“Cranston, RI Schools End Father-Daughter Dances After ACLU Complaint”

by Walter Olson on September 19, 2012

“Cranston Mayor Allan Fung says he’s ‘utterly disappointed’ the school district ended the gender-based events after the state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter of complaint last spring.” [CBS Boston]

P.S. Or, to sum up in a different way: “It became necessary to destroy the village in order to make it more inclusive.” (& Alkon)

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Advice Goddess Blog
09.20.12 at 1:48 am

{ 23 comments }

1 mojo 09.19.12 at 1:43 pm

What happened to common sense?

To Mom:
“If you hadn’t, y’know, divorced him, she might have been able to attend with her father. That was your choice. Why should everyone else pay for it?

2 barnord 09.19.12 at 3:23 pm

Whatever happened to common decency, Mojo?

I have no idea what your parental status is but if you die, would you want your child ostracized just because you were no longer around?

3 DEM 09.19.12 at 5:21 pm

Ostracized by not being able to attend a once-per-year event that’s apparently been going on for many years? If we’ve drawn the lines this narrowly, I suppose just about all traditional social events have to go by the wayside. Heck, the prom “ostracizes” introverts who can’t easily get dates.

Not to mention that for the sake of this lone complaining mother, dozens of girls who enjoy this event may no longer attend it. That’s social progress, right barnord?

4 Lee C. 09.19.12 at 5:46 pm

The story doesn’t say how flexible the school was on substitutions. I have served as the substitute “father” to my nephew (whose parents are divorced) to allow him to attend a fathers-and-sons campout with his friends. If the school didn’t allow substitute fathers, then I would be less sympathetic than if they did.

On the other hand, perhaps allowing substitute fathers might open a can of worms, and the school be forced to allow girls to bring their 25-year-old boyfriends. Maybe it’s better in any case to have a private organization sponsor the dance, which could have a charitable but not wide-open policy on substitutes.

5 Richard Nieporent 09.19.12 at 7:47 pm

What a wonderful procrustean solution. Because one person can’t attend the dance, nobody else can.

6 barnord 09.19.12 at 8:39 pm

No one is being denied a dance. Under RI law it is illegal to adopt gender-specific rules. There is no reason they cannot make the dance available to every parent and child.

7 DEM 09.19.12 at 9:20 pm

They most certainly are being denied the very father/daughter dance they have held in the past and had scheduled again this year. Before: dance. Now: no dance. That’s a denial. Your offer to substitute a totally different dance that you’d prefer does not change the fact that they’re being denied the dance they want.

I don’t know if RI law bans the long-established and harmless (at the very worst) tradition of father/daughter dances. If so, don’t you think it’s a sign that the relentless search for “fairness” and “equality” in every corner of life has gone too far and is actually making things worse? Sex doscrimination in employment is one thing. Banning daddy/daughter dances, on the other hand, is just bizarre and utterly pointless.

Diana Moon Glampers, call your office.

8 OBQuiet 09.20.12 at 1:02 am

SO simply open the dance up to any student and a parent or parent-designate and disallow dancing between students.

OK, You would need to come up with something better than:
Annual Student-of-any-Gender-Or-Gender-Expression and Parent-Or-Designated-Parental-Substitute Dance.

Though when no boys show up to dance with there mothers, I am sure some other rule will kick in.

9 marco73 09.20.12 at 6:52 am

Well, at least the children will learn a valuable life lesson: whenever something is fun, some petty despot will come along and stop it.

10 barnord 09.20.12 at 8:48 am

The despots are the elected officials in the legislature who passed the act forbidding gender discrimination. Do you expect the school superintendent to ignore the law just because the voters no longer like what their elected officials did?

11 Jim Collins 09.20.12 at 9:19 am

It was ignored until one person whined to the Aging Commie Leftover Union (credit to Jim Quinn). Out of all of the things that they could be doing, the ACLU decides to get involved with things like this.

12 DEM 09.20.12 at 10:33 am

I would have ignored the law, if the law is as you claim. Make the ACLU or the state sue to put stop to this dance. Let’s get the opponents of this sort of thing out in the open, and force them to go on record opposing father/daughter dances on grounds of “gender discrimination.” Let’s have an honest and open debate about where these gender equality laws are leading us and how far they’ve strayed from their original purposes.

And if I were a father in Cranston, I would organize a private father/daughter dance across the street from the high school. Then I’d film the entire thing and run a Yotube video with the subtitle “this is ILLEGAL under state law.” This would allow everyone to witness the absurdity that has become much of progressive agenda.

13 HFB 09.20.12 at 11:49 am

* le me off to the girls washroom.

(afterall, can’t have gender specific rules)

14 Mannie 09.20.12 at 5:48 pm

DEM 09.20.12 at 10:33 am

I would have ignored the law, if the law is as you claim. Make the ACLU or the state sue to put stop to this dance.

That’s expensive. And that is ACLU’s big gun – the expense to the school district.

ACLU = Americans Can’t be Left Unsupervised
(Stolen from radio caller)

15 barnord 09.20.12 at 6:15 pm

So commenters on thissite are composed of individuals opposed to implentation of legal laws and willing to allow their appointed school officials to face jail and/or fines because the commenters don”t agree, Wobbly-style, with the laws?

And it wouldn’t be illegal for a private organization to hold a father-daughter, mother -son dance. It’s just illegal for the government to do so.

16 Melvin H. 09.21.12 at 12:05 am

Barnord, would it be illegal for your “private organization” to hold the father-daughter dance…at the high school gym?

17 Darleen 09.21.12 at 8:50 am

barnord

last I looked, the law was to protect individual rights from harm — including the right to voluntarily choose what activities I wished to participate in.

What the RI ACLU spokeshole Steve Brown made clear this is about the Left “nudging” society into the utopian direction they believe in. It’s about using law as a societal cudgel. Brown was outrage that in 2012!! that anyone should even think father/daughter dances were appropriate because it enforced “blatant gender stereotypes” that girls actually may like to participate dances more than attending a baseball game.

Oh the humanity! How dare we allow sex-differences!

The enforcement of lie of “the sexes are fungible” by Utopians is not going end well.

18 barnord 09.21.12 at 9:17 am

Of course. It can’t be hled anywhere the law applies, in a public space as opposed to a private one.

19 Melvin H. 09.21.12 at 11:09 am

It wouldn’t??? Seems to me that if a private organization puts on a father-daughter dance at a high school gym, it’s not the school or school district “sponsoring” the event….?

20 Jim Collins 09.21.12 at 6:11 pm

The school would be seen as providing support for the dance. That was why many schools told their Boy Scout Troops that they would have to find other places to hold their meetings a while back. After reading a bit more about the law, I’m not sure that it could be held privately either. The ACLU would still whine.

No barnod, I think the law itself is wrong and should be repealed.

21 Melvin H. 09.22.12 at 7:11 am

So, that would also seem to eliminate….what else? Any public-school facility, armories, city-/state-/ county-owned facilities, college facilities of sufficient size, even arenas too? Would the dances then even be disallowed in places such as hotels, private social clubs (I.e., Knights of Columbus halls), military NCO/officers’ clubs, roller skating rinks, etc.– and how would this law affect an event like a debutante ball?
(Could this ruling be appealed on grounds of freedom of assembly or freedom of association?)

22 Hugo S. Cunningham 09.22.12 at 2:26 pm

Moderate supporters of such laws might provide a legislative safety valve: that a resolution or majority-petition of either house of the legislature would be sufficient to disallow an “unreasonable” or “harmful” application of the law, eg interfering with a harmless and popular father-daughter dance tradition. The legislators (and the voters they account to) would be sole judges on what applications are “unreasonable” or harmful.”

23 HFB 09.23.12 at 8:20 pm

So, can you have boys b-ball and girls b-ball teams?

Perhaps. Just have to let boys and girls try out for both. When the wrong mix of girls and boys happens (even possible that few if any girls would get to play in some schools), we can bring up Title IX. Then, nobody gets to play.

My comment about using the girls washroom is meant to show that there currently exists, and always will be, a need for gender specific rules. Note that no one said that there couldn’t be a different dance for people who don’t want the “daddy” reference-i.e. one for mommy/son- just that this one is for father/daughters.

I’m also curious why the ACLU brought this up when this is clearly in violation of the law and the DA(?) should have brought charges or required the school district to change.

We become so “tolerant” that we have completed the loop and are now intolerant.

The comment about the village was apt.

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