- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - A civil rights group is challenging Hillsborough County’s single-sex classrooms.

The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday filed a complaint with the federal Department of Education.

The complaint says the single-sex classrooms violate federal law prohibiting discrimination based on gender in schools that receive public funding.

The ACLU says Hillsborough County has provided classes where boys and girls are in separate classrooms in at least 16 schools since 2009.

The complaint says the reasoning for the separate classrooms is based on gender stereotypes that are discredited.

Stephen Hegarty, a spokesman for the Hillsborough County Public Schools, says parents can choose whether or not to send children to single-sex schools.

Hegarty also said those students are performing well academically and that the girls and boys schools have both improved by two letter grades under the state’s grading system.

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