Should public schools hold father-daughter dances, mother-son games? Is this an issue worth fighting?

Illegality aside, are father-daughter dances or mother-son baseball games at public schools a good idea? Why not just have family dances or games?

An elementary school in Rhode Island held a father-daughter dance last spring that led a single mom to complain to the ACLU, which protested to the Cranston school district. While the dance in question was held — and the mom escorted her daughter — the debate has been reignited by a candidate running for the state Legislature in Rhode Island. Inflamed by politics, the matter has entered a national stage, where most people are saying let schools hold father-daughter dances or mom-son games.

This is one of those education sideshows — the dance was done after school hours under the auspices of a parent organization — that attracts a lot of attention but has nothing to do with the core mission of schools. My husband and daughters have attended father-daughter dances, but never ones held at a public school. Do public schools in Georgia hold events limited to dads and daughters or moms and sons?

My own school holds breakfasts — dads and donuts, moms and muffins, grandparents and grits. Those events pass legal muster because there is no specificity to the sex of the students in attendance.

Because of the ACLU involvement and now the political hoopla, Cranston Schools felt obliged to publicly announce that it will not allow the dances, which, of course, has intensified the drama. The school committee has asked the General Assembly to approve an exception to Rhode Island’s sex-discrimination law so events for students of one sex can be held when an equivalent event is  provided for opposite sex students.

According to a Providence Journal story last week on the school district’s decision to ban father-daughter dances:

Supt. Judith Lundsten said the move was triggered by a letter from the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a single mom who had complained that her daughter had not been able to attend her father-daughter dance.

Lundsten said school attorneys found while federal Title IX legislation banning gender discrimination gives an exemption for “father-son” and “mother-daughter” events, Rhode Island law doesn’t.

According to The New York Times:

The Cranston Public Schools Committee met Monday night to ask the state to create a special exception to a law they have cited in banning the dances. The law prohibits sex discrimination in “any and all other school functions and activities.”

By last spring, district officials say, a decade of turnover since the law was passed meant that administrators at Stadium Elementary were unaware of it, and the P.T.O. set out to plan the “Me and My Guy” dance, as well as a mother-son baseball game.

But a single mother identified only as Melissa complained first to the district and then to the state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, which sent the school superintendent a letter citing federal Title IX rules that prohibit sex-specific events in educational settings unless “reasonably comparable” events are held.

“A dance for girls and a baseball game for boys, particularly in light of the stereotypes they embody, are not, we submit, ‘reasonably comparable’ activities,” the letter from the state A.C.L.U.’s director, Steven Brown, said. “To the contrary; the stereotypes at their core undermine the goal of school anti-discrimination laws.”

The district responded quickly, saying that the district had not approved the dance and that it would remind principals that it “does not condone gender-limited events,” as a letter from an assistant superintendent put it. In the end, though, the dance went on as planned and the mother who complained attended with her daughter.

It is not the first time Cranston has crossed paths with the civil liberties union. The city and the schools owe about $150,000 in legal fees after losing a lawsuit brought by the organization over a prayer banner that hung in Cranston High School West. The A.C.L.U. said displaying a prayer was inappropriate in a public school.

“After having to fork over the money because of the prayer banner, it’s like — the A.C.L.U sent us a letter, let’s run the other way rather than standing up for the kids,” said Richard Rodi, a parent. He was at the committee meeting Monday handing out fliers for Sean Gately, a Republican State Senate candidate who had brought up the father-daughter dance issue on a local radio show, stoking consternation among parents who had not realized there was a ban on such dances.

“Having those little father-daughter dances and seeing her all dressed up in her pretty dress — it’s a very special moment,” said Mr. Gately, who said the ban “offended me as a father and a husband.” “Nobody is being hurt by a father-daughter dance,” he said.

Some have been frustrated not by the ban but by the sharp back-and-forth it has generated here. “Let’s call this what it is,” said Joanne Spaziano, a teacher, “it’s political grandstanding.”

Most parents at the meeting expressed support for the school committee, which unanimously approved a resolution to ask the Rhode Island General Assembly to create an exception to its sex-discrimination rule and allow specific events for students of one sex when equivalents exist for students of the other.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

116 comments Add your comment

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

September 28th, 2012
9:52 am

Yes and no.

Bigger fish to fry.

bob

September 28th, 2012
9:52 am

Another great decision by the libs. Are they made up of the most selfish people or what ? If I can’t do it then you can’t either, how pathetic. The mother is an Obama voter.

williebkind

September 28th, 2012
9:55 am

Is it strange to you Maureen that one person can change every tradition the community may have just because they dont like it. Really? The entire school is put aside for that one irate parent. Is that not something to be discussed in school government classes?

Jaynie

September 28th, 2012
9:56 am

I don’t see any problem with a father-daughter dance or game nor a mother-son game or dance. I think we sometimes get a little too carried away with trying to make things equal for everybody. I was a single mother with two daughters so my kids did not attend father-daughter dances either. However, my granddaughters have attended several with their dads and loved it.

Lee

September 28th, 2012
9:59 am

“… a single mom who had complained that her daughter had not been able to attend her father-daughter dance.”

Sure she could have. All she had to do is to ask her FATHER to accompany her. I mean, unless the daughter was concieved in a petri dish, she does have a father. And even if there were circumstances such as the father passing, most of these events allow for grandfathers, uncles, or others to attend.

And if there were no male figures in this girl’s life, no one would have said anything if the Mom just showed up with her.

But no, Mom has to go all feminazi on everybody and make a mountain out of a molehill.

Some people really need to take a deep breath and get a life…

Really amazed

September 28th, 2012
10:02 am

OMG! Really??? More entitlement. Now if you have a dad you are being discriminated against those that don’t. Let’s just turn everything around. You are better off not having a father, better off not having a house, better off not having a job, better off not being educated, better off being leaving off the gov’t. If you have all of the above, you are in the wrong. Go dancing with your daughter, go play games with your sons. No this can’t be because of those that don’t have. Yes, these public gov’t school sure do have things right!!!

Wondering Allowed

September 28th, 2012
10:04 am

Oh, yes, schools should hold events like this. After all, why miss an opportunity to make someone without a parent feel awkward? After all, those kids likely don’t already have enough issues. If the school doesn’t hold events specifically for fathers/daughters or mothers/sons, then how will the child without a parent be singled out?

Parentless kids should just suck it up and keep their feelings of loss to themselves. We, as a community, are under no obligation to make things easier for them. In fact, given the opportunity to make them feel worse, we should go for it. Maybe it’s not enough to just hold the dance. Perhaps we should corral the children without parents into glass booths and force them to be exhibits in the middle of the room during the dance.

Seriously (hopefully the above was correctly recognized as sarcasm), that’s what it feels like to many of these children. Why, as intelligent caring people, would we want to create that situation just for a dance that nobody would miss if it weren’t held?

Any adult who thinks that type of activity has any merit should just think how his/her child would feel if next year, the parent was no longer there and the child was confronted with the other kids being excited about the event.

skipper

September 28th, 2012
10:08 am

ACLU; Association of Creepy Lunatics United. Before it is over, one will have to be a left-handed gay transgender blind person to have any rights at all……………..these losers out there need to get a life. What a crappy way to re-invent life to suit ones own personal wants!

Wondering Allowed

September 28th, 2012
10:16 am

BTW, any father or daughter who needs a dance to validate their relationship is in need of serious help. Children with a living father in their lives already have an advantage. They already have memories. They already have opportunities for bonding. Why rub that in the faces of the other children? What need is there for having the school provide another opportunity for those who already have so much, when it can hurt those children who already lack that person in their lives? It just doesn’t make sense to me that so many people are so selfish and can only see things through their own suburban picket fence Leave it to Beaver lens.

If a father daughter dance is so important, have it at your church, house or rented social hall. Do not make it a school event, where children from different family circumstances will be left to feel bad.

RCB

September 28th, 2012
10:17 am

Was there was NO MALE whatsoever in this child’s life that could have taken her? Maybe that’s the problem. So….one parent has the power to discontinue the dance for everyone? That’s the kind of parental involvement we don’t need.

southpaw

September 28th, 2012
10:27 am

Legislators and other government officials have made lots of rules. This illustrates why most of them need exceptions every now and then. The ACLU solved a problem that never existed. Although the federal government certainly makes its share of mistakes,the exemption for father-daughter and mother-son events isn’t one of those mistakes. Suggestion to the Rhode Island legislature: Amend state law to match the exception in federal law.

Once Melissa attended the dance with her daughter, a reasonable solution had been found. That should be the end of the story.

Wondering Allowed

September 28th, 2012
10:28 am

@RCB – Yeah, because the child who shows up with her uncle when all the other kids are there with a father is going to feel just like the other kids. Right. The child with the non-father will feel as though there is a bumper sticker on her behind, a tattoo on her forehead and a talking neon sign flashing directly behind her reminding the world that she doesn’t have a father. Worse, the other kids will be whispering to one another asking who the man is with Fatherless Frannie. Why, in the name of all that is good, would anyone want to put an innocent child, who has already been blamelessly given an unfortunate circumstance, into that position?

Wondering Allowed

September 28th, 2012
10:30 am

There shouldn’t have to be a law or rule for this. Thinking, caring, compassionate, intelligent adults should never be planning these exclusionary events in the first place. They should think of others. They should know better. They should voluntarily act correctly. They shouldn’t need public validation of their relationships, especially at the expense of others.

It’s a shame the government has to be asked to step in and enforce what should be common decency, but it’s a good thing we have a court system that can do this.

Why not make orphans wear scarlet “O”s on their clothes?

Pompano

September 28th, 2012
10:33 am

@Wondering Allowed makes a good point. Since many fathers choose to abandon their daughters, it’s not really fair that some of us choose to stay engaged and support our kids. It would be better if all of us ignored our kids and left it up to the Public School System to bring them down to the same level.
A Father/Daughter dance is outright evil and the Public Schools should not be taking steps to encourage the involvement of parents.

Nikki7

September 28th, 2012
10:38 am

Interesting……..my daughters school does alternate events, one year there is a father-daughter dance and a mother-son “hoe-down” and the alternate year there is a mother-daughter tea and a father-son sports event.

Atlanta Mom

September 28th, 2012
10:44 am

“the dance was done after school hours under the auspices of a parent organization”
I’m surprised the parent organization is not being sued.

Wondering Allowed

September 28th, 2012
10:50 am

@Pompano – You are confusing the choices made by fathers with the pain inflicted on children. I am very much in favor of publicly shaming the fathers, and don’t care about how they feel. On the other hand, the child had no part in the decisions made, let alone children without parents who had a parent die. The pain of father/daughter evens falls on the innocent children without parents, not the absentee parent who will never even know about the event and already doesn’t care. Why would anyone advocate hurting those innocent children even more, especially for an unneccesary dance?

Atlanta Mom

September 28th, 2012
10:50 am

Our elementary school used to have “grandparents lunch” and realized it was insensitive to children with grandparents who were unavailable/deceased. Now they have a special friends lunch. And all the children can have somebody there.
Seems like the same thing should be applied here, Dad or other adult male. That’s what the Girl Scouts do.

Wondering Allowed

September 28th, 2012
10:54 am

BTW, I’m curious – how many of those advocating father/daughter dances lost a parent when young?

Wondering Allowed

September 28th, 2012
10:57 am

@Atlanta Mom – Agreed!

I have been the “special friend” at such an event. My friend’s child’s grandparents could not make it into town, so I watched class performances, visited the classroom and drank punch while looking at diaramas. Some kids did have grandparents there, others had aunts, uncles, older siblings, etc. No child was made to feel different just because they didn’t have that certain relative in his/her life.

All the fun, none of the singling out.

DeKalb Teacher

September 28th, 2012
10:59 am

The father/daughter dances I have attended were held at the school and attended by 75% fathers and 25% mothers. Everybody loved it from the feedback I received.

Denise

September 28th, 2012
10:59 am

Wondering Allowed makes a lot of good points. It does suck to be excluded because of circumstances out of your control. It is not a child’s fault that he/she has no mother or father in the home. (I disagree that having these parents automatically makes good memories. Abuse or abandomnet is often the reason for the absence.) However, everybody cannot participate in everything, ever. Period. If they are concerned that all combinations are not covered, make a mother-daughter and father-son event. Again some will be left out but everybody will be covered in some form or fashion. But let’s be honest…there are always some who will not participate even when they “fit” the demographic AND you cannot please everyone so trying to doesn’t make any sense. Hell,what if there is a dance for honor roll students those who don’t make the honor roll cannot attend? Or a dance just for the band or the athletes? Will there be a push for that (made-up) dance to be cancelled because it’s exclusive and it makes those who can’t go feel bad?

Really amazed

September 28th, 2012
11:01 am

What about the father/mother that lost their daughter to a death??? Should they NOT be allowed to dance at one of these dances with their other daughter???? It isn’t always the child that misses out. Parents lose children too!!

Van Jones

September 28th, 2012
11:02 am

Wondering Allowed, you’ve gone off the deep end.

AlreadySheared

September 28th, 2012
11:03 am

As long as young men continue to enroll in college in significantly higher numbers than women, we need to keep having events like “take your daughter to work day” to decrease disparate gender opportunities.

Really amazed

September 28th, 2012
11:04 am

Why couldn’t they just call it a dance for student and a special someone in their lives. Some have two moms. Some have two dads. Some have just a mom or just a dad. Some have a grandparent. Some have a brother or sister that could maybe come.

dc

September 28th, 2012
11:05 am

sad to see all suffer because of the situation of a few…. and happens all the time. how selfish can a person be who says “because in my situation this event isn’t possible for me to enjoy, I want to take it away from the vast majority of those who can enjoy it”.

Again, what an amazingly self focused attitude. wow.

Wondering Allowed

September 28th, 2012
11:07 am

@DeKalb Teacher – so why should it even be called a father/daughter dance? Those children who attended with their mothers likely each had a moment where they had to think about the fact that their father wasn’t there. Why not just call it a “Special Person’s” dance, or a “Friends and Relatives” prom? Same idea, same result, no labels that can hurt.

William Casey

September 28th, 2012
11:10 am

Atlanta Mom makes a reasonable suggestion.

Single Mom

September 28th, 2012
11:10 am

I am a single Mom to two internationally adopted daughters. We recently relocated to a small southern town. I was appalled that our school chose to have events such as the Father-Daughter dance. My parents are deceased, and while I have two brothers who adore their neices, they live in other states/countries and were unable to escort the girls. I have to agree with “wondering allowed” that these types of events single out children who just want to fit in and be like their friends. Why can’t these events be labeled as “Atlanta Mom” suggests – with Someone Special. That way, family members, neighbor or Mom can attend with the child?

Wondering Allowed

September 28th, 2012
11:11 am

@dc – what suffering would a child unable to attend a dance labeled father/daughter have? Even if there is the slightest tinge of thought, isn’t that much less than the suffering of a child who doesn’t have a father who must be reminded of this every day up until the dance, and probably beyond?

Talk about selfishness… the “I need a father/daughter dance even if it hurts the feelings of the girl whose father died” seems to take the cake. Holy selfishness Batman! Really???? The person who doesn’t care about the classmate without a parent is the one being victimized? Are people really so in love with the smell of their own stuff that they have lost the ability to understand it’s stench?

Wondering Allowed

September 28th, 2012
11:13 am

@AlreadySheared – Cancel the “Bring Your Daughters to Work” day festivities. Every year since the early nineties, more women than men have enrolled in college. And graduated from college. For more info: http://www.prb.org/Articles/2011/gender-gap-in-education.aspx

david

September 28th, 2012
11:16 am

The descrimination claim doesn’t come from the parental gender … they will usually allow either to show based on circumstances. The CLAIM come from the childrens gender, having to explain to Jane why she can’t go but Johnny can, or v-v.
But what I don’t understand is why we can’t explain to them and admit outloud that there’s a difference between the sexes.

DrKEdD

September 28th, 2012
11:20 am

I was going to post on how this is such an insignicant point and that the legislators should concentrate on more impportant issues. But in reflection, this is the ONLY type of legislative decisions that I want elected officials to make on behalf of education…whether or not we have a dance and what the theme should be…and should the napkins match the toilet paper…will do these pants make my butt look fat. So, please, encourage the legislation to continue making such landmark legislation! LOL…and leave the rest of the process to professional educators. HA HA!

Pompano

September 28th, 2012
11:20 am

This is much bigger than Rhode Island – it’s a national problem. We must support the ACLU in eliminating Father’s Day as well. Many Fathers are unworthy or unavailable to be honored. It’s not fair that some children are able to enjoy the pride of two loving supportive parents while others cannot.

Perhaps the labels “Mother” and “Father” are discriminatory as well. We should probably adopt a more generic term (Breeders ?/?so as not to stigmatize some individuals.

Tinkerella

September 28th, 2012
11:26 am

These things are not needed. They can be held for everyone. By all means, if your community wants to have an exclusivity event, have it somewhere else. There are too many children who have lost a parent or are in difficult family situations that do not need additional burdens. I think this is where adults with little feeling for those children need to look at the bigger picture and have events more conducive to everyone’s involvement and where everyone feels welcome.

Wondering Allowed

September 28th, 2012
11:28 am

@Pompano – You do realize Fathers Day and Mothers Day were commercially created to spur sales of knick-knacks and greeting cards, rather than being government sanctioned holidays, like Memorial Day or Christmas, right? While those without a parent might feel bad they are not forced into spending money on flowers or jewelry in celebration of this corporate marketing ploy, the adult in a child’s life can manage Mothers Day or Fathers Day in a way that cannot be done with a school sponsored event mentioned daily in the classroom in which all the other kids are participating.

Tom B

September 28th, 2012
11:39 am

Wondering Allowed, are you for or against the “everybody gets a trophy” rule in place with the latest generation?

Maude

September 28th, 2012
11:40 am

No!!!!!! You are always leaving some child out in the cold crying!!

My goodness...

September 28th, 2012
11:52 am

Another absolutely critical issues to address in public education today….geesh…

Ole Guy

September 28th, 2012
11:55 am

This looks like yet another stab at the touchy feely educational experience which the gurus are cooking up in the wild; aimless attempt to capture long-lost relationships of long ago. Let’s face on of today’s hard-to-swallow facts…the family cohession of the Waltons is gone, probably never to return, at least not in my lifetime, nor that of the readership. We often like to think we can return to the nostalgic (sic) innocence of a simpler time; a time when, among other things, the family unit was strong. Unfortunately, we have advanced (if you care to attribute “advance” to a good thing) to a socio-economic point where this is, on the grand scales of yesteryear, simply not realistic. Besides, during the years of my mis-spent youth, Mom and Dad were the last people I wanted to be around during those “exploratory years” when these social events: dances/soc hops and the like were times when we could, like tenuous sharks, circle the chicks in hormone-raging curiosity…whonhell wanted Mom and Dad in the middle of that (no overly psuedo-religous replys)?

SouthGaTeacher

September 28th, 2012
11:56 am

Wow, as someone who has a dead beat dad that was never around, I never felt shamed, or left out, or any of those things when my friends had their father/daughter activities. I was happy for them. Why should we punish those dads that stay around and raise their children? I’ve even had a friend’s dad include me in one such activity. I also had a grandfather and several uncles that would have been more than happy to go with me to father/daughter dance. I refused, choosing instead to have a mother/daughter day with my mom. I just think that people have gone crazy and are looking for anything to cause a problem. By the way, I’m redheaded and I’m personally offended at Ronald McDonald. I feel like he is making fun of my genetic mutation and making a profit to add insult to injury. Who wants to take my case?

high school teacher

September 28th, 2012
11:59 am

The dance is held after hours. It’s not during the school day, so let them have the danceI have attended the mother-son dances at the elementary school the past 7 years with both of my boys. A close friend of mine is raising her grandsons because their parents were killed in an auto accident. She takes the boys to the mother-son dance even though she is the grandmother. Do they feel different? Yes they do, but they feel different every day of their lives. They feel different every year in April when the class makes Mother’s Day crafts for moms and they don’t have one anymore. Should we stop every activity that emphasizes the relationships between parents and their children because some children don’t have parents? My friend’s grandsons have a rough time, but they are learning to cope. Shielding children from feeling uncomfortable or from feeling different does not prepare them for adulthood.

Entitlement Society

September 28th, 2012
12:01 pm

So the ACLU prohibits single sex events, but it’s fine for single race organizations like the NAACP to exist? Seems like double standards to me.

Wondering

September 28th, 2012
12:02 pm

My ex-wife and I spent the better part of ten years in court so I could see my kids. My daughter insisted on my presence at her Father-Daughter dance in fifth grade. It was the first time in her young life that she stood up for her right to see me. You would deny me that experience?

We each have our crosses to bare, and a child missing a parent needs support. They already know their situation. A Father-Daughter dance doesn’t bring on the pain. It is the insensitive manner in which people handle the situation that causes hurt feelings.

BTW, do we also eliminate chorus because some people are tone deaf? Sports due to the handicapped? My, my, how we see the world only through our own lense.

Lee

September 28th, 2012
12:04 pm

Meanwhile….

This country is spending itself into bankrupcy, we have tens of millions of foreign invaders waltzing across our borders, thousands of our sons and daughters have been killed in a foreign land in a neverending war, but the newsworthy story of the day is some Prius driving, Starbucks drinking “mom” gets offended and runs to the Amerikan Communist Loon Union because her daughter might get her feelings hurt.

There, I feel better now.

Hillbilly D

September 28th, 2012
12:08 pm

Fortunately, I learned at a very early age that life is filled with disappointments. I also learned that you deal with it and move on.

This is political grandstanding over a non-problem. Some folks will do just about anything to see their name in the paper, evidently.

mom of 3

September 28th, 2012
12:14 pm

This is all so silly. If all school activities that made a child feel bad were cancelled, there would be no more school activities. All children, at one time or another, feel left out. If mom or dad cries foul every time their child has her/his feelings hurt, the child will never learn to handle their hurt feelings.

Wondering Allowed

September 28th, 2012
12:32 pm

@Tom B – Very much against. Very different situation. Competition encourages individual or group achievement. It doesn’t stigmatize based on an already unfortunate situation.

Rockerbabe

September 28th, 2012
12:40 pm

The simplest thing to do, would be to have parents host the dance and let all the kids come. That way, no one is left out and no one is stigmatized. 50% of marriages in the country end in divorce, so that + kids who live with just one parent, need to have consideration. Growup folks, families have changes and so must the schools and their activities.

bubba

September 28th, 2012
12:44 pm

A bit off topic/but somewhat aligned:
- I think its absurd how at many (most?) schools the PTA’s have become modern day garden club replacements for housewives

Everyone points to students performance being subpar, but at the same time in recent years in an apparent attempt to keep housewives busy during the day (now that Oprah is no longer on) dozens and dozens and dozens of scope creep activities requiring dozens and dozens of committees have flooded the schools.

Do we really need to have a zillion charities supported by the kids (wear this color shirt this day, this color arm band this week, pay this many $ to wear your sport shirt, this many $ to wear your favorite color, etc etc. etc.)

Do we really need to support every edufad, contest, etc. that comes down the pike because neighboring XYZ school does it? And then we need to have a ton of fundraising and associated constantly pestering to support funds for the edufads. Do we really need to constantly raise funds to give teachers: holiday gifts, birthday gifts, spring break gifts, etc. etc.

I would love it if school days were limited to purely educational pursuits and not all this noise. Likewise, if PTA’s were focused on a minimal mission of say providing pre/post school day tutorial services and test prep – I think we would all be better off.

Ole Guy

September 28th, 2012
12:57 pm

What ever happened to the days when the primary purpose of PTA meetings was so that parents and teachers could talk behind the kids’ backs?

clewis564

September 28th, 2012
12:58 pm

If you didn’t know the U.S. state dept. has already removed “mother” and “father” from federal travel docs and put in its place “parent 1″ and “parent 2″

Connie Morrow

September 28th, 2012
1:15 pm

Back 40 yrs ago when they first began having these Dad and daughter, Mother and son activities, most of the families involved were in 2 parent households. The very scope of “family” has changed so dramatically over the decades that this type of event is no longer sanctified. Today there are very few traditional parenting households out there. So yes, at this juncture it is a matter of exclusion, as opposed to inclusion. I vote to just eliminate anything that would point out a glaring omission of one or both parents. Just have a dance, why specify any thing else… wow

xxx

September 28th, 2012
1:24 pm

“a single mom who had complained that her daughter had not been able to attend her father-daughter dance”….”becaue of her inability to choose a suitable mate” is the real answer to that question

Sue

September 28th, 2012
1:25 pm

“”But no, Mom has to go all feminazi on everybody and make a mountain out of a molehill.”"

I agree that the mother is making a mountain out of a molehill. She should have just gone to the dance with her daughter. I would ask that you not refer to her as a feminist or a nazi though, or use the sludge term femnazi. It really is a slap in the face to those of us who have lived through WWII. Thanks.

On My Way

September 28th, 2012
1:33 pm

I don’t remember ever seeing an episode on Leave It To Beaver about father-daughter dances or mother-son baseball games. So this ain’t no tradition. Kill it.

On My Way

September 28th, 2012
1:34 pm

Awaiting moderation? What did I do?

mary

September 28th, 2012
1:35 pm

to “Wondering Allowed”

I was one of those little girls who went with her uncle to the father/daughter dances. No, it’s not as tramatizing as you think. I knew everyday that I didn’t have a father (and so did everyone else) so no one started at me or made fun of me at the dances. I was really glad to have my uncle take me, and it was nicer than staying home alone while all the other girls got to go to the dance. It’s kind of like the kids who’s parents died, we all took “substitutes.” It really didn’t cause a problem for me to have to take an uncle to the dance; it was kind of nice. Of course it would have been nicer to have a father to take, but when you’re eight years old you know you don’t have control over that. Would I have wished the dance never happened? Of course not. Kids aren’t that selfish. I thought it was a cool idea (a dance! dressing up! party!) so any chance to go was fun.

MCAN

September 28th, 2012
1:36 pm

@Pompano It’s happening… Passport application forms are being modified as follows: instead of an applicant naming their mother and father, they will be asked for details of “parent 1” and “parent 2.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/family/8803082/Mothers-and-fathers-removed-from-passport-application-forms.html

The Truth

September 28th, 2012
1:39 pm

Anything that goes against the ACLU and political correctness – perhaps the two biggest black eyes on the face of American culture in the past 30 years – is worth fighting for…

Maureen Downey

September 28th, 2012
1:54 pm

@On may Way, You probably did nothing. All new posters go into moderation. And there is also the inexplicable moderating by the unseen and automated hands of the blog. I have yet to figure out a pattern in why some posts end up in moderation or even in spam. There are folks I have in moderation, but you aren’t one of them.
Maureen

williebkind

September 28th, 2012
2:05 pm

Yep, do away with every event because somebody is going to be offended. Lets all dress the same, oh wait, that means I can not show my Islamic religion, speak the same, oh wait a minute can not do that that will offend the illegal immigrants. See we just as well go to a charter school where government and whackos can be ignored.

Carl

September 28th, 2012
2:09 pm

Attention Wondering Allowed,

Lighten up Frances.

The Deal

September 28th, 2012
2:41 pm

Just have a parent/grandparent/child dance. Is that so difficult? Most kids have parents or grandparents. Why is this such a big deal?

skipper

September 28th, 2012
2:42 pm

Wondering;
YOU have folks “wondering” if you can fall off a log in a lake and hit water…………so lets change the following:
1. No more 200-meter races in the Olympics, since very obese people may be unfit to compete, thus “discrimination.”
2. No more swimming pools, since those from poorer socio-economic backgrounds may not know how to swim.
3. Kids who bring lunch to school can only bring cold beans, so those less fortunate will not feel intimitaded.
4. Everyone will have to serve time in jail, so they will know what those who have been sentenced go through.
5. Kids whose parents have done nothing wrong will still have to have THEIR parents jailed, right or wrong. Then, they will know what it is like.
By the way, these are no more abstract than some of your liberal “musings.” Nothing wrong with sympathy or empathy, but whare does it stop??

skipper

September 28th, 2012
2:43 pm

p.s. thats “where,” not “whare” (sp.)

this is stupid

September 28th, 2012
2:53 pm

This is not a required event. If you do not have a man in your daughters life then just don’t go! Should we cut Honors Day programs because all students do not get awards? Or don’t have Mother/Son events when the Mom is absent? Come on people! I think that it is a good time for Dads and daughters to dress up and have fun! It is just that simple! It is not mandatory!

Halftrack

September 28th, 2012
2:56 pm

Political Correctness has run amuck. Taxpayers pay for the schools. The Supreme Court has ruled that local communities can permit or not permit censure of things that are not common community standards. Why is this a big deal? Local communities should be able to hold events that the pluarity of the community decides to sponsor, if it is civil and does not physically damage property or act like a terrorist.

DeKalb Teacher

September 28th, 2012
3:14 pm

The point of having a father/daughter dance is to:
1. Encourage the fathers to take their daughters out
2. Encourage the fathers to get involved in a school event

Due to deaths, two mothers, etc … various kids had significant others take them to the dance where it ended up being 25% mothers/other … and that’s just fine. If it wasn’t a “father/daughter” dance then it would have been 90% mothers out there.

Let’s not get caught up in the politically correct. Otherwise we’ll have to cancel all dances in deference to the paraplegics.

Just A Teacher

September 28th, 2012
3:16 pm

This is reflective of a larger societal issue. I hate to be the one to bear the bad news, but children were meant to be reared by parents who are in love with each other. There are way too many single parent households. I’m old fashioned that way, but I think people should fall in love, get married, and then have children. I know sometimes a spouse passes away, but that should be the only reason for a single parent household. Kids need both parents to be well adjusted. In other words, don’t make babies with people you don’t plan on being with for life.

LydiasDad

September 28th, 2012
3:21 pm

Anyone who donates to the ACLU is an America-hating loon.

Another Comment

September 28th, 2012
3:27 pm

My oldest daughter’s father wanted me to have an abortion when I became pregnant with her at 33 years of age. He told me he would leave me if I did not have one. He told me he already had a son and did not want any more children. I told him he could leave, I was going to have the baby. I had the baby girl 18 years ago last week. He left 4 months after she was born. He came with his tail between his legs 4 months later. 30 months later I could not take the drinking, the verbal abuse, and then he punched me in the face while I was holding my 3 year old daughter who was sick, because I wouldn’t have sex with him. She was having an alergic reaction to pineapple. I called the police, he fled. He has spent the last 15 years drunk up in North Georgia, Mountians. 12 of them living off another woman until she kicked him out.

My daughter asked me a couple of years ago to find her father, I did. He called and said that he loved her and she could call him if she wanted to. Then I got a call a few months later from him that his 23 year old son, whose life he had also been absent from had died that morning or the night before of a drug overdose.

My daughter was always sad when they had Father daughter dances that she did not have a father to take her. She was also sad about Grandparents day, as my parents live 900 miles away. Her father’s parents, stopped all contact in her life despite me sending pictures of her at Christmas, once I had him arrested for punching me in the face. I finally, let my kids not attend school on Grandparents day, because they felt so sad. Atlanta is a city of Migrants, why don’t some people understand that their are alot of kids who live here that don’t have Grandparents living next door.

My daughter’s sad case of a father left a happy birthday message for her last week on Face book. I asked if she was going to contact him. She said he made her wait 18 years, she was going to make him wait awhile too.

So yes, these Father-Daughter, Mother-Son, and Grandparent day, things hurt the kids who do not have that kind of relationship available. Sorry we are not living in the 50’s or 60’s anymore. Even when we were so many of us did not grow up in Leave it to Beaver or Ozzie and Harriet families.

3schoolkids

September 28th, 2012
3:29 pm

I have often been at odds with the goals of the school PTA, or with a specific person in the PTA that enjoyed using their position to exclude certain people from volunteering/contributing to fundraisers so I do see where this parent might have been coming from. That said, it is a good life lesson in “get over it and find your own way to contribute.” If you really want to assist your school and set an example for your child, just bypass the PTA completely and offer your time, donations of materials, etc. directly to the classroom teacher/teachers. Your child will get much more out of your presence helping out in the classroom, on field trips or special projects than they will at one parent/child event.

Now, about field day…

jmac83

September 28th, 2012
3:41 pm

Good grief, while we’re at it why don’t we ban school honors days in order to avoid stigmatizing kids who had fewer books at home to read and less parental help with their homework, and must sit in the bleachers and watch while the “fortunate ones” receive their certificates?

AlreadySheared

September 28th, 2012
3:55 pm

@Wondering,
Yes, I know. Was sarcasm.

Janet

September 28th, 2012
4:04 pm

For the record, the organizers of this dance were trying to be sensitive to those who may not have both parents in their life by changing the name of the dance to “My Guy and Me” dance. This girl could have brought ANYONE… neighbor, brother, uncle, friend, church member… anyone. But instead they chose to sue and ruin it for everyone. There is something wrong with our system when we allow that to happen. What is she teaching her daughter anyway, that the world should bend to her every whim???

I get that the girl is not happy about not having her dad in her life. #1, she should take that issue up with mommy, not the school. And #2, SO WHAT if her feelings were hurt. We ALL get our feeling hurt about one thing or another, you just have to put your big girl panties on and MOVE ON… NOT SUE. Is everyone who doesn’t make a sports team, or can’t afford the cheerleading uniform, or isn’t smart enough to make it on the mathlete team supposed to sue? Man, I really wish I had known it was okay to sue everytime I didn’t feel included. My life would be so much better now (dripping sarcasm).

Just last week my 7 year old daughter attended “Donuts with Dad” at school. It was incredibly sweet and she was very excited to have him there. I am thankful there are no selfish jerks like this lady at our school.

BJ

September 28th, 2012
4:12 pm

Dear Wondering Allowed………My father died 3 weeks before my 24th birthday….but I haven’t petitioned the government to cancel Father’s Day. Do I feel like crap every Father’s Day? You bet. Do I still cry when my friends post sweet pictures of themselves and their dads on Facebook on Father’s Day and I realize that I’m out of that loop forever? Absolutely. I’m sympathetic to kids who don’t have either parent, but I think this is just going too far. And I do not agree that kids going to these events with an uncle, older brother, grandparent are still traumatized. They got the joy of participating.

Jani

September 28th, 2012
4:17 pm

I think the whole thing is creepy. A Dad is a dad, not “a date.” Obviously a lot of people disagree with me, but when I was young, we had little dances where students– boys and girls– were taught to dance traditional steps together.

Also, some kids do not have a dad present in their lives. It’s not their fault. Maybe their dad is deceased or abandoned them. I would not want a girl to feel left out for no fault of her own.

williebkind

September 28th, 2012
4:24 pm

I am calling the ACLU because this blog offends me!!!

Richard

September 28th, 2012
4:26 pm

Life isn’t fair, people. So a kid has to stay home, so what? The world doesn’t stop spinning every time someone gets their feelings hurt. I was brought up hearing “everybody gets knocked down. The question is: Will you get back up?” This mom answered no and missed a teaching/parenting opportunity.

Just Sayin.....

September 28th, 2012
4:39 pm

Wondering aloud said: They already have opportunities for bonding. Why rub that in the faces of the other children? What need is there for having the school provide another opportunity for those who already have so much, when it can hurt those children who already lack that person in their lives?

I think that says it all. Most of you are focusing on the mother. If you focus on the child, the reality hits hard. If he father is not in the home, it will be the CHILD that misses out. In my first marriage, my wife would not tell me ANYTHING about he children. If there was a father/daughter dance, my ex would not tell me. If I wanted to know something was going on in my childrens’ lives, I had to drag it out of them or call the school myself. And if the F/D dance was not on my day to have the kids, there was no way she would let me take them. Thus, these situations become another chance for the ex to create animosity, another chance for the children to suffer. I was a father who wanted to be involved, but was summarily dismissed by the ex at every opportunity to grow closer to my kids. A court order never considers father/daughter dances, or the intransigence of an ex wife.

Thus, a sweet thought by the PTA becomes another hurtful episode in the lives of some of the children.

Ben

September 28th, 2012
5:01 pm

If there a problem with single mothers, lesbians, etc. who object just make it a private event and invite fathers and their daughters; don’t start changing the name of the event or morphing the original intent from what it really is just to accommodate a vocal minority group with bruised egos that remind them of one of their big life mistakes.

The Truth

September 28th, 2012
5:02 pm

Another Comment – sorry things didn’t turn our rosy for you and yours, but that’s no reason to shut it down for everyone else. I don’t know who my dad is, nor do I have any family outside of my mom’s parents. Growing up, my friends’ dads signed for my badges during cub scouts – you don’t see me complaining. The point is that it isn’t right to keep others from doing something if they have the ability to do it. I’m clearly smarter than you – does that mean I shouldn’t have been allowed to complete college or a master’s degree. I’m quite certain I’m paid more than the average person as well. Does that mean my job should be eliminated because others aren’t as fortunate as me to have been able to cobble together a solid education and career to end up where I am today? To think that “feeling sad” is something people should be protected from is the most ignorant thought I’ve ever heard. We are all sad at some point – we all face adversity. What separates those of us who find solitude and success in our lives is how we deal with the roadblocks. Those who sit down and complain that the person next to them had a clearer path fail, and those who kick the darn roadblock’s butt and move on to the next obstacle win – it’s as simple as that. No one waltzes through this life without their share of sadness, and the sooner you understand that and develop the ability to overcome, the better off you and yours will be when life doesn’t follow the direction you’d hoped.

William Casey

September 28th, 2012
5:03 pm

I seer no need for school events such as these. I spend time with and create events for both my son and daughter. It’s not the school’s function.

William Casey

September 28th, 2012
5:09 pm

The woman should not have sued. That being said, there are a lot of just plain MEAN people on this blog.

scot

September 28th, 2012
5:11 pm

so let’s see, since not all kids have dads around, this means no dance for everyone.
but why stop there? let’s extend the logic/principal…
since some kids can’t walk or run, let’s abolish all sports.
since some kids can’t read, let’s banish books.
life isn’t fair and when life presents a child with this kind of moment, it’s an opportunity for a (good) parent to teach and help their child grow.
you learn more from defeat than you do from any victory.
and specifically to you folks who believe it’s not only your number 1 job, but apparently everyone else’s job, to make your child happy and feel good about themselves all the time, you are only delaying the inevitable. life is full of disappointment and you are setting them up to fail in life because they will not be prepared to overcome any of it.
it may feel good to you now, but it’s incredibly shortsighted.

The Truth

September 28th, 2012
5:51 pm

William – I think you’re confusing “mean” with “realistic” and “not being politically correct”…neither of which are a bad thing. Perhaps everyone should lighten up and not take every single spoken or written word so seriously. Things like this, and the rest of the crap the ACLU tries to flame, are no less ignorant than those clowns in the middle east that are rioting over a dadgum youtube video. Get over yourselves!

Rose

September 28th, 2012
5:51 pm

Fairly ridiculous. If a child doesn’t have a father, ask an uncle, male friend of the mother’s choosing, whatever. And bring back Christmas parties, choir that sang Christmas songs (and I was brought up Jewish.) Never bothered me at all and always participated. Miss those days because, OMG, it was FUN! Way too much PC in this day and age. Everyone is a hater. Get over it.

Truth in Moderation

September 28th, 2012
6:00 pm

“Thinking, caring, compassionate, intelligent adults should never be planning these exclusionary events in the first place.”

You are absolutely right. Married adults should never plan to divorce.

catlady

September 28th, 2012
7:08 pm

These things ARE related to the school mission if they further tie the parent into interest at the school, and time spent with their children. They are NOT helpful when you have divorced families, or single parent families. I would make them PARENT/STUDENT affairs.

I remember when the church we attended had a father son thing at the church. My son’s father was hundreds of miles away. So my son, unbeknownst to me, asked the principal of his small private school to come, and the dear, dear man DID! That was SO KIND! I still get tears thinking of it!

M.E.

September 28th, 2012
7:09 pm

Family dances, such as a ’50s dance, etc., are very popular here in the elementary school. We had this father/daughter issue in Girl Scouts, but since the organization is girls, that stereotyping wasn’t an issue. But the lack of fathers was an issue. And it was an issue to one of our girls whose father was abusive and jailed because of it. There was great pain in just suggesting a father/daughter dance. I think a “daughter/special grownup(s)” dance would have been better, since it was moms and grandparents who filled in for dads, anyway.

catlady

September 28th, 2012
7:09 pm

Having them parent/student in the area where I am now, would mean most of the “white” kids who came would have a mother, and most of the Latino students would have their dad. What a difference here!

English Teacher

September 28th, 2012
7:39 pm

While it was silly for this woman to sue, some of you are really heartless.
I agree that Father/Daughter dances are kind of creepy. A Dad isn’t a date. When I see pictures on facebook from my friends’ children going with their fathers, the girls all dressed up with their hair poofed and glittered (at 8?) it just seems…strange. In that vein, I think any change to a “Someone Special” dance is more appropriate for many reasons.

KIM

September 28th, 2012
8:17 pm

What about doing father/daughter/special friends or some such? Sensitivity to those without fathers (or mothers in other events) is a good idea, but celebrating parent/child relationship has great merit, too.

KIM

September 28th, 2012
8:19 pm

PS Suing a school is ludicrous. When will the judges start standing up to these foolishness lawsuits and throw them out? Every person who doesn’t like a decision has a “lawyer”–one on every corner waiting to do you a favor or for your money.

Not PC

September 28th, 2012
9:02 pm

This is asinine that something this trivial became a legal system issue.

With all the problems that really need to be addressed with public schools, this dance has to become the topic of a law suit?

Every “traditional” type of activity is not a WASPy secret society’s web of insult directed at some obscure self-described sub-group.

These non-slights should be addressed by the “victims” by their getting over it and going to the dance anyway.

Who would have really objected to their attendance?

Ben

September 28th, 2012
9:08 pm

That’s right Kim; eventually the judge will toss the suits but between the time they’re filed and the judge tossing them the lawyers run up their billable hours, so win or lose the the lawyers come out on top financially but one day the tit’s gonna run dry and then thing’s are gonna get “interesting” as referred to by Shakespeare.

Truth in Moderation

September 28th, 2012
9:21 pm

How about a “Parent Fail” dance. The kiddies can bring any adult with a pulse.

Truth in Moderation

September 28th, 2012
9:46 pm

Of course, there’s always the “Dead Beat Dad” dance. Obviously, the moms would escort.

guest

September 28th, 2012
9:58 pm

I would like schools to hold “stupid people go jump off a cliff” dances, but that is not going to happen. These idiots need to deal with it. Life is not fair and others shouldn’t be made to cater to you bc your feelings got hurt.

Alex

September 28th, 2012
11:25 pm

We are raising a generation of whiners and losers! This country with a what is in it for me and my vote attitude is screwed.

South Georgia

September 28th, 2012
11:29 pm

How concerned are these idiots about sexually exploited children in Georgia? Unless they are fully involved in helping to eliminate that problem, I don’t want to hear them (ACLU) complain about a dance. How misguided we have become.

Eric

September 29th, 2012
1:01 am

Maureen, I’ve always admired your work, but this time I think you’re running out of things to talk about. This is a non-issue. Wish you’d research Carol Gilligan and get to talking about caring the schools and dis the mumbo-jumbo test scores, standards and the end of education living well in community, etc. not just makin’ a lot of money, etc. from the capitol’s views, etc.

tjatl

September 29th, 2012
1:36 am

Um, this is super easy. Our school has a “Small and Tall Ball” for the girls and whoever their adult escort might be.
Done.

OneEye

September 29th, 2012
2:10 am

Is anyone hurt by a father-daughter dance or a mother-son baseball game? Would anyone be excluded from the events? We really have much bigger things to worry about! Folks in Rhode Island must not have enough to do.

Wondering Allowed

September 29th, 2012
1:30 pm

@The Truth – You stated “I’m clearly smarter than you – does that mean I shouldn’t have been allowed to complete college or a master’s degree.”

I am sorry your intelligence limited you to a master’s degree. I’ve got both a masters and a JD from the university most would consider one of the top in the Southeast. (Dual degree program) My undergraduate degree is also from an top-name college. If you are measuring intelligence by educational attainment, you fall two or three years short and a significant degree behind me. As for what you are paid and/or your job, I’m probably with you or ahead of you there, too. Without knowing what masters you have, it is impossible to know, but a JD pretty much puts me at the top of the earnings heap. Nice assumption on your part, it’s just very, very wrong.

Truth in Moderation

September 29th, 2012
4:36 pm

“Aside: About the ACLU – recently the ACLU is being touted for its defense in the “rights to privacy” against Big Brother Government. It is for no other purpose than to gain popularity and induct new members. Here is an excerpt from an essay on the ACLU by William H. McIlhany. Notice from where the ACLU gets large grants of money.
“One reason why some prominent leaders of the ACLU have been so opposed to public and private investigations of subversion must relate to what such an investigation would reveal about the Union itself.
The ACLU was formed out of earlier organizations in 1920 and its Executive Director and moving spirit until 1950 was Roger Baldwin. Before he died at age 97 in 1981, his ideology may have changed, but during the early years of his ACLU tenure there is no doubt where he stood.
In the “Harvard Class Book of 1935, spotlighting Baldwin’s class of 1905 on its thirtieth anniversary, he was quoted as saying,
“I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class and sole control by those who produce wealth. Communism is, of course, the goal.”
He gave this advice in 1917 to an associate who was forming another group:
“Do steer away from making it look like a Socialist enterprise…We want also to look like patriots in everything we do. We want to get a good lot of flags, talk a good deal about the Constitution and what our forefathers wanted to make of this country, and to show that we are really the folks that really stand for the spirit of our institutions.”
It should not be surprising to note that Baldwin was active during the 1930’s in quite a few of the Communist Party’s United Front organizations – he was an officer of the Garland Fund, for instance – along with other ACLU leaders including Rev. Harry Ward, Rev. John Haynes Holmes, Clarence Darrow, Scott Nearing, Robert Morss Lovett, Arthur Garfield Hayes, Archibald MacLeish, and Oswald Fraenkel.
ACLU leadership also included identified Communist Louis Budenz, Robert Dunn and Corliss Lamont. ACLU activists William Z. Foster and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn would later become leaders of the Communist Party, U.S.A.
Since that time, the ACLU’s official left-leaning activism has only steadily increased. Some local affiliates of the Union have always led this crusade, such as the Southern California ACLU which had maintained on its Board identified Communist Party operative Frank Wilkinson.
While the national ACLU has not been characterized as a Communist front by any state or federal investigation since 1938, any doubt about its becoming a ’staunch defender’ of individual rights was put to rest in April 1976, when the ACLU National Board formally reinstated Communist Elizabeth Gurley Flynn “posthumously” in its ranks. Despite this partisanship, the ACLU and its affiliated tax-exempt foundation continue to receive substantial yearly support from the Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Field, and other foundations.”

Proud Educator

September 29th, 2012
5:05 pm

This is truly the sisification of America: give awards to everyone, don’t cut kids who try out for sports, ban dodgeball from P.E., parents wanting conferences with college professors, parents calling their children’s jobs to make excuses for absences…the precedence has already been set. What will our country look like in 10 years?

bootney farnsworth

September 29th, 2012
5:56 pm

I don’t have a strong feeling on this one way or another – except that penny-ante crap like this is why we’ve lost the public’s trust.

Pride and Joy

September 29th, 2012
8:28 pm

Rockerbabe makes the most sense. She says “The simplest thing to do, would be to have parents host the dance and let all the kids come. That way, no one is left out and no one is stigmatized. 50% of marriages in the country end in divorce, so that + kids who live with just one parent, need to have consideration. Growup folks, families have changes and so must the schools and their activities.”
EXACTLY. Just have a family dance. Your family comes. No one is excluded and everyone has fun.
THink of it thIS WAY — leet’s say you have a perfect family. Two loving male/femal parents and two perfect happy kids, a son and a daughter.
Now the mother son dance comes up — the father and son cannot come. It breaks up the family time. Why not invite all of them? What harm would there be inh letting the father and son come too? well none of course.
What GOOD does it do to exclude the father and son? Well, none of course.
Now let’s take the opposite circumstance. You have a single mom with her two daughters. Now NONE of them get to go to ANYTHING. WHY would anyone be so stupid as to plan a social event that deliberately excludes ?
It just doesn’t make any sense.
Be smart people.
This isn’t an event earned by merit.
It’s a social event. it is SUPPOSED to be fun.
Only a sadist would plan an event that is supposed to be fun and instead hurts.

Pride and Joy

September 29th, 2012
8:37 pm

To Another Comment — thank you for your heartfelt posts. I hope the other posters on this blog will read them and truly understand.

Pride and Joy

September 29th, 2012
8:43 pm

To Proud Educator — you miss the point — by about a mile.
Awards are earned. They are a symbol of effort and merit. You have a beef with “everybody gets a trophy mentalilty” and I understand that….BUT a mother/son dance or father/daughter ball is NOT a competition. It is not something that is supposed to be EARNED.
Quite the opposite.
A dance is a social event, or rather, it is supposed to be a social event. One doesn’t EARN the right to go to a dance. One doesn’t have to COMPETE to go to a dance. A dance is supposed to bring people together and to simply be enjoyed by….EVERYONE….
Maybe you cannot enjoy a dance meant for everyone because you simply don’t want to be near people who are not like you. Maybe you only want to go to a dance with people who are married to each other and only to each other and have children only with each other…
Good luck with that.
MOST married people ARE divorced. MOST.
MOST children live in single parent homes.
So when you have a father/daughter ball and a mother/son gathering…you are HURTING and EXCLUDING MOST people.
Is that what you really want?
It sure does sound like it.

Proud Educator

September 30th, 2012
11:09 am

@Pride and Joy: I definitely understand your point; however, this is not an exclusionary issue the likes of womens suffrage or civil rights. It’s a school dance! The point that many posters missed is that traditionally fathers have not been as involved in school functions as mothers or other parent figures. Think about the negatives that you constantly hear about deadbeat dads. Schools and other organizations have been actively trying to make fathers a part of the learning experience. Why take this away from us? As an educator it is incredible to see so many men at a school function that does not involve athletics.
I did go off on a tangent, but I felt that it’s a sign of the times upon us. We work too hard to insulate students from failure, defeat, and struggle. These things are what truly builds character. A lot of our greatest triumphs comes from failure. If a child fails at something you use that failure as a teachable moment. Comfort them when their feelings are hurt; it’s a human emotion, not an indictment of their self-worth.

What's Best for Kids?

September 30th, 2012
3:33 pm

I grew up without a father for most of my childhood. I don’t recall being sad about missing father/daughter stuff. Maybe I was, but in the grand scheme of things, I got to do a lot of things that other kids didn’t get to do.
As a married mom of both a boy and a girl, I truly don’t care one way or the other if they have father/daughter dances and mom/son games. I would go, but it would not be the highlight of my year.
This whole thing is silly. I’m more concerned with my children having good teachers and enough books, and a good solid curriculum.
Bigger fish to fry in education , people.

Wilbur

September 30th, 2012
8:04 pm

Whatever we do, please don’t have any event that might be popular or even imply a normative standard. By all means, we need to continue to fracture the social consensus that holds our society together in the name of the feelings of some. Soon, when there is nothing left to hold us together, you can write blogs and wonder why.