Don’t Segregate Us!

By Samma Jama ’20

CatlinSpeak Co-Editor Jubilee gives two sixth graders advice on their writing.

CatlinSpeak Co-Editor Jubilee gives two sixth graders advice on their writing. (Photo: Nico Hamacher)

Editors’ Note: For three weeks, the Catlin Gabel sixth graders split into gender groups, in which most classes were segregated by sex. At the end of their experience, the sixth graders reflected on the merits of single-sex education. After the class chose the best pieces, the elected writers visited our New Media Studies (CatlinSpeak) class and workshopped their pieces with our staff. These articles are the final products of the class of 2020’s hard work.

“Learned women are ridiculed because they put to shame unlearned men.” That is a famous quote by George Sand, a woman who had to take a man’s name to write novels such as The Devil’s Pool, Mauprat and Consuelo.

Half the people in the United States are women and there have only been male presidents. Those are the things we talked about in the gender groups a class where we split into different genders, but why should we get split up to learn about this? It was hard talking about boy and girl stereotypes and hearing what the other gender thought through a teacher rather than hearing it from the opposite sex themselves.

Gender groups were good the first few days. There were things you are able to say around your gender that you would not say around the opposite gender like boys stink or girls only think about your self. Although I think gender groups carried on too long (four weeks), I think the issues the sixth grade talked about didn’t.

Also, gender groups were not necessary in all classes. For instance, in math we made scratch projects, and we did not talk about gender at all. It was not necessary to split us up then. Also, in science we didn’t learn anything different, we just kept going on with our unit just in gender groups.

As the next generation we should be taught to work together, not compete against each other. “Just because you’re a boy, and I’m a girl, does not mean we’re different, it just means we see the world differently.” And don’t we learn in school that the world is full of people who think differently and when we work together we make the world better? Why segregate us when we work better together?