Another theory is that boys should be allowed to move around the classroom more.
In previous years, only boys and girls in sixth and seventh grades have been divided into single-sex classrooms in Wood County. However, the board had planned to add eighth graders to the program this year, Law said.
Wood County school board members will discuss the lawsuit with attorneys before making a decision, Law said.
He said in other parts of the country similar lawsuits have cost boards about $30,000.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a woman and her three daughters who wish to remain anonymous, Rogers said. The daughters are all students at Van Devender Middle School, according to the complaint on file at the U.S. District Court Clerk's Office.
The complaint alleges the girls have been discriminated against. It says board members were aware of the legal requirement that participation in same-sex classrooms be voluntary but did not provide students a co-educational alternative.
The lawsuit also states that the boys' classrooms are brighter and the rooms are kept cooler. The girls' rooms are not only more dimly lit and warmer, but the desks are arranged face-to-face.
The desks in the boys' classrooms are arranged side-by-side, according to the complaint.
The plaintiff also alleges that one of her daughters suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and she sometimes has trouble sitting still.
"She is not permitted to move around freely during classes in the girls' classroom to which she is assigned and as a result she is frequently reprimanded in class," the complaint reads. "Upon information and belief, similar movement in the boys' classroom is tolerated and not reprimanded."
On numerous occasions, the girl has been sent to the boys' classroom because she was "acting up," the complaint reads.
"As the only girl in class, and deprived of her companionship of her regular classmates, she felt intimidated," the complaint reads.
The complaint also alleges the girl was not allowed to participate in physical activities while in the boys' classroom and was instead required to sit at a desk facing the wall.
The plaintiff alleges the girl's grades have dropped "substantially" since she was placed in the same-sex class.
One of the other daughters is legally blind and has trouble reading in the more dimly lit girls' classroom, according to the complaint.
The suit names the Wood County Board of Education; Law in his official capacity and as an individual; and Stephen Taylor, the principal of Van Devender Middle School, in his official capacity and as an individual.
The lawsuit also names Penny Tonelli Coleman, the former assistant principal at the school, in her official capacity and as an individual.
The plaintiff is seeking compensation to cover legal fees, Rogers said.
"But the main goal is to end this practice," she said.
A hearing has not yet been scheduled. It will go before U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin.