JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Boys in one school. Girls in another. It sounds like a trend of the past. But in Duval County, it could become the wave of the future.
Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti applied for $12 million in federal grant money to create five new magnet school programs: two academic, a military academy, plus one all boys and one all girls school.
Local Dad Robert Parker has kids from elementary school to high school. He'd like to know where he can sign up his teenage daughter.
"Keep her away from boys on her mind when they get older, stuff like that, maybe less of a distraction when it's just same sex peers around," he said.
But Vitti's new proposal was just shot down by the federal Office of Civil Rights.
"That tension between essentially segregating, isolating kids in order to try to be more effective in schooling processes by definition excludes half the population so it's not surprising to me that happened," said Jerry Johnson, associate professor of educational leadership at UNF.
Johnson said while the separation has its pluses, there's also a downside.
"Arguably you are just putting off the socialization processes that they're going to have to learn at some point," he said.
But he added it should be something decided locally, not by the federal government.
Vitti can still move forward with the plans, but he will have to find the funding somewhere else.