Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by KinderCowgirl, Sep 21, 2012.
Sep 22, 2012
You're right. I should have said she took steps toward pursuing legal action because she found it discriminatory. I don't have any doubt that if the district hadn't caved it would have turned into a lawsuit from the interviews I've seen with her.
I completely agree with this as well. The kids are going to have something come up in their lives that will make them remember they don't have a father-being given away at their wedding, etc. If this parent saw this as an opportunity to help her daughter learn how to cope with that, I think it will actually help her down the road.
Eh, I don't think a lawsuit is necessary but it seems silly not to include everyone when a simple change of wording would be enough.
Perhaps so. I also suspect that had she not threatened legal action, there would be no change from the school. Administrations can be remarkably reluctant to change. They sometimes resist on things that are obviously illegal even after a letter from the ACLU, so I'd hardly be surprised that they might resist change just from a parent complaining.
I doubt going to the ACLU is the first thing she tried.
Not to say that she might not have handled it better. Maybe she could have. But, it's pretty easy to say that of any of us in hindsight.
Sep 23, 2012
I haven't read all the posts, so sorry if I repeat what someone has already said.
In Girl Scouts, our service unit has a Me & My Guy dance each December. 'My guy' can be any adult male, like a brother, uncle, granddad, whoever.
Recently, a leader suggested a Mom & Me dance..a 'just us girls' kind of thing.
That does seem like a simple solution..at first. But no matter what name is given, someone can find a reason to dislike or disagree with it. Then the school can be facing this same situation again.
I don't see why they'd be facing the same situation. A name change would broaden the dance to include just about everyone. It's an easy fix, and there's really no good reason not to do it. The idea that someone may not like it further down the line isn't really enough to prevent a simple fix now. I like the idea of "Me & My Guy" that someone mentioned above.
My understanding is that they already make concessions for any father figure in the daddy-daughter dances and any mommy figure for the mommy-son dances.
The complaint was made on the basis of discrimination-that it can't be gender-based at all.
I have been avoiding this thread, and I will admit that I did not read through the posts.
My opinion: it is a shame to end something that increases parent (or responsible adult) involvement in any way.
I grew up with a father that was mostly absent. If I would have asked him to go to one of these events, he would have. There were a few years that he lived 1200 miles away. Even then, I did not lack for a male figure to take. I actually consider my mom to be my dad, too, and I would have taken her if I had wanted to go. My sister did attend such functions and my dad went with her. I don't think the person attending with the child should be required to be either male or female- any adult figure should be welcome. I also would be floored if a school ever denied an adult figure entrance based on their gender.
I DO think that the dances should still be based on student gender. (boy and girl dances separate) Only because I was too shy to attend a 'girls only' dance, and I could not even imagine going to a dance with everyone. I think it is good to give special attention to kids separately. (To clarify- if you have a brother and a sister, it is good to have that special day. Other wise, it would just be a big family outing. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But I'm sure it is special to spend time with just 1 parent at times.)
Sometimes, I think our society is truly doomed. We are in such a lawsuit happy, everybody wins, me-me-me-me era, it is ridiculous. It is sad that we have to do things like put warnings on coffee that it is hot because a law suit is feared. To me, this is just about the same thing.
I just read the story...
If this child has no man that can take her to the dance, why didn't Mom come up with a nifty Girls Night Out thing for the two of them? Even just ordering a PPV movie could be special. She's teaching her daughter how to be a victim, imho.
"Me and My Guy"?
Well, that's a nice way to discriminate against lesbians or those with lesbian parents.
"Family Dance"? What about the kid(s) with no parents or with only one parent that is a drug addict and never shows any interest in their education or school activities?
"Child and Adult Dance?" That might be great for those who don't have a parent (or parents) that are physically abusive for even suggesting such a thing.
Then there is the whole issue mentioned by a previous poster of those who don't believe in dancing at all because of their religious views. Holding a dance at the school could be seen as discrimination against their religious beliefs.
I know the previous poster feel that way, but someone else might. I know some of those scenarios are more fantasy than reality. I agree changing the name is a simple fix for now, but it sets a precedent for the next person who feels discriminated against based on an event name, or anything else, to demand the same actions from the school.
Oh, forget it.
Sep 24, 2012
Family Dance would suffice. Families come in different flavors and doesn't necessarily mean biological parent. I'm good with that word.
I grew up with my dad. I've never heard of (except on tv) or gone to one of these events. My life is not stunted because I didn't have that opportunity. Traditional homes are changing. We have to change with them.
I fight discrimination all the time. I find that when it involves money or change, people are just naturally reluctant. I highly doubt this mom went straight to the ACLU right away. There is a time and place for sensitivity. This is one of them. As lawsuit weary as we are, things don't change until someone has the courage to take the stand. Whether you agree with her stand or not, the fact is, the mother at least had the courage to stand up in the face of all those who cling to tradition without looking at an every changing world and taking stock of it. This isn't just about the people who have lost a parent. This is about the fact that the paradigm of what it means to be a family has been changing for a long time and we are still stuck in excluding others who don't fit our mold. That's pretty darn judgmental I think.
Yes, I still do Mother's Day and Father's Day and yes every year I have to take stock into what that means to the students in my class and I always have mixed feelings about it.
It's okay to evolve. Sometimes we get so stuck in traditions we forget our primary role doesn't include all of that.
I believe, bison, that Creek is just illustrating why the mother might have needed to go through the ACLU.
Deftly and perspicuously noted, 3Sons.
Me thinks someone was called a "discriminator"
Lets call it the "In loco parentis Dance" the kids would shorten it to the "Loco dance"
Wait for it
wait for it
Named for the lady who killed the father daughter dance
Sorry I just had to say it :lol:
Hi, C&G!! Good to see you!!
To me, though this lady has an agenda. It would seem to me that the average parent wouldn't go to this extreme. The average parent, at least around here, would simply find something else for the child to do.
I was about to say that it's sort of ridiculous to assume that every family has a mom, a dad, and 2.5 kids. Cerek took the words right out of my mouth. What about incarcerated parents? Uninvolved parents? Same-sex parents? NO parents?
School should be a place where every single student feels safe and equal to others. Things like this only serve to alienate them.
I still wonder where the father of this girl is and why he was not available to take the daughter to the dance, which would have avoided the whole issue.
There are plenty of legitimate reasons he may not be around; he may have passed away, he may live too far away, he may have only limited visitation rights (I knew of one dad that could only visit his kids for 1-2 hours every 2 weeks and that visitation had to be done under the supervision of a social worker), he may be irresponsible, have a drug or alcohol problem or things that prevent him having full visitation and/or access to his daughter.
Of course, the other side is that the mom may use limited access to the daughter as a way of "getting back" at dad. Maybe the dance happened on her weekend and she refused to even consider letting dad take the daughter to the dance.
This situation has come up several times since my own divorce, when either I or their mom had something planned, but it didn't fall on our weekend. We've realized it is more important to think of what the boys would like rather than our own feelings towards each other.
As always, we are only getting part of the story here and it would be nice to know more details; what steps did mom take before contacting the ACLU and where is dad?
Or Dad is just not interested. Some men simply aren't cut out for touchy-feely things like this.
I had a Girl Scout two years ago whose dad would not take her to the Me & My Guy dance. It took a lot of talking on my part to get him to change his mind. My third Girl Scout, her dad walked out on his family last Thanksgiving. Her granddad agreed to take her, but he felt very out of place among all the younger dads, plus he was upset that the bio father had created such a situation.
I'm guessing she probably went to the school first and got told something like this: "Everyone knows that "Father-Daughter Dance" includes a child whose father is unavailable"; the rationale is parallel to the claim that the pronoun "he" in "Every student should keep his binder tidy" naturally includes people who aren't male, and I think it's just about as valid - especially if the child in question is either elementary age or living in an area in which the vast majority of families DO have fathers present.
It's also not clear to me that it's anyone's business why a dad's not available - or a mom, for that matter.
Nice to see you too!
We can understand one of the reasons for the school to have the dance is promote parent involvement of the gender that is many times in need of improved involvement.
Whether it has a certain gender pronoun or has a name that is inclusive the goal is to help parent involvement. This seems to me political correctness is defeating the main goal of the action.
I realize that when talking about parents using a gender identifying word can infuriate some. I am not saying the end justifies the means, but come on, to argue about gender when the goal is involvement, just sounds to me as someone having an agenda where in the end the majority of students will suffer and a few will have a good feeling about themselves.
For years during "back to school" night I would have a "meeting" of Red Green's Possum Lodge, The men were kind of hiding and would come to the shop (I always had doughnuts and coffee for parents and I would cut up some very aroma enhancing woods before it would start) I would have to heard them out so they (the guys) could see the other classes .
(tongue in cheek) Being a male I really am angry that male nouns and male pronouns are being used by people to mean both genders
Goose ~ when we see a waterfowl we say goose do we ever say "look at the gander"
Human ~ means both genders I guess we need to say Huwoman too?
Lion ~ Do we ever hear lioness? when most prides are overwhelmingly populated by females
He ~ how about "it" I would just love being call an "IT"
Mankind ~ both men and women
Even the term Guys now can mean both genders.(pulling tongue out of cheek)
You know it could be handled so differently in the way it is presented, saying that a student could honor the Significant Adult that is in their life
True. My dad told me he didn't want to walk me down the aisle. He said the same to the other daughter already married. He has since regretted saying that, but it was just another reason the both of us girls went away to be married alone.
as a father I can not wrap my brain around that
I know. He's different... He is the man everyone can count on. He let a near stranger move in when in need. He'd drop his hammer or hay or whatever right now to come fix your car on the side of the road. He's insanely intelligent. Everyone knows him and loves him around here. But he didn't get that parenting manual.
He's actually a very sensitive person, and now he tears up just about every time we have a special visit. There is a lot of regret. Still, he was a good dad and have lots of great childhood memories. Even though he did level with me a few years ago when discussing the fact that I'm not having children...he said if he could do it over, he wouldn't have his five! Yeah, nice...right? But, honestly, good dad. Just a better man. If that makes sense.
Anyway, sorry to get off topic!
I think adults (and schools) stick to tradition because it is a way of reliving their youth vicariously through the new generation. It's just a dance. It has nothing to do with education. Yes, we foster involvement with parents and the community but there are plenty of other ways.
My BIL was the same way- you could count on him to save your life, but he's another one that didn't 'get' parenting.
Sep 25, 2012
That's true, Becky. I should have included that in my list since it is just as likely (or perhaps moreso) than the other reasons. I realize some parents (dad or mom) are like this, but like Dave, I just have a hard time wrapping my head around that idea because the highest priority in my life are my boys.
Since mom made such a large issue out of this and the core of her argument was that her daughter could not attend due to the name of the dance, it does beg the question of where the dad is and why he could not (or would not) take her to the dance.
So far, we are only hearing one side of the story.
Does it really matter where dad is? He's not available.
Separate names with a comma.