Wednesday, September 19, 2012

School Cancels Father-Daughter Dance

School Bans Father-Daughter Dances

A school district in Rhode Island has ended the traditional father-daughter dance because the longtime tradition violated the state’s gender discrimination law.
Judith Lundsten, an assistant school superintendent in Cranston,  tells Fox News the move came in response to a complaint from a single mother after her daughter wasn’t allowed to attend a father-daughter dance.
“The parent felt it was not appropriate and filed a complaint with the ACLU,” she said.
The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to the district demanding that all father-daughter and mother-son events be cancelled.
Lundsten said school attorneys found while federal gender discrimination laws exempt such events, Rhode Island’s does not.
At this point, the law states that we cannot have these gender-specific type activities,” Lundsten told Fox News. “
She said the school district is going to try and work with lawmakers to amend the law – but until that time “We are following the law.
Lundsten said the ban has caused a bit of controversy in the community.
The community has a great deal of concern about this issue,” she said. “Certainly I understand that times have changed and people have different feelings about this.”
“I think it’s a shame,” parent Sean Gately told Fox News. “It’s an assault on traditional family values.
Gately, who is running for state senator, learned of the ban at an open-house for their second-grade son. Another parent noticed the annual father-daughter was not on the calendar.
For generations we’ve had mother-daughter, father-son events,” he said. “My wife was looking forward to taking our son to the annual mother-son event.”
So Gately decided to start making some telephone calls. He learned that Rhode Island’s law is based on Title IX. That law actually carves out specific exemptions for events like father-daughter dances. However, the Rhode Island general law did not.
And until the law is changed – the dances are banned.
We do believe that once this happens in Cranston, the ACLU will pursue every other school district in Rhode Island,” he said.
Gately said he’s going to miss those special moments – marked by longstanding memories and pictures.
Noting made me more satisfied than when I got to pin my daughter’s first corsage on her lapel when she bought a pretty dress,” he said.
“These are important traditions that we have here as a country and as a community,” he added. “The attempt to try and take them away from us is an atrocity.”
But Lundsten said the incident could serve as a learning experience for the community.
“It’s part of having a health debate about our country and how we can do better,” she said.


Apple said...


On a brighter note, this photo is adorable.

MissUnderstood said...

That's sad. Every girl that has a relationship with her father (whether their parents are together or not), now has to miss out on the Father-Daughter Dance experience, which is a memory that probably lasts a lifetime.

Was the single mother "banned" from attending, or was she just "uncomfortable" attending?

Sadly, I don't think just the rest of RI will follow suit. The ban will probably work it's way nation wide. Idk who decides these things. Why don't they let people/parents vote on such issues?

John Mc Gowan said...


Ronald Post, Death Row Inmate, Says He's Too Obese To Executed.

JoJo said...

I don't get it. Why can't they just call it a parent-child dance with no gender specifics (everyone would know what it means) and be done with it instead of banning the dances altogether? I get why the mom was upset, if she was truly outcast and "not allowed" to attend. That should not have happened. But why ruin it for everyone else?

John Mc Gowan said...


Get caught up on the Elizabeth Johnson trial.

The third Paragraph is what caught mt attention..

"I suffocated him. I suffocated him, and he turned blue, and I put him in his diaper bag and put him in the trash can," Johnson allegedly told Gabriel’s father Logan McQueary in a phone call the day after the child was last seen alive. Police released a recording of the conversation to the public.

deb said...

I can imagine how dissapointed you are- if having that opportunity is meaningful to you then having it barred- denied you- would be infuriating. My children's school did not have such a dance-theme- so i can't really get into the mind set- I think if they had- at the kindergarden or first grade level that would be OK- but i worry about those that didn't have a dad- or have a bad relationship, or he didn't show up or whatever. Its kind of like the typical elementry, middle, and high school valentine parties and other theme-activities that are fun for the 1 or 2% but leave everyone else out. In addition to that, I also don't like the father-daughter "date"-thing- probably from my years investigating sexual abuse cases and treating both victims and perps. The nay sayers may or may not be right- but- it is inevitable that this pretty ancient ritual would come to an end. You can make up your own family tradition- that incorporates a formal father-daughter celebration.

Vita said...

Gender discrimination is the complaint, brought on by a single mother who's daughter was not able to attend " Father Daughter Dance" Why was she not able attend? she didn't have a male that would be able to stand in as a father figure, a Grandfather? I doubt the school would check a male's DNA at the door, are you her father? prove it." Single Mother" or the mother wanted to fill in as the role of father, and " Mother" was told no? somethings not being said, that this went all the way to the A.C.L.U.

This the confusing part, is, Judith Lundsten, an assistant school superintendent in Cranston, is the informant to Fox News. The mother who rallied this, by complaint, not stout enough to be on National TV? The superintendent, who is backed by her own powers, to speak for her? or who?
The mother did not notify her daughter's school of her grievance? this woman higher up, assistant "school superintendent" notified by the A.C.L.U.. Or she/mother did go to her daughter's school, it if fell on deaf ears? wasn't the response she wanted? Turned into a, I will show you. Again somethings not being said.

This isn't about a " Father Daughter Dance". This is about equal opportunity, creating an equal playing field. The A.C.L.U to step in, and take this throughout the State of Rhode Island, mighty kind of them. No More Father Daughter Dances. This woman saw her daughter not being able to attend, a disadvantage. Can't have that. It's a perfect world you see, where no has their feelings hurt. Had this been a Father Daughter Basketball game (add any sport), would she have the same reaction? more than likely yes, unless she had an Uncle that was a superior basketball player.

My most cherished, memories were dancing, with my dad, my grandfather, when I was little. Standing on their shoes, as they waltzed with me. This isn't about Dancing with your Dad, at a school function, it isn't. It's about equality, the mother got her wish? her daughter* cough, Mother's war won? No one will attend. The schools will no longer offer functions with Dads'& Daughters, Mother's & Son's will be next. Can't have that, because her family unit is of two, so ban it all. Off with their heads. There outta be a law.

The family across America, as a unit, is no longer traditional this is true. This though should be of being open to, making allowances for those who do not have a father, or a mother, that someone is able to share this event with. Chosen by the student, invited by the student. What a wonderful event that would be, to be chosen as a father, mother figure. For both the student and the asked. Children from single parent homes, not all, but many have a mentor/s in their life. No bonding allowed? God forbid, kids have a special function to be able to attend, with one they love and respect as their parent and or mentor, as the theme.

There is always the option not to participate, and have a separate event outside school, the same night, organized by Single mothers. Not a thought? No, it's easier to go to the A.C.L.U. and have the "Powers notified and to Organize" what is "the deemed " traditional" for our " families". A.C.L.U = individual's freedom, not " equality".

Nic said...

I remember father/son dinners and mother/daughter dinners when I was small and living on a radar base in Northern Canada. For the one-parent kids (very few back in the 70's), the base commander had childless officers (or their wives depending on the dinner) step in for the kids. There weren't mother/son or father/daughter dinners, though. In any event, it must be a small town tradition because where I ended up growing up, it wasn't even a consideration.

Anonymous said...

I've never actually heard of such a thing as Father-Daughter, Mother-Son events, but I think this is a tradition that needed to come to an end.

sha said...

It is a shame that a little girl who had no father was denied entrance to the dance. That was definitely unfair and I would have complained too. My oldest daughter's father had no interest in going to their father-daughter dance, so her grandpa went with her. If the school had told my daughter she couldn't come with her grandpa (or uncle, or auntie or whoever) then I'da raised hell too.
On the other hand, its ridiculous to cancel all that type of thing. I guess it is a crime to be a male or a female or have a gender at all, huh?

Amaleen6 said...

That's just sad.

Meag in Manhattan said...

Lovely photograph, Peter ~ and I agree with somebody above, It should be named the Parent-Child Dance. This is a bond that needs to be nurtured, encouraged and reinforced. Too many parents lose their focus in life - it should be on their children, and these types of events are very important in this society.
Most Sincerely,
Meag in Manhattan

BostonLady said...

This is idiotic. What is wrong with this world? No one's rights are infringed upon. They hold both the father/daughter and mother/son dance. My brother just went to the father/daughter dance with his daughter and he brought his niece as her dad was too ill to attend. But at the dance were also uncles, brothers, moms who attend for those children who do not have a dad (for whatever reason). No one was asked to leave and the kids all had a great time.

Doesn't the ACLU have better things to do with their time, like oh making someone take down a cross that has been standing for 50 yrs that NOW has become offensive? UGH. Makes me sick. Everything is being marginalized and watered down to the point where there will be no individual identity for anyone or anything. SOCIALISM is their ultimate goal.

Florida said...

Pretty little girl in photo, being held by handsome father.

I can see both sides of this coin when I flip it. Fl Anon

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Boston Lady,

The world's gone wrong.

I wouldn't want to be brining in new borns today. I thought things were bad in the 80's and 90's, now I long for those days. People I speak with feel the same way.

The lack of civility on one hand, and the self destructive rush to lawmaking on the other.

20 French embassies are closed for fear of the peaceful religion Islam, today, due to a cartoon.

Entitlement atitude in Europe is spreading here.

Hard work is denigrated.

Teachers are blamed for not parenting.

Hockey fans are afraid to speak against Gary Bettman, who's watch has produced 4 lockouts, and a salary of 8 million per year, lest they be called "anti semite."

Womens' groups are silent as Islam seeks women's degradation.

39% of Americans (new poll) want MORE government control in their lives.

No one is responsible for anything.


BostonLady said...

I also meant to add. Peter, that is a beautiful picture of you and your daughter. Thank you for sharing!

skip said...

My mother passed away last year and my kids couldn't participate in grandparent's day luncheons. She was the last living grandparent. I can't imagine making a school suffer for my loss. And we don't have the mother/ father child events here for some reason, just grandparents.
Why couldn't the kid in question go with an uncle? Same situation if the child's parent died, the kid could go with someone else. It isn't the same, but they could participate still, right? Or maybe mom could take the kid out for Mc D's for a mom- daughter treat to make up for the missed event?

rob said...

kind of like the typical elementry, middle, and high school valentine parties and other theme-activities that are fun for the 1 or 2% but leave everyone

Deb, you think most 'typical' school parties are fun for only 1 or 2% ? Seems more like 1% or less wants to change everyone elses party to suit themselves.

sugacat said...

I see this advertised in the town I live in now. I always wondered what child would want to go to a dance with their parents. They would surely embarrass you. I never attended one of those and I can't see my son wanting to attend one. However I don't care if other people choose to participate. Afterall I have two left feet.

Lemon said...

Included in this story is the 'ACLU', 'attorneys', 'discrimination', and 'law'.
I think what is left out of this story is important.

Lawsuits. They are afraid of being sued.

It will not be "fair" to have a Father-Daughter dance if Heather has two mommies.

Anonymous said...

They have 'daanecees?' The last time I was in an area where dancing was I noticed only women dancing with other women. The men were at the table (this place served dinner/drinks)socializing and thought nothing of the women dancing with each other. Perhaps 'Sadi Hawkins' day didn't go over well at some point and the women didn't want to see the men urinating on themselves if they took the initative and asked them to dance.

The time before that was at a Christian dance. One guy said "Wow! You're a great dancer. Everyone else is like a wrestling match." When I noticed one gal with her drukened boyfriend hanging off her like a bad scarf I knew I was in the wrong place.

Don't get me wrong. I have attended functions where the separtion of men and women are used as a point in demonstrating tradioal roles and role models. Seated at a church function among some of the finest, I was privy to hear had the one next to me had lost her husband to another woman. He was a pastor of a church of the same denomination. The the subject drifted to black people and how the area was becoming bad because of them. I agreed with everything everyone said as I wanted to get along. When out of the blue, one of the servers-the only black male in the church-walks by and reconizes me. We hugged.

Instead of explaining, I never went back.

Anonymous said...

Yes, a girl can bring her uncle, grandfather or family friend, but she will still stand out when all kids want to do is fit in with their peers as much as possible. So, the little girl brings her uncle and spend the evening replying to well meaning people who may say " Anne, it is so nice to meet your father." with "actualy this is my uncle."

Maybe this does no sound like a big thing to adults, but a little girl may not like having to explain her differnetness.

Why can't the school have an event for children to bring their favorite grown up? Sound awkward. I get it, but this is a little more inclusive.

Also, canceling a father daughter dance does not prevent precious memories from being made. I danced with my father at weddings, parties and even at home sometimes just for fun. In fact, he taught me how to dance in the living room. We did not need to be at school dance to make thoe memmories special.

Light the Way said...

I think this "single mother" has a chip on her shoulder.
She doesn't like to be reminded that HER life choices---right or wrong---affect HER DAUGHTER!
This is about Mom, and Mom's "feelings", more than anything else.

Her daughter is bereft of a father-figure, therefore it is "unfair" that other people's daughters are able to enjoy and celebrate a relationship that SHE CANNOT/WILL NOT provide to her child.

I think for this mother, this doesn't have ANYTHING to do with boils down to
"If MY daughter can't have this, than no else's daughter should be able to either!"

You could substitute the above circumstances with just about anything, and this mother would react similarly, IMHO :

If there was a field trip scheduled that she could not afford the dues for, she'd want it cancelled, since it discriminated against "struggling families"..

If there was a talent show scheduled and her daughter didn't make the cut for tryouts, she'd want "tryouts" banned as it "undermines the self-esteem" of the children who are left out..

If her daughter lost her leg in a horrible accident, she'd want soccer and kickball activities banned in all public schools, since it unfairly ostracizes lower limb amputees...

Here's an idea, Mom:
How about leaving the ACLU out of it.
Let these other little girls enjoy a dance with their Daddies...
Schedule a special mother-daughter outing for just **YOU and YOUR daughter** on that night, so that she too can CELEBRATE the joys of bonding with a parent???

Anonymous said...

Rather like Deb, I had an instinctive reaction to the parent/child dance thing, but that's probably because an event like this is something I've never heard of before and so I filtered it through things I am familiar with.

Being so prescriptive causes needless pain to kids who have lost parents, whether through divorce or separation or death; the majority of their friends, presumably, will be talking about it and looking forward to it, and they're unable to participate. The same is true of the children who have only ever known one parent. Or what happens if you're a boy who has two fathers and no mother?

I like the suggestion of a bring your favourite grown-up dance. That seems to avoid marginalising and excluding children. Of course, it does leave the tricky question of who to choose for those children who have two parents, both willing to be involved!

Tania Cadogan said...

A handsome dad with his beautiful daughter. I can see the love and pride in both their eyes.

However, i have to ask.
Peter can you dance or do you 'dad dance' hehe

Anonymous said...

Wow, light the way, hard not to see why the single mommy has a chip on her shoulder with your empathetic attitude.

They don't have to cancel the dance. The could just havae the dance and say "all parents welcome." It seems like such a small adjustment to prevent small children form feeling excluded needlessly.

Some things we can't fix like handicap children who can't play sports and poor children who can't go on field trips, but gosh, why are we not interested in trying to fixt the things we can through minor adjustments?

Anonymous said...

Please help find Ayla

That’s great also, to know that kids are being supportive as well, …an HOPEFULLY REMINDING THEM TO KISS THEIR MOM’S GOODNIGHT EVERY NIGHT. BJD

Um… Shawn and I still got back to Colorado City about 7:30 that evening.

An we were probably in bed by nine.

Um… David ga-... came in to say good-night soon after.
BJD Press Conference Jan 31, 2011

She is stopping herself from saying David gave me a kiss good-night.

Periwinkle Paisley said...

If my kid can't go to the dance then NOBODY's kid can go to the dance 'cuz my kid's more important than yours. So there.

Anonymous said...

My father died when I was a little girl and my mother never remarried. I always took my uncle to Father/Daughter events. My uncle was honored to be my escort. I did feel alittle awkward sometimes but I think overcoming that fear of being different helped me to grow into a stronger person. I would totally agree with calling it a Father/Daughter Event, but the definition of Father doesn't have to be strictly a biological one, only someone that represents a father figure to the child. But what do I know, I was a child in the 70's and 80's where we rode our bikes without helmets and played outside for fun.

Jennifer Wallace said...

I never had anyone to take me to the father daughter dance either. Matter of fact, I never had a date period to anything until prom and that was a disaster! Looks like awkward teenage years are still alive and well today! Sweet pic. Maybe they could just call it a parent/child dance? I could have taken my mom which would have been so fun anyway! :-)

Anonymous said...

We used to have Grandparent Day. They changed it to Grandparents/Special Person Day. That allowed those without grandparents to bring someone else without having to feel awkward.

Anonymous said...

That's so not true, Peter. Not only are those wanting no indentiy fighting for socialism, but in the same token they fight for capitalism unbridled.I don't feel entitled to anything as I know that I would not get equal protection under the law. My state churns out new law after new law.But, it is only intended for a select few to benefit.

After watching what happended to my neighbor-a single man-I knew it wasn't just me. When I told his roofer, or supervisor I should say, how proud he was of the last one and vacumned it after they were finished, the white male herding many illegals whoses Mexican bosses hubcaps look like tire cutters off "Death Race 2000," said, and I quote, "Well, he's single." (Perhaps what he should have said was "Wow! What a great idea. That way the debris wouldn't have to be removed again once it hit the ground. No nails to run over, no shingles to grind through the mower,etc.")

I decided to do my own. Bought my own roofing nailer today. Ran into a little cutural problem trying to buy product at one place since the white male a little older than myself felt I was "doing him that way" (don't ask, I have no clue) when I didn't want to purchase a particuar product, he said he would sell anything to me. I had to go through someone else, a bit younger who had no problem with what I requested and in fact did the same all the time. It would have been like tring to buy a can of Pepsi and someone saying I will not sell it to you unless you purchase a cup as well. Weird!

So, you can see why women's groups aren't all in arms over Muslims at this time.

More government control? Why don't they just enact their own spys? Saves everyone a lot of money, and those reporting back to the governement are never charged with breaking and entering, phone hacking, computer hacking, robbery, stalking, etc. You get my drift. Just call it a study.

Nope. No Zetas on the rooftop of my place. I know if they were to return to rob me I'd be blamed by the police who beleive everything is a civil case unless it benefits them.

Sus said...

A little girl wasn't allowed to attend a dance at a public school. The ACLU is involved as they should be. Her civil rights were violated. The school should have long before changed it to a "parent dance". It is the school district's responsibility and no fault lies with the girl or her mother.

Peter, "No one is responsible for anything." Really?

Florida said...

Well, I can go you one better. My g/daughter's school shut down ALL festivities other than one major fund raising event in the early fall, open to all parents, relatives, g/parents and kids. It is held outdoors on school grounds.

There anyone can bring any little thing (or big) they want to donate and all monies are retained by the school to purchase school supplies and backpacks for those kids who can not afford them, and for monies the school cafeteria needs to help them purchase week-end lunch and snack packs for kids who get free breakfast & lunch and have limited food at home.

There is 35% unemployment in this area with 47% of the kids being raised by grandparents or other relatives who get no state subsidy or other assistance in their support from their deadbeat parents. Many of these kids do not have a mother or a father and the ones that do have lost one or the other to drugs and in some cases, jail terms, and with some never to be heard from again. It's a sad world out there folks with no relief in sight for many who carry the heavy load all by themselves.

Every week-end these poor children leave the school on Friday with a backpack fully stuffed with goodies, no questions asked, they return the empty backpacks on Monday. This school even opens the cafeteria during the summer months for poor kids to come and have lunch. Free. I have looked inside the school supplies backpack and it has everything the child will need for his/her class.

On the night of the big event, the school is locked and the playgrounds are open, supervised by parents. Booths are set up for fun games and flea market sales for which there is a price, with all sales proceeds going to the school. Drinks are furnished by the school which are sold at a profit. This event has become supportive by the entire business community, with what appears to be nearly every family in the area in attendance. It is HUGE. THIS now, is a worthwhile event. No bickering, no discrimination, no frills.

If a teacher wants to have a little valentine party, halloween, christmas, or whatever, she/he sets it up in their classroom at their own expense with the parents' voluntary participation and at no cost to the school. This is a no nonsense school whose state funding has been cut drastically but yet does a fanatastic job in every way. Caring teachers who will email you frequently just to discuss the child's progress or your concerns. I've gotten to know many of them and have a lot of respect and love for the staff at this school. WONDERFUL school. No complaints. Anon in Fla.

Tania Cadogan said...

Hi florida

Is there a choice of flea such as cat, dog, possum, alligator?

If i buy fleas will there then be a non flea market in a couple of weeks where i can buy flea'b'gon sprays and pills?

I want a couple of alligator fleas and a firefly flea (try saying that one the meds have kicked in hehe.

Florida said...

Hi Hobnob! Funny... he he. Love love your sense of humor!

You know, I really don't know why these big outdoor sales are called flea markets
in the U.S. Makes no sense to me either. What do they call them over there
where you live? Whatever it is, it probably makes more sense than "flea markets".

Speaking of fleas, do you know that the only thing I found that will 100% rid
your home of fleas is iodized table salt? We had a dog and five cats who all did
their business outdoors. All of a sudden my home was overtaken with fleas. Well,
we got all the animals treated and kept treated, and had the house flea bombed twice
which killed everything BUT the fleas; STILL had fleas with more multiplying daily.

THEN I came upon the salt treatment. Unfortunately it takes a lot of salt. I used
twenty boxes. You grind it in a blender, box by box, into a powder then sprinkle it
liberally on the floors all over your house. The fleas hop into it and dehydrate,
including the babies as they hatch. No more fleas.

The bad part is you have to live in all this salt for a few weeks then figure out
how to get it all off all the floors. Sweeping or vacuuming doesn't get it all.
I'm STILL living with salt, the pets are living elsewhere, and that was months ago.
I'm thinking I might have everything set outdoors one day, have the carpeting
shampooed and use a hi-powered hose on the floors and hose it all outdoors. What a
hell-uv-a-mess, all created by FLEAS. So, what would you do? Fla Anon

Lara Martinez said...

Like her daughter is blissfully unaware of the gaping hole of the absentee father in her household due to her mother's decision "she doesn't have a father." That's a decision. Also--they need to get rid of the Honor Roll, because I have a son who's autistic, and he can't function like other children. I don't want him to feel excluded from a school honor. And, like Chicago teachers, I don't want my children graded or evaluated lest they feel "less than" other students who might be brighter. It's just not fair to reward some students who choose to study when there are students who don't excel at studying. They ALL should get a trophy.

I came from a household that had no father--he washed his hands of our family when I was 16. My 'little' brother walked me down the aisle for my wedding. I guess I forgot to throw a temper tantrum that it was "unfair" that I didn't have a father to walk with me. I just felt so happy to share my happiness with my brother. But since I didn't get what other women get, I'll call the ACLU & see if I can sue my father!

Anonymous said...

Wow Lara, bitter much?

Mainah said...

I believe her statement is truthful. (Unfortunately).

rob said...

Now everyone in the school knows the little girls mother stirred the pot and got the dance canceled. Recken her life at school is happier now?

She's probably also P.O.ed at Mom.

Anonymous said...
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