The benefits of separate schools for boys, girls

By Joe Evans

Schools have changed over the last several decades, students have changed and change is what we anticipate and expect.
In fact, the only constant in this world is change. Therefore, change itself can be good. I find that if we expect things to be as they were before, our expectations are never realized. New approaches are often required in order to make things better.
By Joe Evans

Schools have changed over the last several decades, students have changed and change is what we anticipate and expect.
In fact, the only constant in this world is change. Therefore, change itself can be good. I find that if we expect things to be as they were before, our expectations are never realized. New approaches are often required in order to make things better.
The most exciting news story that I have seen in months, if not years, was a report on a new educational approach in Greene County, Ga. The school superintendent was interviewed by CNN concerning a revolutionary approach in education. The headline read,” Has Greene County gone too far?”
The Greene County public school system is actually proposing separate schools for girls and boys. Imagine, public schools in America proposing such a system. This is truly a revolutionary paradigm and based upon my recent experiences, I couldn’t agree more with this revolutionary idea.
In truth, mixing girls and boys in the same school is something my wife has never understood about America. In talking with others who come here from other countries, many don’t understand why in the United States we insist on mixing boys and girls at the same school. This is especially true for adolescents and teenagers and in fact, the impact of this mixing appears to be one of the biggest problems of any junior high or high school administration. How can boys and girls go to school together and be given an education at the same time? Maybe it’s because we expect too much from our young people.
School should be a serious time in the life of a young person. Education is everyone’s hope for the future. There is no doubt that America will depend on the ingenuity of future generations and truly education is and always has been the key to success. School, as it turns out, is where the majority of our young people will receive the tools necessary for succeeding in the future.
So why separate girls and boys? Anymore the answers should be obvious. When girls or boys go to school they often seem more concerned with their peers of opposite gender than they are with learning the subject at hand. Maybe this wasn’t a big problem for me, and I’m sure there are others who don’t face this issue when going to school. Many are there to learn, but others need additional help in learning.
We as adults are responsible for providing an environment of learning not an environment for socialization. If asked, I would have assumed that there could never be separate schools for boys and girls in America. At least not in the public school system. I assumed that court decisions would prevent separation based on gender but evidently Greene County, Ga., is pushing forward and I assume they know what type of fights they are likely to face. I personally hope they succeed.
Aside from the obvious problems associated with mixing teenage boys and teenage girls, the superintendent being interviewed by CNN noted that girls and boys learn differently. Therefore they have different needs. Because of these different needs, the education system should accommodate each gender so the students will have the best chance for success.
What a revolutionary idea. Actually having people in charge of education who understand the needs of young people. Evidently, in Greene County it’s an administration and I assume school board that have studied the issues and realized the needs of teenagers.
Who knows if Greene County will succeed. I would predict that maybe those in charge of educating our children will soon be taking notice of the benefits of separate schools for boys and girls.
Maybe this will be the future or maybe this step will mark a failure for Greene County’s schools. But I applaud their efforts. I know those who study children, behavior and what motivates the mind of an average teenager will also applaud the efforts of the Greene County School District. What a simple but revolutionary idea. All I can say is that it’s long overdue.

Joe Evans of Pocatello is an environmental scientist.