Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by KinderCowgirl, Sep 21, 2012.
Sep 21, 2012
I say have no dances at school. It's school. Problem solved.
This was my feeling too. We just had a Grandparent's Day Luncheon where over 300 families were represented-should we not have that event because there are kids with no grandparents? There were kids that cried that theirs didn't come, but they got over it very quickly. I think the benefit of it far outweighed any detriment. What about Mother's Day-most kids do activities for that in school and make mom something. I had a student last year who lost her mother, she made one for Grandma-you adapt, you don't ban it for everyone.
Everyone doesn't have to have the exact same experiences. I love that fathers were being encouraged to get involved. Friends of mine just had their 8-year old daughter attend one-they looked so great dressed up together.
What if it happens after school or on the weekend? I hadn't thought about it as I never had those types of dances growing up. My current school does a Mother/son dance, but it's on a weekend. I don't remember if they do a Father/Daughter dance or not.
When my kids were growing up, these dances were held by the Park & Rec dept. of our city & not the school.
I agree with others who encourage these dances to be called something else. Maybe just a male relative or something. My father died when I was young and my life fell apart. Occasions like these were VERY painful as a child and the thought still hurts. It's not unusual for kids not to have a traditional family with two parents present anymore. Schools need to be able to adapt.
Kcjo, I know exactly how you feel.
Nothing sponsored or managed by the school.
I also had three criers on Grandparents' Day...
We have these issues on Mother's Day, Father's Day, Grandparent's Day,Valentine's Day.
Hmmm...what are your opinions on how we should handle those holidays?
Would it be fair to have the Father/Daughter Dance, with a note about it perfectly acceptable to have any "special someone" bring the little one to the dance?
Would this work?
My local community has one, and it's called a father-daughter dance but is open to any male figure (grandfather, uncle, brother, etc.) It's organized by the community rec center, for kids Kindergarten-14. Honestly, I think it's more appropriate as a community event, because it's not a big deal at school. It's advertised in the paper/mail, and they don't even have a poster in the local schools. It's extremely popular, and I've had relatives go to it and they loved it.
I know many female friends, and even young people who aren't close with their fathers. I've read a few studies that showed mothers spend equal amounts of time with male and female children, however fathers typically spend more time with sons than daughters.
I'm not naive about how many girls don't have a father, or have an incarcerated father. It breaks my heart with the pain I see in children missing any parent.
Why sue though? OMG, what a waste of case.
kcjo13, I just want to say that you were incredibly articulate on this thorny issue! Thank you so much for speaking up for these students!
I lost my mother at a young age, and we were the 'only kids on the block' who lacked a mother figure. Honestly, in my classroom I chose not to observe Mothers' Day or Fathers' Day. I picked one day in early June -- averaging out the two holidays -- to celebrate loved ones. Isn't that the spirit of the twin holidays? Perhaps we think it is cute for the child to make a card for her grandfather after she loses a father, but it can feel alienating for that child. Losing a parent, or having an absent parent, often feels like a defining feature for a years. Even a child that is relatively stable following that loss, they may not want to remind their peers repeatedly. We may have enough variation in our family structures now to warrant an re-evaluation of at least the name and presentation of these kinds of events. It's a shame it took a lawsuit to start the conversation in that community, but at least it has started.
I lost my father to cancer at age 12, and I was extremely close to him, but I think I probably have a different opinion than most here.
I say keep it. Call it the "father/daughter dance" but let it be known that they can bring any close family member/important person in their life. I have a daughter and I want her to be able to have that opportunity to experience that with my husband; whether I got to as a child or not. I think it is important that little girls have adult male role models, whether they be their actual fathers or not.
Yes, those without fathers will grieve. They are already grieving!!! At that time in my life, nothing you could have said would have convinced me to take another "special someone" in my life to that dance, no matter what you called it. I didn't want a replacement for my dad then, nor do I now! But, in my heart of hearts I don't believe that is a reason to keep OTHER little girls from spending quality time with their dad/uncle/grandpa/guardian.
This is, I assume, not a high-school thing but rather middle school and maybe mostly elementary. If that's not the case, it might need to play out differently depending on the children's ages. For elementary grades, I think it makes a great deal of sense to have a girls' dance with (mostly) significant men - partly for the spotlight on girls, partly for getting the available dads involved; a boys' dance with (mostly) significant women is possibly less necessary to get moms involved but is still a very good idea; and doing the kids' genders separately allows for differentiating the event. Since children that age can be incredible literalists, however, I think the name really needs to embrace a fairly wide range of invitees.
I'm mulling over some possible names but am not quite happy with any yet.
Sep 22, 2012
I am a guy who didn't have a mother from an early age (birth)
I had many family members/important persons 2 Aunts, a cousin, if my dad had not married my mom (stepmom) I would have been over joyed to have one of my substitute moms to go with me to what ever I had going on at school.
Allowing children to invite an adult to be their "show and tell" is great.
But using the smokescreen of discrimination, stereotypes, state laws and federal laws when it is just "if I can't do it, no one should be able to" is just childish
And I hate the attitude of "there is way we could easily do this so as not to exclude anyone and provide the same experience, but 'it's tradition' so we won't change it."
Nowhere did I say it had to be limited to dads. Or that tradition was all that mattered. Here's what I said:
If they wanted to call it something else, to include other father figures (or whatever they chose to call it), then that would have been great. I'm sure someone could have come up with a catchy name that would have implied that adults other than dads are included. In all the Pop Hops I attended, as well as the ones my school currently runs, that's part of the promo-- it does NOT have to be a dad. The morning announcements made special note of "Dad, or that special guy" or something similar.
But that's not the choice the mom made. She didn't ask them to open the dance up to more people, to change the name, or anything of the sort. Nope. She got it shut down. Now none of those kids will have the experience of sharing a night with those parent figures. Those 4 Pop Hops I attended in high school bring back such fond memories of my dad. How sad that all these kids are now being denied the opportunity for similar memories.
As a result of this law suit, all single gender dances are now banned in RI. http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/201...-daughter-dances-says-they-break-the-law?lite Instead of choosing to make things more inclusive, the matter is now closed.
I'm sure that now her daughter, and all the daughter's friends, are much happier.
I can understand loving your kids, and trying to shield them from hurt. But I really, really think the mom went about this the wrong way. And that those in the position to make policy also made a huge mistake.
This isn't precisely correct -- at least from the article, the mom did not sue. She had the ACLU send a letter. It would be nice if we had the text of that letter to determine exactly what the district was basing their decision on.
The school district here decided to ban the dances. I'm glad this is how it came out, but hope it doesn't end here and don't think it will.
The school district probably came to a snap decision to avoid any immediate entanglements and has an opportunity to work things out to allow some form of SO/child dance to occur. Maybe this girl isn't really helped that much, because she "knows" that it's really a "father-daughter" dance, but as a precedent going forward it's better.
I'm guessing the mom had the letter sent because she approached the school first and they refused. But really, at least from the article we do not know what steps the mom took prior to having the letter sent.
I would not label the mom a spoilsport, or unreasonable, just because she complained and is trying to protect her child.
What should they call the dance? Children and the adults in their life dance?
I've been thinking the same thing. No matter what name they give the dance, there will still be a child or adult who can find a reason to be offended by the name.
As for the mom in this case, she filed a complaint with the local chapter of the ACLU because she could not attend the dance, which meant her daughter also couldn't go (btw, NONE of the articles I've read have mentioned why the father is not available). No matter how you dress it up, that is an example of one mom saying "If I can't do it, then nobody else should be allowed to either."
A mother protecting her child is a beautiful thing. She just went about "protecting" in the wrong way. Unfortunately, she has made this an ugly thing for her daughter.
If this was my child, this would have been a time to plan something special with her. Instead, it has been blown out of proportion by mom. How memorable is that for her daughter?
A Father/Daughter dance is a beautiful thing and it shouldn't be taken away just because someone doesn't have a father.
If we were to accommodate everyone's wishes regarding celebrations, etc, there would be no more parties or get-togethers for anything. We would all sit around and be afraid of offending someone. Wouldn't that be pathetic? It seems like people are so out-of-control.
I completely agree with this.
My family doesn't believe in dancing, period. It's just not something we do and my parents feel very strongly about it. That doesn't mean we tried to stop all the dancing in our community. It meant I missed out.
Separate names with a comma.