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Title 9 Changes

Males and females separate when it comes to gym. That could extend to other classes under a new proposal. The U.S. Department of Education is arguing it on the basis it will promote student success, yet opponents say it sets up the opportunity for discrimination.

Thirty years ago this class would have never existed, not because it is an advanced placement statistics class, but because it's a mixture of boys and girls.

The hidden equation in this compound class? Title 9.

Larry Spalding of the ACLU, Tallahassee Chapter, says, "The reason we have Title 9 is because prior to 1972 we had same gender classes. Women went to home economics, boys went to shop."

Title 9 bridged that gender gap, yet a proposed change is threatening to reverse the tide and put single sex classes back in motion.

The U.S. Department of Education is suggesting the switch to boost academic achievement.

"I think any advantage that comes from that will be out weighed by the disadvantages," says Sally Sanders, a Lincoln High School science teacher.

Teacher Janet Stephens agrees. She says having separate classes for boys and girls in say math makes for a scheduling nightmare, not to mention it doesn't mirror the "real world".

Driven by data, Stephens says she'd like to see more research done before transforming Title 9, but Larry Spalding with the American Civil Liberties Unions says he sees no need for the change.

Currently under Title 9, at the middle and elementary level, some classes are separated, those that deal exclusively with human sexuality.

Right now they are just being talked about. Research is being collected to see if it will benefit students. It was first addressed in January of 2002.


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