Who else can remember getting their two-step on at the daddy-daughter dance?
Me neither. Getting my jig on to “Everybody/Backstreet’s Back” with my pops wasn’t really my thing. However, as the child of a father who spent more time slaving for the Chicago Public School system than he did showing up for basketball games, volleyball games and after-school activities, I relished the time I got to eat lunch with my dad and feel special during “Take Your Daughter To Work Day.” Plus, it was time out of school! Being that my dad always worked so hard, this school allowed quality time together was the beez-neez back in the day.
So maybe that’s why I was a little sad to hear that a School District in Rhode Island had banished the concept of all daddy/daughter, mother/son activities. Why? Because a single mother complained to school officials (the American Civil Liberties Union) that her child felt and was being left out of daddy-daughter dance activities because she doesn’t have a father or even father figure in her life. Feeling some sort of pressure, the superintendent of the Cranston, Rhode Island school district, Judith Lundsten, decided to ban all parent-child activities, with the ACLU even following up to say that such activities were actually a form of gender discrimination. Say wha? The ACLU statement, which we obtained through CNN, was released saying the following:
“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 games. This type of gender stereotyping only perpetuates outdated notions of ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ activities and is contrary to federal law.”
Parents seemed to have a mix of opinions on this decision, with some, as you’ll see in the WPRI video below, seeing it as a “travesty” and others thinking that as times have changed, activities like this do need to change as well–or be done away with.
Talk about a sticky situation. I can somewhat understand what the ACLU is trying to say, but to ban ALL parent-child activities seems like a horrible idea to me. Why not make the dances shindigs for both moms and dads, as well as sons and daughters? Why not keep the baseball games and not make it gender specific? To ban it all seems like an overreaction, one that will put unnecessary heat on a parent who sounds like they just wanted everyone to be included in such specialized events, and punish mothers and fathers who want to partake in these activities. I think we all know that in this day and age, having events like this while kids are young, even if it’s something the school forces, helps more than it hurts, and it’s definitely needed in a time where people seem to be losing control and grasp of their children (see all the youngsters gangbanging in the Chi) and teen mothers have become common. Shoooooooot, we need as much daddy-daughter, mother-son time together as we can get, and if school officials can just make it a parent-child dance, baseball game, or take your child to work event, even better. But to cancel it all? What’s up with that?
What do you think? Should they have canceled all parent-child activities? Was the mother wrong for speaking out or was the school district tripping?
Photos courtesy of Black Celeb Kids
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