Cranston, RI, United States (4E) – A complaint of a single mother to the American Civil Liberties Union protesting that her daughter was not allowed to attend her father-daughter dance has led Rhode Island school district officials to ban traditional father-daughter and mother-son activities.
According to the Los Angeles Times, ACLU said that such events violate the state’s gender-discrimination law after receiving the protest from a mother with a daughter attending the Cranston Public Schools district.
The story has created mayhem online as well as in Cranston, a community located south of Providence and considered one of the safest places in America.
In a report by the Times, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, who has no control over the schools, was extremely disappointed that a time-honored tradition is under attack. He advised the parents to talk directly to the school district while imploring the Cranston School Committee to review the decision and make it work for the children and their parents.
According to the Providence Journal, the policy change was made months ago but only gained widespread public attention on Monday when a candidate for state senate, Sean Gately, announced that he will seek to change the policy back if elected.
In an August letter to school organizations, Schools Superintendent Judith Lundsten said that the district’s hands were tied because although federal gender-discrimination laws exempt such events, Rhode Island’s law does not, reported the newspaper.
Meanwhile, in a statement, ACLU called the controversy an old news that arose only due to a political campaign “the matter was amicably resolved with school officials over four months ago 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 games. This type of gender stereotyping only perpetuates outdated notions of ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ activities and is contrary to federal law.”