School District Bans Father-Daughter Dances After Single Mom Complains
Father-daughter dances and mother-son baseball games were banned in one school district in an effort to comply with laws about gender discrimination. But was it really warranted?
-Lylah M. Alphonse, Yahoo! Shine
In an effort to comply with state laws about gender discrimination, a Rhode Island school district has banned father-daughter dances and mother-son baseball games after a single mom complained that her daughter wasn’t able to attend a dance.
The mother filed a complaint with the Rhode Island branch of the American Civil Liberties Union last May, saying that her child felt excluded from the dance because she did not have a father figure to take her. The dance was a longstanding event run by a parent-teacher organization.
“I think when schools tell girls ‘You love dances’ and boys ‘You love baseball games,’ I think that is going too far,” Rhode Island ACLU executive director Steven Brown told talk-radio station WPRO-FM. “That is the whole point of having laws and policies to say public schools should not be the business of really encouraging such blatant stereotypes about what girls like and what boys like.”
But some parents say the events were about tradition and family bonding, not gender roles.
“I’m outraged. My family looks forward to this,” Lisa Shaljian Mancini told WBZ-TV. “I have three daughters in the school system, and they love this event.”
One father — who also happens to be a Republican candidate for State Senate in Rhode Island — calls the ban is “an assault on traditional family values.”
“For generations, we’ve had mother-daughter, father-son events,” Sean Gately told Fox News. He found out about the ban after an open house earlier this month at his son’s school, and brought it to the attention of the local media this week. “My wife was looking forward to taking our son to the annual mother-son event.”
Though the complaint was filed with the ALCU in May and the school district resolved it in August, Gately has made the issue part of his election campaign. “I do believe that once this happens in Cranston, the ACLU will pursue every other school district in Rhode Island,” he told Fox News.