Boys and Girls, Separate But Equal

Excerpt from Globe and Mail, September 22, 2008

As they spill down the front steps of an old house-turned-school in downtown Toronto, these girls don't have the stereotypical private-school look about them. No tartan skirts, knee socks or blazers here. Instead, there's a rainbow of yoga pants, rolled-up jeans and T-shirts - minus brand logos, something these students don't tolerate.

The Linden School's no-logo policy (peace symbols excepted) is one of the ways the all-girls school reflects a mission emphasizing empowerment, equality and social justice.

"At Linden we're encouraged to question, to challenge - things that are seen as misbehaviour at other schools," says Grade 10 student Alex Haberfellner. "Our teachers don't treat us as an annoyance and the all-girls environment is supportive and competitive in a way that doesn't discourage anyone.

"We don't have tryouts for sports teams," the 15-year-old adds. "I never knew I enjoyed sports until I came to Linden."

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