Aug 11, 2010 11:36 AM by Melissa Canone
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will
hear arguments in the ACLU's challenge of the single-gender
programs at a Kaplan middle school.
A federal district judge ruled in April that the all-boys and
all-girls classes at Rene Rost Middle School could continue under
court-mandated conditions addressing errors in the program's
planning and implementation in the 2009-10 school year.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana filed a lawsuit
in September that claimed the program was discriminatory and
violated students' rights to an equal education and other federal
Oral arguments have tentatively been set for the week of Oct. 4,
according to the court's notice to attorneys, filed Monday.
School board attorneys filed a motion in June asking the court
to dismiss the appeal because the ACLU's allegations were directed
at the 2009-10 program, which ended in May. That motion will be
considered during oral arguments, Calvin Woodruff, attorney for the
Vermilion Parish School Board, said Tuesday.
"We look forward to presenting our argument to the court,"
Woodruff said. "We think it's a good one. We have a lot of
confidence in the 5th Circuit and we think the decision will be
In June, the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Women's
Law Center filed separate friend-of-the-court briefs in support of
the ACLU's appeal.
Woodruff said the school has complied with U.S. District Judge
Richard Haik's ruling, which set guidelines for the planning and
implementation of the 2010-11 single-gender program, Woodruff said.
Students begin classes Monday.
The judge also cut the size of the program, allowing only one
all-boys and one all-girls class per grade level. Interest
outnumbered the seats available in the single-gender classes and a
lottery for admission was held earlier this summer, Woodruff has