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A public middle school in West Virginia was recently ordered to immediately stop its practice of segregating boys and girls into different classes for several subjects. The judge issued a temporary injunction against Van Devender Middle School, based on the strong likelihood that the single-sex programming would be found to violate federal law because the class assignments were mandatory, rather than voluntary.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) brought the lawsuit, as part of its nationwide investigation into single-sex public-school classes that were green-lighted by a 2006, George W. Bush Administration change in federal education regulations, but seem to operate in ways that are both illegal and damaging to children. In this column, I’ll discuss the changes to the law governing single-sex education in public schools, and the preliminary findings of the ACLU’s investigation that make them seem even more questionable.