ACLU Claims Father-Daughter Dance Discriminatory

After a single mother complained to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that she was unable to attend the father-daughter dance, the town of Cranston, Rhode Island has ruled that the dances must be discontinued.

The Daily Mail is reporting that parents are fuming over a decision by Cranston School Superintendent Judith Lundsten to discontinue the dances after a mother complained about feeling left out of the dance because her child’s father would not attend.

The woman complained to the school where officials tried to accommodate her but none of the options they offered were satisfactory. It was then that the mother decided to contact the ACLU who discovered that while federal gender discrimination laws exempt these kinds of parent-child affairs, Rhode Island law does not.

Therefore, the dances were deemed to be in violation of state law and were cancelled.

Steven Brown of the Rhode Island chapter of the ACLU told the WPRO Morning News: “This is 2012 and they [public schools] should not be in the business of fostering blatant gender stereotypes. . . .  In 2012 not every girl necessarily wants to grow up and be Cinderella. Some might actually like to go out on the baseball field and a public school of all places should not be suggesting otherwise.”

Parents such as Lea Corona are appalled by the decision. “It’s absolutely ridiculous,” she wrote on the Cranston Patch Facebook page. “Another tradition taken away due to one loudmouth who just had to ruin it for everyone.”

Cristina Wilkinson Trainer, whose husband is fighting cancer but was still hoping to make it their youngest daughter’s dance, concurred: “I think it is sad,” she said. “It is a lovely tradition.”

Deanna Oster, another local mother wrote: “I am so disgusted by the city of Cranston and the school department. I think it is ridiculous that Cranston is once again getting rid of something for the few and punishing the many that enjoy this tradition. Some of the best memories I have with my dad are at these dances.”

Supporters of the new policy say the dances might be a lovely tradition, but they’re against the law.

“I’ve heard from both sides and I understand people view this as a tradition. It’s a thing my kids went to,” said Cranston School Committee member Janice Ruggieri to the Cranston Patch. “But it’s also the state law.”

Dr Lundsten sent a letter to parents explaining the new policy. “I acknowledge that many of these events have long traditions and for many parents, these types of gender-based events are not an issue, however, this is a public school system and under no circumstances should we be isolating any student from full participation in school activities and events based on gender. Please be all inclusive when planning your events.”

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3 Response to “ACLU Claims Father-Daughter Dance Discriminatory

  1. Sue, I apologize for my recent rants to your news stories. Please don’t take them personally. I have been under a lot of stress the last 6 months and I can’t do anything because its beyond my control. So I do apologize to you and I really appreciate your New Age Booklet. Anyway on this story about the Father-Daughter Dances we had them when I was still in high school in the 70’s and early 80’s. What we see know is same old ACLU with its Marxist like jargon like Gender or Equality or “being excluded” Its just a bunch of Liberal Progressive Scum who want to turn us into a classless Marxist like Utopia where every single American Tradition is taken apart, but in the end it wont win because it is too stupid and people seem to have lost their common horse sense and logic. They are as our Pope has said before his election “relativists” and are dangerous to me.

  2. The crux of the matter is not “gender stereotyping” as Steven Brown is suggesting. The problem is another indifferent or absent father in the life of his daughter. Most young girls today participate in sports, but still enjoy dressing up for a special night out with Dad. As a retired teacher, in both public and private schools in R.I., single parents generally recruited a grandparent, relative, close neighbor, or parent of one of the child’s friends, to attend father-daughter dances, or mother-son events. The complaining parent dismissed this option. Another solution is for the mother to plan a special activity for her daughter that night. Some schools have substituted
    “family events”, where either or both parents can attend to avert dissension. I feel sorry for both the mother and her daughter, but Mom would be better served to reassure her child of her unconditional love, find a substitute “father” for the dance, or plan a fun-filled alternate event, and enroll her daughter in other extra-curricular activities to boost her confidence and self-esteem. Changing her daughter’s environment to avoid disappointment may not always be an option, but raising her daughter to be strong despite adversity will have life-long positive results.

  3. I can’t believe they are using “gender discrimination” to end a lovely tradition. It is sad growing up without a father; I can speak from experience because my own dad was only in my life on and off from when I was 7 to 11 years old, and I went by myself to the father-daughter event that my Girl Scout troop hosted when I was 12 and in the 7th grade. But I was still able to enjoy the event because I was helping at the event and I could see how happy the other girls were to spend quality time with their dads. How about teaching these fatherless girls about selflessness and being happy for other people? It’s not always about them. And they can get good memories by volunteering or attending with an uncle, close male relative or male family friend.

    I know a girl who is 7 who just lost her dad to melanoma two weeks ago. She really loved those father-daughter dance memories with her dad (she spoke about them at his memorial, so it really meant a lot to her), and will cherish them forever. I know she is glad the dances were there, and it will make her a little sad when spring rolls around and her dad isn’t there anymore, but I don’t think even she would want to cancel the event entirely and ruin it for everyone else. Maybe in 2013 she can go with her oldest brother (16) or one of her uncles and start a new memory.