The American Civil Liberties Union and NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund have persuaded a federal court to issue an injunction against an elementary school in Detroit planned to open this fall to meet the special needs of black urban boys. This is another defeat for common sense and a victory for the silliness of the feminist-liberal agenda.
The ACLU and NOW found three black girls to use as pawns in their attack on the school for black boys. The court injunction requires the schools to admit the girls this fall, pending final resolution of the lawsuit.
The tragic plight of fatherless black boys in the inner cities is obvious, and for several years educators have been considering the idea of establishing special schools to address their needs. Single-sex schools for boys have been discussed in New York, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Washington D.C., San Diego, and Chicago.
The Detroit Board of Education decided in February to try this experiment in order to give urban black boys some male role-models and steer them away from a self-destructive path that often leads to drugs and prison. The school is aimed at increasing their self-esteem by stressing discipline and civic responsibility.
But look out, little boys; the radical feminists are ready to swing their whip against any deviation from their goal of a gender-neutral society. The Molly Yards and Betty Friedans and Gloria Steinams feel threatened by this one elementary boys school, and the federal judge acquiesced in their demands.
Detroit school board vice president Frank Hayden said the board had been willing to work with the ACLU and NOW to set up a girls-only school; and, indeed, Detroit already has a school just for pregnant girls. But that didn’t stop the lawsuit because their feminists’ goal is not to solve real problems but to force us all into a gender-neutral society.
The ACLU/NOW Detroit lawsuit against the boys elementary school is based on Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination in 16,000 school districts and 2,700 colleges and universities. Title IX is sweeping in its language, but the original statute exempted admission to single-sex colleges (and that’s why it was legal for the feminists to keep Mills College all women when the college tried to go coed last year).
Two years after passage, when the social engineering bureaucrats in the then Department of Health, Education and Welfare issued 80 pages of proposed regulation to effectuate Title IX, they announced that Title IX prohibited single-sex fraternities and sororities because they discriminate on account of sex.
The fraternities and sororities responded quickly to this challenge to their existence, and some 9,000 letters descended on Washington. Congress passed an amendment exempting from Title IX all high school fraternities and sororities, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Campfire Girls, YMCAs, YWCAs, and Boys’ Clubs.
The Department of HEW labored another year to finalize its Title IX regulations, with the feminists demanding mindless sex integration in all aspects of schools and colleges. In order for the regulations to go into effect, however, they had to be signed by the President, and the militants knew they could never persuade former All-American football player Gerald Ford to require sex integration on the football field.
As a concession to practical necessity, the final regulations specifically exempted football, wrestling, boxing, ice hockey, and rugby from its requirement for the sex integration of all school and college activities.
In 1975, the title IX ideologues announced that the high school good-citizenship program, Girls’ State and Boys’ State, long sponsored by the American Legion, would have to be sex integrated. So, Congress had to pass another amendment specifically exempting Girls’ State and Boys’ State.
In 1976, the Title IX created another series of headlines when the gender-neutral extremists in the bureaucracy banned father-son and mother-daughter events from public schools because they allegedly discriminate on account of sex. After President Ford expressed his irritation at this nuttiness, the Senate voted 88 to 0 to exempt father-son and mother-daughter school activities from Title IX sex-discrimination laws.
The author of Title IX, former Congresswoman Edith Green (D-OR), had a noble vision of helping American women, especially to go to college and graduate school. By 1972, Title IX represented overkill of a diminishing problem which had largely shriveled away under the inexorable march of social change.
By 1877, Congresswoman Green was very critical of all this bureaucratic silliness. In a speech to Brigham Young University called “The Road is Paved with Good Intentions,” she spoke of her handiwork with the sadness of a mother whose child has gone astray.
It’s time for another amendment to Title IX to allow a sensible experiment to help black boys in their inner cities. They should not be held hostage to the feminist demands for a gender-neutral society.