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Man says TANF Program Discriminates against Men

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ALTUS, Okla__A local man who's getting help from a career service program says he's being discriminated against for being a man. 

Anthony Navarro said that female teachers in the courses have made sexist remarks in class about men in general, and when he complained to the director, Leslie Brown, he got this answer.

"I hate to tell you that you don't make the rules around here we do."

Navarro is attending the classes in order to be eligible for a DHS program called 'Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.'

He said he shouldn't have to tolerate those kinds of comments while he's trying to improve his chances for getting a better job.

Navarro, who is the only man attending courses, said they are geared toward women.

He says some of the courses he has been required to go to teach that men are the aggressors in abuse cases and also that males are the only gender capable of rape.

He feels like the courses are outdated and was even told they are more intended for single mothers.

"They really haven't attempted to adapt towards dealing with single men or even married couples," said Navarro.

Navarro is in the program with his wife.

Along with helping them find a career, it helps them financially and provides child care for their two sons.

He says his problem is not the program, and he can not afford to lose it.

"Honestly it would mean losing the best thing we've got going for us right now," said Navarro.

He confronted, Leslie Brown, the Power Program Director, and recorded the conversation saying he would not continue if the program did not change; this was her response.

"I hate to tell you that you don't make the rules around here we do," said BrownIn the recording she acknowledges he is not the first man to feel as if the program is a slap to a man's face.

We contacted Brown by phone, and asked her about those comments. 

She refused to answer, saying she wouldn't talk about any specific cases. 

She did say the program is not gender-biased.

"We provide information that is designed for both male and female students, and any information we give like any of our workshops any information we provide is factual information."

Brown did say there is no set schedule for the courses being taught but participants are not just being put through domestic violence courses.

"There are times when domestic violence may be the topic in a workshop.  it's not every week but you may have a couple weeks in a row," said Brown.

Navarro says he does not want to be put into a different program, but for the current one to be changed to be gender friendly.

He says there are other men out there that are looking to take care of their family and deserve to have a non-biased program.

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