Learning and School: All-Girl Guilt
My husband and I are seriously discussing sending our daughter to an all-girls high school.
We don't have to do it. Jessica isn't a troublemaker. She's not horribly unhappy at her co-ed middle school, and her grades are everything we had hoped for. But we find ourselves scared to death by the reports of gangs and muggings and drug arrests at our district's public schools that we read about in the paper every day. OK, maybe it's not really every day, but sometimes it feels that way. The all-girls high school seems so much safer. You don't see stories about drug arrests or physical assaults at the all-girls school. Plus it's closer to home.
I've also been reading all this stuff about how same-sex schools take a lot of pressure off the kids. Girls interested in science and math do really well when they don't feel like they're threatening the boys by coming off as "too smart." And that might be good for Jessica. She's got a few close friends in middle school, but they won't be attending high school with her, so no matter what, she'll be starting over. I want the change to be as painless as possible. Maybe a private all-girls school—where the social pressures are presumably less intense, and the academic focus is more girl-friendly—will be the best alternative for her.
Still, I'm confused. I feel like we might be depriving Jessica of something special, the range of activities and social experiences that only a co-ed high school can offer. I'm worried an all-girls school might stunt her social growth. I don't want her to think she's weak and can't handle "normal" schools. If anything, it's the school system that's weak, and we're just stuck in the middle.