“Girls Only” Shop Class: What Do You Think?

Sometimes it’s a pain in the butt to be a lawyer.  We are the ones who have to squelch good ideas because they might violate the law.  Consider: a shop class that is limited to “girls only.”

That just strikes me as a good idea.  It just makes sense to me that girls would feel more comfortable exploring the male dominated world of tool belts and circular saws in a place where the boys were not looking over their shoulders, overly eager to “mansplain” some things.  But, of course, if you hang a “girls only” sign on the door, you are inviting a Title IX lawsuit.

That doesn’t seem to have slowed down Kristina Carlevatti, a teacher at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Her auto repair classes were dominated by boys for many years, with only a few brave females taking part. But when she opened up a “girls only” class it quickly filled up with 16 students.

I’m sure not all of you agree with me. But it seems to me there are good reasons to intentionally create environments that help to overcome gender stereotypes.  Boys are “supposed to be” comfortable and competent with tools, grease, oil and dirt, even though we know that many boys are not.  I speak from experience.  The most complicated home repair I can do is changing an AC filter.  I can gas up my car very expertly, but that’s about it.  Girls are not “supposed to” want to work on cars, but some of them do.  It makes sense to me that girls might thrive in a classroom that is intended to break that stereotype.

Anyway, that’s my opinion for what it’s worth, and it’s not worth much in a Title IX situation.   If you think single-sex shop classes are a good idea, you need to talk to your lawyer about how to structure that to survive a challenge.  The law. Sigh.


 Enjoy the weekend, folks!! We will be back on Monday.