Father Daughter Dance Ban

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by KinderCowgirl, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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  3. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I agree with this. There are still so many ways that we divide people based on gender. Why not just have a dance where every kid brings a special adult with them?
     
  4. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I went to one with my step father.
    The local school here has one weekend for mothers/sons and the next weekend for father's and daughters.
     
  5. OhThePlaces

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    I went to a few father-daughter dances in early elementary school (I think through Girl Scouts?) and loved it. I find the thought of them being banned sad.
     
  6. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Ok I just read the article...it seems so silly!!! I'm sorry but there are some things that we can't do and just have to face that with class. I mean men birth kids so are they going to come after women because we can?!? It just seems so petty. If she didn't like that her daughter couldn't go why not approach the organizers and make it more of a father/daughter or special male (although I'm not sure how you would name it and not seem weird).

    OhthePlaces ... I find it sad as well. It was fun to dress so pretty and I remember my step dad got me a coursage for my wrist....
     
  7. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Beyond all of the legalese, all of the talk of discrimination, stereotypes, state laws, federal laws...how are students affected?

    As someone who did not have a dad to take me to a father/daughter dance (and yes, we had them), I can tell you I would have put on a brave face in public, then spent the evening in my room, heartbroken, crying, and remembering my dad and how I was never going to see him again. I know this because it happened, every Valentine's day.

    It wouldn't have been enough for me, personally, to bring 'someone special'. My friends would have had their dads there, and it would have killed me.

    When a parent is gone from your life, under whatever circumstances, I believe it does not get easier. It gets better, but not easier. I'm 33, and I still struggle with the reality of NEVER seeing him again.

    I don't see the point of alienating some students, to make others happy. There's a simple solution-have a dance whereby ALL students can attend, with whomever they deem important in their lives-and DON'T call it a Father/Daughter dance.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I absolutely hate the attitude that "if I can't do it, no one should be able to."

    Should we abolish the basketball team because not everyone has the ability to play competitively?? And the Honor Roll because some kids struggle academically?

    It's that same "everyone gets a trophy just for showing up" mentality... that everyone should get exactly the same opportunities, and the same rewards.

    The Pop Hops I attended in high school are memories of my dad I'll always treasure.

    I think the mom in this case missed a real opportunity for a little one on one time with her daughter, and chose to file a suit instead... how sad.
     
  9. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    I agree with the above. No school I went to ever had a father daughter dance. I don't like the idea anyway. They don't have mother son dances.
     
  10. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    But there's a difference in not being skilled enough to play basketball, and not being able (emotionally) to attend a dance billed as "Father and Daughter", because your father is dead.

    Have the dance. Call it something else. Those who are able can bring their fathers. Those who aren't can bring their mother, uncle, stepfather, brother, neighbor, whomever.

    For me, my special person would have been my brother-in-law. He's several years older than me, and after my dad died really watched out for me. He walked me down the aisle at my wedding.

    But would I have taken him to a "Father/Daughter" dance? No. Awkward.
     
  11. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Actually, our school has BOTH>>>and you can bring anyone that you like, uncle, friend, grandfather, older brother...you get the point. My daughter doesn't like the noise, so she has only attended one. BUT I think it is great for those that enjoy that special time with their parent.


    The mother/son dance is always more energized than the daddy/daughter one.
     
  12. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    As a teacher who held a sobbing 7 year old in her arms last year because dad was in prison and couldn't come to the dance, I agree such events need to be structured. ""Loving adult and child dance" or something like that.

    Many of these children hurt EVERY day because of the loss of a parent and things like that turn a nagging wound into a stabbing wound. In an environment in which we are trying to nurture and teach children, why, purposefull,y would we make their life harder? Do you think that little girl learned anything that day, or probably days before or after? No, she was too immersed in her grief.

    There are a lot of things we do at school that we need to be sensitive about depending on the children we have.
     
  13. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Well said. Very well said. The grief, for a child, is life encompassing. You can be feeling fine, then BAM-something is said or done, or you see something that reminds you, and the grief, frustration, anger, sadness-just takes over. It's awful

    Everyone has lost someone close to them. I'm not saying anything that you all don't know. But if a school can do something to help calm some of that grief, then I think it should be done.
     
  14. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    nevermind....
     
  15. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Much easier to understand as an adult than a child. I was so embarrassed by my father growing up that I would sit out of events like this, but it was always so sad for me. I'd sit home crying. I'd never want that for another child or teen. Sure, I was happy for my friends, but that didn't make it such less for me. Knowing that life isn't fair doesn't make it less sad.
     
  16. BettyRubble

    BettyRubble Rookie

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    I have no problem with the ban. I agree there should be one dance where each child brings a special adult - mom, dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, cousin, Big Brother/Big Sister, whoever. I don't understand the need to separate them in this day and age.
     
  17. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Diz, you and I have chatted before, so I know that you don't mean to, but I'm going to be honest-reading that really hurts. To say that it stinks for kids who have lost their father, and that they should just learn their lesson...wow.

    The great thing about being an adult is that I can walk away from this, because it literally has me in tears. I can suck it up, and get over it, and not visit this thread again, which is what I plan to do. Eighteen years of dealing with it has taught me how to bury the feelings I don't care to let out.

    The horrendous part about being a child who has lost a parent is that it doesn't go away, and that child is forced to confront those feelings DAILY at an age where they are not fully capable of doing so. Many times without a lot of support, as family members are often dealing with their own issues and feelings, and don't have the time or capability to help.

    You'd think that school would be a safe place to go and get away from all that baggage. You'd think that if a school could do something very small and insignificant to help ease the pain of students who are dealing with loss, they would. Is it necessary that those lucky ones who have a father have a dance specifically directed to them? What's the benefit? Why can it not be just called something else, and open to anyone-how is that making it less significant??

    I'm sorry-this has really touched a nerve with me. I don't think it's necessary for anyone to be suing anyone over this, but I am deeply disappointed in the reactions when confronted with the--wrongness-of this all.

    I need a break.
     
  18. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    MissC... I understand your point... but as a child we know our families are different whether it's at a dance or just going to school... Divorce and what not has sadly become so common place that I think people are more surprised by the families that are still entact.

    Betty... I think they do it seperately because it starts to be a lot of people in one area... I don't think they are doing it to be mean...but more of a crowd control thing...
     
  19. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I am sorry KC!!!! I never meant to hurt anyone!!! I don't mean to mean.... I will leave this thread and not make any more comments...

    I am truly sorry if I hurt anyone...
     
  20. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    I know that Diz, and I know you well enough to know you don't mean to. I just get really sensitive about this topic. I think it's best if I bow out, just because I obviously have some rather strong feelings about the topic.

    Ultimately, I hope that family in Rhode Island finds the peace they need, however that manifests.
     
  21. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Hugs, kc. Hugs, Diz. Hugs, all.

    I suspect that the original father-daughter dance was instituted because someone saw a need for an event that would explicitly involve men in school. Where I grew up, too, father-son events - sports days and the like - were fairly common, so the father-daughter dance could have been seen as a small corrective.

    I say keep the events - the girls' event, but also the boys' - but rename 'em, in recognition that families are pretty varied.
     
  22. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I say have no dances at school. It's school. Problem solved.
     
  23. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    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.
     
  24. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    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.
     
  25. bison

    bison Habitué

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    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. :hugs:
     
  26. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Nothing sponsored or managed by the school.

    I also had three criers on Grandparents' Day...
     
  27. Grammy Teacher

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    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?
     
  28. treefrogs

    treefrogs Rookie

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    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.
     
  29. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Why sue though? OMG, what a waste of case.
     
  30. jenneke607

    jenneke607 Rookie

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    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.
     
  31. Jeky

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    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.
     
  32. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    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.
     
  33. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    :agreed:
     
  34. Irishdave

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    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
     
  35. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    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."
     
  36. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Ouch.

    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.
     
  37. 3Sons

    3Sons Connoisseur

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    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.
     
  38. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    What should they call the dance? Children and the adults in their life dance?
     
  39. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    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."
     
  40. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    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.
     
  41. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    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.
     

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