Elementary School Kids

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Should Schools Ban Special Daddy/Daughter & Mother/Son Events
September 19, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Schools Should Ban Special Daddy/Daughter & Mother/Son Events

Posted by Jeanne Sager

daddy daughter danceFirst it was dodgeball. Now the age-old tradition of father/daughter dances at school is being phased out. But don't worry! Mother/son traditions are getting the heave-ho too.

A Rhode Island school district is blazing the trail, calling these gender-specific activities "discriminatory" after a single mom complained that her kid was left out of a daddy/daughter event because she didn't have a dad to accompany her. As a married mom, I can't agree with them more.

We live in a world where 11.7 million households have a single parent at the helm. We live in a world where same sex couples are finally making headway in the fight to adopt and raise kids. Telling girls they need to bring a daddy to an event or boys that they need a mommy is automatically cutting out a whole lot of kids, distancing them from their peers in a time when kids are already so split that we have a bullying epidemic on our hands.

These kids don't need another reason to feel uncomfortable around their classmates, especially not in the so-called "safe space" that a school is supposed to provide.

And quite frankly, neither do parents ... any parent, whether single, gay, or partnered up with someone of the opposite sex.

We don't need to hear from the school that one gender of parent is more important than the other. Maybe it's because I grew up in a poor school district that didn't have the fund for these gender-specific events anyway, but I've never quite gotten the allure of one parent in particular being lauded over the other.

Last year my daughter's teacher sent home an invite to help make gingerbread houses that specifically stated there was room for only one adult helper per child. We let our daughter choose, and she picked my husband. Technically it was better for us based on work schedules, but I won't say it didn't hurt a bit.

I want to be there for the moments big and small ... and so does my husband. That's part of being a parent. The two of us have made a point of deciding who goes to events at school based on our family's needs, not on some outdated notion that little girls need their daddies more and little guys are mama's boys.

What's your take on daddy/daughter and mother/son events at schools?



  • EmmaGlenn20
    September 21, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    Everything has to be politically correct these days and GOD FORBID if someone gets their feelings hurt...I completely agree with you.

    Quoting mommasaint:

    I was just watching a news story on this....

    I think it's BS to ban something based on ONE persons feelings. I am sure the little girl had an uncle, a grandpa or somebody who could've taken her. My girls LOVE the daddy daughter dance that they have here each year, and it's a huge fundraiser. We also have a mother/son dance and while DS doesn't claim to love it to pieces I know he enjoys our night out. 

    This is like saying there should be NO parent volunteers in school becasue some kids might feel left out that their parents aren't able to volunteer. This mother simply should of arranged another escort for her daughter if she wanted to participate. I bet you money she would not of been the only one at the dance without her biological father. 

  • kkezir
    by kkezir
    September 21, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    I'm 39 and from the midwest. and growing up I had never heard of this type of dance.. Our school never did this.  None of the surround schools did this. 

    I only heard of Father-Daughter Dance as an adult.  Why couldn't it be Bring a Parent Dance.  Idk.. I don't think it should have been banned but I also don't see the purpose for it.. There is nothing that says she can't bring her mom.  We had our little junior high dances.

    It is really an opportunity for kids to dress up and learn social graces.

  • gotnothinonme
    September 21, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    This entire debate is stupid, call it a "childs choice" dance and let them bring whatever adult they choose to ask and be done with it.  It's about children having fun with and creating a memory with the adults in their lives- we needn't unecessariy polarize it with all this nonsense. If a child might be hurt or excluded by the terminology and that can be easily rectified by a change in terminology, why WOULDN'T anyone just say do it? I'm sure none of us WANT to see any child excluded or hurt, intentionally or not- so alleviate the genders and call it the childs choice dance and get on with life.

  • Robertac1004
    September 21, 2012 at 9:57 AM
    I can not believe how selfish this mother is! My husband died when my daughter was young so he never got to go to a father daughter dance or see her at any important school activities I know how proud he would have been. That said I would never want other parents to miss one minute of their Childs life. I am sure she would be able to find either an adult to fill in or do some other activity that evening to please her daughter.
    Why to people feel they can ruin other people lives because they have unhappy lives.
  • Barefootsmiles
    September 21, 2012 at 10:00 AM
    Listen, I get the disappointment in a child when they are excluded from an event because their Dad isn't around(my husband is a Marine and is gone, a lot), but I think enough is enough with making our country so cookie cutter that it has to fit everyone's life! As a mom, if there is a daddy daughter dance and my girls daddy isn't around then I'll do whatever I can in my power to either find someone else to take them(their uncles, papas, family friend) or I'd make sure they had a night with me that was equally as amazing. NOT ruin an event that could be very special to other little girls.

    Am I the only one who sometimes feels like having a tradional two parent home is becoming more and more criticized?
  • Kay7684
    by Kay7684
    September 21, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    We don't have that tradition in the UK, but I am still going to offer an opinion. I personally don't think they should be banned. Why should they?  I know there are a hundred good reasons why some children don't have fathers, death, abandonment... whatever. But why should children who have loving fathers in their lives be punished by having this tradition removed?

  • Savedfromsin79
    September 21, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Schools where I am from don't even have them!

    And I went to school here 20 years ago and they didn't have them then either.. 

    So no issue for me!

  • koalasami
    September 21, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    Quoting allthatjazz251:

    Banning these events are absolutely ridiculous! Children with both parents shouldn't be punished for those with single parents. SMH

    And my children should not be punished because their parents were not able to raise them.  And children x,y, and z should not be punished because they have crappy mothers who walked away.  And children a,b, and c should not be punished because their dad died. 

    It is easy to say something is okay when YOUR children can participate. 

  • koalasami
    September 21, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Quoting Kay7684:

    We don't have that tradition in the UK, but I am still going to offer an opinion. I personally don't think they should be banned. Why should they?  I know there are a hundred good reasons why some children don't have fathers, death, abandonment... whatever. But why should children who have loving fathers in their lives be punished by having this tradition removed?

    Because a SCHOOL should not host an event that excludes. Why not have a more inclusive dance for families.  This is only a tradition because people allowed it to become one - sometimes traditions need to change.

  • DevinsMom0904
    September 21, 2012 at 10:21 AM
    This is ridiculous. I hope parents stand up and fight this.

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