Photo: George Wilhelm/LA Times
The Father-Daughter dance and Mother-Son ballgames are long-standing
school traditions in America, but those two events have come to an abrupt
end in the public schools in Cranston, Rhode Island, because of threat
of a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union:
The ACLU, the self-proclaimed guardian of the nation’s liberty, says
such events violate the state’s gender-discrimination law. The organization
challenged their existence following a complaint from a single mom who
said her daughter was prevented from attending a father-daughter dance
in the Cranston Public Schools district.
Needless to say, the issue has created an uproar of controversy when
it came to widespread public attention recently.
For its part, the ACLU scoffed at the uproar, calling the change "old
news" and defending its legal position in a statement laced with
a touch of snark. Here it is, in part:
"The controversy that has suddenly arisen in a political campaign
over father-daughter dances in Cranston is old news — the matter was
amicably resolved with school officials over four months ago. And it
was resolved for a simple reason: the school district recognized that
in the 21st Century, public schools have no business fostering the notion
that girls prefer to go to formal dances while boys prefer baseball
"This type of gender stereotyping only perpetuates outdated notions
of 'girl' and 'boy' activities and is contrary to federal law.
"[Parent-teacher organizations] remain free to hold family dances
and other events, but the time has long since passed for public school
resources to encourage stereotyping from the days of Ozzie and Harriet.
Not every girl today is interested in growing up to be Cinderella —
not even in Cranston. In fact, one of them might make a great major
league baseball player someday.
"We commend the school district for its resolution of the matter,
and are sorry to see some people turning it into a political football
— a game that they may think only boys should be interested in."
Rene Lynch of the Los Angeles Times has the story: Link
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