TO BE OR NOT TO BE CO-ED THAT IS THE QUESTION

For many, the idea of a school in which only one sex is allowed is a scary concept.  If the recipient is coming from a school with mixed genders, this concept is almost terrifying. There are a lot of possible positives and negatives. This article is written to discuss some popular questions and concerns from both parents and students.

Some argue that St. George’s would progress and thrive in a mixed gender environment. However, others are opposed to the matter. “Every once in a while the parents association brings up the idea of mixing the genders; our response is that we offer co-curricular activities with our sister schools,” said Ed Taylor, PE Faculty. “The main concern for parents wanting their sons to be in a mixed gender school is that they are worried that their sons will not know how to act around women.” A purposed alternative is to make many service initiatives co-ed and to include more activities with our sister schools. St. George’s prides itself on building fine young men, and an aspect of that is how a man can act around the presence of women.

Another concern is about the quality of education a mixed gender school brings. The real answer to this has nothing to do with what genders reside in one’s school but more with how dedicated the faculty is. One difference “lifers”—students who have been attending Saints for their whole life—don’t realize is that in St. George’s a teacher will almost never let you fail. Students are given amazing opportunities to attend tutorials and perhaps even re-test.  The teachers here will use their personal time to ensure that their students succeed. Certainly adding a second gender to the student population wouldn’t reduce the quality of teaching. The education only changes if the teachers do. However, many find that adding the opposite gender to a school environment adds a sort of confusion and a second set of goals other than learning.

What about what the students are concerned about?  Certainly some are for and against the matter. For many “lifers,” this idea is unimaginable; they have gone their whole lives learning amongst boys.  For girls to be introduced would be unthinkable, and that is why many are against it. Even though right off the bat it seems like a good idea one must consider the other side of the argument. When asked the question of “How would you feel with girls in the school?” anonymous replied, “I don’t want girls; they bring competition and drama and gossip. I came from a school with girls and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.” He is providing the other side of the argument—what many boys at this school don’t realize is that adding competition and guy and girl problems can be just as hard to manage as seven academic courses.

The atmosphere of a mixed gender environment is also very different.  Boys, even though they can be very different, can still usually identify to certain things. Girls and guys however lose those certain connections. For an anonymous girl, making the switch from a private single sex school to a multi-gender school was surprising. “It was extremely difficult going from a school where everyone knows each other to a place where it’s impossible to achieve that.” The tight-knit community we can experience at Saints would almost surely be impossible with girls being added to the mix.

Sometimes an argument is easily won by a stronger argument. The question of “would St. George’s prosper with girls being introduced” is one of those cases. Even though you can pick your side and defend it until the day you die, it will ultimately be the Board who decides. Sadly, for the masses demanding girls, they will most likely not see St. Georges making the switch anytime soon.