Are father-daughter dances discriminatory?

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Are father-daughter dances discriminatory?
12
Tue, 09-18-2012 - 4:07pm

The Today Show has an article about a Rhode Island school district that has banned father-daughter and mother-son evens because they violate the state gender discrimination laws: 

In a letter sent out in August, [district superintendent] Lundsten says, “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," according to WPRO.

You can read the full article here.  

The decision was brought about by a suit filed by the ACLU on behalf of a sinlge mom whose daughter could not attend the father-daughter dance.  

Do you think that banning these types of functions is fair? 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Wed, 09-19-2012 - 8:12am

IMHO, this has gone too far.  What's next?  Girls in Boys Scouts?  Men going into women's bathrooms?

I think the single mother who brought up the law suit is misguided.  Discriminatory practices should not be accepted when people's rights are concern - such as housing, education, employemnt, etc.  Many social events/activites, however, are indeed "disciminatory" by design, such as groups for people of similar interest, physical attributes, educational or ethnic backgrounds, etc. 

" ... 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".

Using the same logic, does it mean the school should let this girl participate in the boys' wrestling team?  The next thing you know, the mother is going to bring on another suit and this time is sexual assault because the girl got groped ...

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Wed, 09-19-2012 - 9:31am
In most states girls CAN participate in boys' sports in high school and college if they can make the team.
Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Wed, 09-19-2012 - 12:19pm

Those are some good suggestions, ashmama.  I feel bad for the girl but wonder who was more upset by it, her or the mom.  The mom had the option of doing a mother daughter outing at the same time to make her feel better.  At some point in your kid's life they've got to learn to deal with disappointment, they won't always be included.  

All I have are boys, and I seriously doubt they would be upset for being excluded from a dance :smileywink:  

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 09-19-2012 - 3:53pm

Our elementary school had a "family dance"--they never had a father/dd or mother/son--I do think it's more odd to have a fatherDD dance or activitiy & not include moms & sons--that's really the discrimination, excluding 1/2 of the students because of gender from an event.  It really isn't discrimination if you said that the students did not have to bring their father but could bring another relative or friend.  My cousin (who is from RI but sent her child to Catholic school) was widowed at a young age.  Her DD's school had a father DD dance and her DD would bring the grandfather instead.  This really has nothing to do w/ same sex couples since from many years ago, some kids didn't have fathers or mothers at home due to death, divorce or other circumstances.  So I wonder why suddenly it's an issue.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2010

In our school district I knew a girl who was on the boys wrestling team, at middle school level.  And my dd just told me there is a girl on the high school football team--she's on the varsity team & only a freshman--so she must be pretty good.  But as dd pointed out, they are still losing, lol!  

“Clearly," said Arthur,"you're an idiot- but you're our kind of idiot. Come on.” 
― Markus ZusakThe Book Thief

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2010

I like the family dance thing better also--that's what my children's elementary school did.  For girl scouts, we've had a very few father daughter events.  We usually call them Guy/gal events and suggest the girls bring their dad or stepdad or grandfather etc anyone they would like to bring.  And the one time my dd's attended one, I had to go instead of dad, because dh was incapacitated and I had no time to line up grandpa to come.  It kind of sucked, I felt bad for my dd's, but they didn't complain.  They were probalby used to disappoinment around that time, his back was really bad and he had surgery around then.

We also have mother daughter events and call them Gal/Gal events, it's not the greatest title, but same thing, bring your mom, grandma, stepmom, aunt etc.

“Clearly," said Arthur,"you're an idiot- but you're our kind of idiot. Come on.” 
― Markus ZusakThe Book Thief

Avatar for mom34101
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 09-20-2012 - 8:47am
I'm surprised to hear that anybody still has these types of events. I've never heard of it around here, but I remember going to these with my dad 40+ years ago. As others have suggested, it seems easy enough to let the girl bring another adult or just recharacterize this as a parent'-kid event. I wonder why this turned into such a big deal.