Girls and boys
Paul Rolly's story on the Salt Lake County Library's "No Girls Allowed" classes brought back a 50-year-old personal heartbreak ("Preparing girls for the future?" Tribune, April 10).
It was a beautiful spring day in suburban St. Louis when a fifth-grade girl stayed inside, eager to hear about the after-school science club. After outlining the tempting activities, the teacher concluded: "Just one more thing. Girls don't belong in science club." Like most of the arbitrary rules then in America's heartland about who didn't belong, this one proved unassailable.
So I read about the library's plans with dismay. I don't oppose single-sex activities per se, but unless comparable challenges are offered for the other sex, somebody gets short-changed.
Who would not be intrigued by the captivating list of "wicked and cool" boys' classes and bored stiff by the lackluster girls' alternative, "food and crafts"?
Sponsors may argue that few girls are attracted by science, math and history, but what about those who are? And what about those girls who might become interested if given the opportunity?
Rethink this throwback, and find more creative ways to empower and encourage all children to explore the myriad aspects of our fascinating world.
Salt Lake City
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