TAHLEQUAH -- The Woodall School District in Tahlequah has rescinded a decision to place boys and girls in separate classrooms for all academic subjects, after being warned by the ACLU that the sex segregated classes violated both state and federal law.
Woodall put the single-sex class schedule in place at the beginning of the current school year. The school claimed the system was designed for scheduling convenience, and as a cost savings measure--justifications that are not allowed by law--but the district was able to revert to a coeducational schedule without incurring any additional costs.
The following is attributable to Galen Sherwin, Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU Women’s Rights Project:
“The federal Department of Education recently made clear that school districts need to have a very good reason before they decide to institute single-sex classes. Scheduling convenience is not a sufficient reason for taking such a radical step.”
The following is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director, ACLU of Oklahoma:
"The Woodall School District did the right thing to protect the rights of its students. Segregation simply does not belong in the public school classroom. We applaud the Woodall School District for rescinding what is both illegal and inconsistent with respecting the diversity and growth of its students."
The following is attributable to Brady Henderson, Legal Director, ACLU of Oklahoma:
School districts in Oklahoma face of variety of challenges each day, but they must nevertheless be mindful of the legal requirements under which they must operate and respect the rights of the students and families they serve. Woodall School District had no valid reason to separate girls from boys, and its decision to return to coeducational classrooms is a victory for all involved.