex separation program at Van Devender based on impermissible and inaccurate stereotypes about purportedly different learning capacities and preferences of girls and boys, and, specifically, the theory that boys' and girls' brains develop so differently that they are best taught separately, using teaching methods that are tailored to those presumed difference," according to the complaint in the Southern District of West Virginia.