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Banned by town, father-daughter dances may make comeback

Posted by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:18 AM
  • 19 Replies

 

Banned by town, father-daughter dances may make comeback

Lori Stratford / cranston.patch.com

Father-daughter dances like this one would be allowed -- once again -- if a proposed state law passes.

By Elizabeth Chuck, Staff Writer, NBC News

The age-old tradition of father-daughter dances may get an encore performance on school dance floors in Cranston, R.I.

A lawmaker is sponsoring a bill that she hopes will amend Rhode Island's language on gender discrimination laws just enough to allow gender-specific events, such as father-daughter dances or mother-son baseball games, to make a comeback after they were banned last fall.

"I don't believe the intent of these events was ever to be overtly discriminatory, but we all have to live with the language of the law. This bill, if approved and enacted, should ensure that these events can continue without weakening our resolve to oppose discriminatory activities," State Sen. Hanna Gallo, who represents Cranston, said in a statement.

The legislation would amend state law to permit schools "to provide activities for students of one sex provided that reasonably comparable activities are provided for students of the other sex," Gallo said a in a statement.

Cranston banned father-daughter dances last year, saying they were a violation of state gender laws after the American Civil Liberties Union sent a complaint on behalf of a single mom, who said her daughter couldn't attend because she didn't have a dad to accompany her.

"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. To the contrary; the stereotypes at their core undermine the goal of school anti-discrimination laws," the ACLU letter read.

At least one Cranston elementary school has managed to avoid the controversy altogether: Hold family dances instead.

"The stereotypical family doesn't really exist anymore," Robyn Ladouceur, a parent of a sixth-grader at Garden City School in Cranston. "We know for a fact that we have families from lesbian couples that have children, and adopted children, and all different faiths and religions. Why don't we just have an event for whoever you'd like to bring?"

Ladouceur is the parent facilitator of the Family Engagement Network, a PTO-type organization. She hopes her school will be a role model for others in Cranston, regardless of the outcome of Gallo's legislation.

"I'm trying to grasp what they're losing in calling a father-daughter dance 'a family dance,' what they're losing in calling a mother-son bowling 'family bowling,'" she said. "Anybody who has listened to both sides would say if the kids aren't losing out on anything and all we're doing is making it more acceptable for all people to come, and you just want your husband to take your daughter to the family dance, no one is going to look differently upon you."

The town of Cranston, located a few miles outside of Providence, is no stranger to controversy. In April 2011, a 15-year-old girl teamed up with the ACLU and filed a lawsuit over a prayer banner that hung in her high school's auditorium. Jessica Ahlquist, an atheist, received death threats for insisting that the banner, which had been up for decades, be removed; ultimately, she won the lawsuit.

by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:18 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Anonymous
by Anonymous on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:29 AM
3 moms liked this
Stupid they were ever banned at all.
Anonymous
by Anonymous on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:29 AM
2 moms liked this
HATE the ACLU.
Anonymous
by Anonymous on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:30 AM
Tough shit if a single Moms dd can't attend. Ask a friend, uncle or whoever but don't ruin it for others.
lapcounter
by Gold Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:24 AM

OMG really some people just need to but the fuck out. So little girl's who don't have a dad or some type of father figure will not get to have that precious memory, because someone had a stick up their ass and was trying to be politically correct, LOL.

Anonymous
by Anonymous on Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:26 AM
2 moms liked this
ACLU is ruining this country.
GaleJ
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Could any of you summon just a bit of empathy? I agree with the facilitator quoted in the article. Families simply don't fit in the neat gender pigeonholes of another time and as long as activities provide the children with the positive experience of such activities why do we need to label and limit who attends and participates? Our school held inclusive events and was always looking for additional ways to do so. We had a family square dance and potluck and everybody that wished to do so, from the tiniest baby in its mother's arms to grandparents with oxygen tanks, walkers, and in wheelchairs were able to find a way to participate. Nothing stopped a father from asking his daughter, or even his son, to dance and a good time was had by all. It was always a big hit and no one, NO ONE AT ALL, was excluded.

Thank you ACLU for keeping our eyes and hearts open to see and feel the world as it is felt by "the others," those that are somehow different by choice or by circumstance. I was raised in the sixties by my widowed father and still remember how much it hurt when I was excluded from several Girl Scout activities that were delineated for "mothers and daughters," so sad and so unfair and no, I didn't have anyone that could, or would stand in as my mother and I would never have done so for the embarrassment I felt. 

Anonymous
by Anonymous on Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:42 AM
Wow, they can be taken by another male. I doesn't have to be ruined by some loser tha doesn't fit the mold and can't think out of the box and invite someone else to take their kid.


Quoting GaleJ:

Could any of you summon just a bit of empathy? I agree with the facilitator quoted in the article. Families simply don't fit in the neat gender pigeonholes of another time and as long as activities provide the children with the positive experience of such activities why do we need to label and limit who attends and participates? Our school held inclusive events and was always looking for additional ways to do so. We had a family square dance and potluck and everybody that wished to do so, from the tiniest baby in its mother's arms to grandparents with oxygen tanks, walkers, and in wheelchairs were able to find a way to participate. Nothing stopped a father from asking his daughter, or even his son, to dance and a good time was had by all. It was always a big hit and no one, NO ONE AT ALL, was excluded.

Thank you ACLU for keeping our eyes and hearts open to see and feel the world as it is felt by "the others," those that are somehow different by choice or by circumstance. I was raised in the sixties by my widowed father and still remember how much it hurt when I was excluded from several Girl Scout activities that were delineated for "mothers and daughters," so sad and so unfair and no, I didn't have anyone that could, or would stand in as my mother and I would never have done so for the embarrassment I felt. 


GaleJ
by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:59 AM

Do you choose to simply not grasp that such exclusions ARE NOT NECESSARY, and that a little girl may not have any such male in her life? I am sorry for you, I hope that you never have to deal with such issues but if it should ever arise I would hope that those around you would be more generous that you seem to be to those that don't fit the mold.


Quoting Anonymous:

Wow, they can be taken by another male. I doesn't have to be ruined by some loser tha doesn't fit the mold and can't think out of the box and invite someone else to take their kid.


Quoting GaleJ:

Could any of you summon just a bit of empathy? I agree with the facilitator quoted in the article. Families simply don't fit in the neat gender pigeonholes of another time and as long as activities provide the children with the positive experience of such activities why do we need to label and limit who attends and participates? Our school held inclusive events and was always looking for additional ways to do so. We had a family square dance and potluck and everybody that wished to do so, from the tiniest baby in its mother's arms to grandparents with oxygen tanks, walkers, and in wheelchairs were able to find a way to participate. Nothing stopped a father from asking his daughter, or even his son, to dance and a good time was had by all. It was always a big hit and no one, NO ONE AT ALL, was excluded.

Thank you ACLU for keeping our eyes and hearts open to see and feel the world as it is felt by "the others," those that are somehow different by choice or by circumstance. I was raised in the sixties by my widowed father and still remember how much it hurt when I was excluded from several Girl Scout activities that were delineated for "mothers and daughters," so sad and so unfair and no, I didn't have anyone that could, or would stand in as my mother and I would never have done so for the embarrassment I felt. 




HaileysMom07180
by Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 10:01 AM

they have those here every april, we wont get to go to it this year cuz we are moving


Anonymous
by Anonymous on Jan. 25, 2013 at 10:05 AM
1 mom liked this
You do not get it does not have to be exclusive. What about Indian Guides, ot Indian Daughters? Should those groups go away because they are for Dad's and daughters and Dad's and sons?????? I would love to take another girl to amother/daughter event if she has no Mom. What about you??????

Quoting GaleJ:

Do you choose to simply not grasp that such exclusions ARE NOT NECESSARY, and that a little girl may not have any such male in her life? I am sorry for you, I hope that you never have to deal with such issues but if it should ever arise I would hope that those around you would be more generous that you seem to be to those that don't fit the mold.



Quoting Anonymous:

Wow, they can be taken by another male. I doesn't have to be ruined by some loser tha doesn't fit the mold and can't think out of the box and invite someone else to take their kid.





Quoting GaleJ:

Could any of you summon just a bit of empathy? I agree with the facilitator quoted in the article. Families simply don't fit in the neat gender pigeonholes of another time and as long as activities provide the children with the positive experience of such activities why do we need to label and limit who attends and participates? Our school held inclusive events and was always looking for additional ways to do so. We had a family square dance and potluck and everybody that wished to do so, from the tiniest baby in its mother's arms to grandparents with oxygen tanks, walkers, and in wheelchairs were able to find a way to participate. Nothing stopped a father from asking his daughter, or even his son, to dance and a good time was had by all. It was always a big hit and no one, NO ONE AT ALL, was excluded.

Thank you ACLU for keeping our eyes and hearts open to see and feel the world as it is felt by "the others," those that are somehow different by choice or by circumstance. I was raised in the sixties by my widowed father and still remember how much it hurt when I was excluded from several Girl Scout activities that were delineated for "mothers and daughters," so sad and so unfair and no, I didn't have anyone that could, or would stand in as my mother and I would never have done so for the embarrassment I felt. 








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