September 19th, 2012
04:17 PM ET

School district bans father-daughter, mother-son events

By Donna Krache, CNN

(CNN) - The Cranston, Rhode Island, school district banned father-daughter dances and other similar parent-child events after a parent complained to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The parent said her daughter felt left out of a father-daughter dance because she does not have a father or a father figure in her life.

Cranston's superintendent responded by banning parent-child activities, including father-daughter and mother-son events.

Superintendent Judith Lundsten said, “I truly believe that no one intended to hurt anyone’s feelings with this, that they wanted to be inclusive, but they also liked these traditional-type activities.”

In an interview with CNN affiliate WPRI , Lundsten acknowledged that finding that balance might be “tricky.”

The ACLU released a statement which noted that the matter has been “amicably resolved with school officials over four months ago.”  The organization stated that “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 This type of gender stereotyping only perpetuates outdated notions of ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ activities and is contrary to federal law.”

In a letter to partner organizations, the Cranston superintendent said, “Under no circumstances should we be isolating any child from full participation in school activities and events based on gender.  Please be all-inclusive in scheduling your events.”

Reactions to the ban have been mixed.

Where do you stand on father-daughter and mother-son events? Do you think schools promote gender stereotyping through activities? Share your perspective in the comments section.

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Filed under: Extracurricular • Policy • Politics • video
soundoff (499 Responses)
  1. Savannah

    We should also cancel homecoming and prom, because some girls don't have boyfriends, and they'll feel left out.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • HeyZeus

      Great Idea!!

      September 20, 2012 at 9:55 am |
    • OMG

      Suck it up, need to learn the world is not perfect. Don't other suffer because you are suffered

      September 20, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  2. paigyfay

    Coming from someone who grew up in that situation (growing up without a father figure), I understand why the girl would feel left out. BUT she doesn't have to go to these dances, or she should bring her mom. Or if her best friend has a dad, I'm sure he'd love to dance with her too. Growing up without a dad sucks but she's not the only one who's going through it. She should be happy she has her mom, and her mom needs to stop over reacting.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  3. Matt

    F' the ACLU. I feel pretty bad for the girl without a father but penalizing everyone over to make everyone feel equally miserable is not the answer. What loser parent complains to the ACLU because she is raising her daughter single? How the heck could the school district give into this? I am totally floored by this.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • OMG

      Well said, I grew up poor. borned without father. People are sick, why makes other people suffer because you did not have what they had. Tell those kids take a hike, If you don't have fater or mother, stay home and happy for those they have.

      September 20, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  4. taylortofit

    Well at least now the fathers who don't have daughters can stop feeling so blue!

    September 20, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  5. madness

    Our country just keeps going farther down the crapper

    September 20, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Naynaybeme

      So sick of everyone catering to the cry babies of the world. Soon there won't be anything left to folks with traditional values and families. Why must everyone suffer because a few cry foul? They should all pull their kids from the school district. What's normal and good is now being punished and what wrong in this country is being rewarded. This nation is going down the crapper in a whirlwind at record speed. People make choices then try shoving it down everyone else throat. It's your choice so suck it up and deal with it, and quit trying to change the entire world to fit around it just to appease your guilty conscience because you know it's WRONG. You think if you keep trying to change laws that will make it seem okay. But I tell you Hell has a place for all you crazies!!!!

      September 20, 2012 at 10:46 am |
      • Marcus


        September 21, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  6. CrankyYankee

    Holy Crapamoly! You don't solve these problems by banning parent-child events, you make them just that: parent-child events leaving gender out of the equation. Seems to me that with the push for critical-thinking skills in the schools, the Superintendent needs a refresher course in critical thinking and common sense!

    September 20, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  7. Commie Tactics

    Ah, Rhode Island – socialist cesspool where I was born. If one kid can`t be fulfilled, then no kid will be fulfilled. Let`s make ALL of society feel her`s the politically correct thing to do. What a bunch of maroons.

    September 20, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  8. Kim O

    We have these events too at our elementary. Girls can come with any significant male in their life. Girls are brought by grandpas, uncles, step dads, big brothers, cousins, a close friend's dad etc. It is a very positive night.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:29 am |
  9. anna

    I think it is time that people who complain about any little thing should be told what to do with themselves,

    Things are just getting completely out of hand, political correctness gone amuck!

    September 20, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  10. Mirage

    Events that foster familial closeness should be supported. If a child does not have one parent they should not be excluded but neither is the sponsor responsible for the feelings of every child who does not have a parent. We have created a system where there are no winners or losers for fear our children might get hurt. We would do them a better service in preparation for adulthood if we supported them through their disapointments so they could learn to deal with them as adults.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Matt

      Well said.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:36 am |
  11. Jorge

    I always wondered why self-important Americans who thought that they were royalty got eaten alive when they went overseas to put up some kind of business, all their besmirching, whining and braying that they were not served on a silver platter, or that some foreign custom was somehow "unfair" to them just made for humorous satire against them and ruined their reputations.

    September 20, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  12. lssagan

    Girls go to dances while boys go to baseball games? How last century! Glad that's gone. Why not replace it with family activities, so that however the family is configured, people can enjoy themselves?

    September 20, 2012 at 7:44 am |
    • Frank

      Yes, let's be sure that our children have no role models to follow and all future generations are created in a lab and raised by the state to serve the republic!!!

      September 20, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  13. Lou Cypher

    Makes me glad that I chose not to have children, so they don't have to be corrupted by this sh!t.

    September 20, 2012 at 6:34 am |
  14. Merlin

    Really?! My daughters' school either didn't have these events or they were too busy to attend, but big deal. One person gets their feelings hurt because they are too self-conscious to invite another family member or friend so now nobody gets to go? The ACLU seems to be about telling us what we can and cannot do. What happened to freedom of choice? If my daughters had wanted to attend we would have, but they didn't. Probably thought it was lame. We were invited to plenty of concerts, science fairs and academic events. Too much ACLU...people should learn some social skills. Life is not about "me" and is not always fair. The sooner people understand this reality, the better they will handle themselves in different situations regarding society. It makes about as much sense as holding your breath until you get your way...

    September 20, 2012 at 6:14 am |
  15. kevin

    So the superintendant didn't want to hurt the child but what about the ones now hurt cuase the canceled events. BS again.

    September 20, 2012 at 2:56 am |
  16. brep

    keep seeing a lot of arguments from the perspective that mothers and fathers deserve these activities

    sorry moms and dads. or stand in moms and dads. figure out how to celebrate your gender and your kid's gender without using the school systems

    you really have no choice. the ACLU is going to knock these out where they still exist. and this is a good thing. schools are for the kids. for every kid, in every situation, regardless of gender.

    September 20, 2012 at 2:11 am |
    • taylortofit

      yes, any activity that tries to get parents more involved with their kids' lives and educations should be banned. We don't want that at all, especially since public schools are doing such a bang-up job as it is. Get a brain, dude!

      September 20, 2012 at 9:36 am |
      • brep

        uh no

        activities that involve parents are great
        there are many ways for parents to be involved with their kids education

        it is not appropriate for schools to hold events that segregate gender

        September 20, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  17. Rdeezy

    instead of lamenting her lack of a father figure, she should have taken the date of the "father-daughter dance" to do something special and memorable with what she has, A MOM. But know because she doesn't have a father figure anybody with one can't be happy. Stop being a woe is me victim and use what you have to make things better for yourself.
    Life goes on.

    September 20, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Rdeezy


      September 20, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Brian

      Amen... And why does the ACLU decide how children should be raised? And what types of events they go to?

      September 20, 2012 at 10:44 am |
  18. Rachael

    Seems like an overreaction by all parties. We have father-daughter activities locally, but if a girl has no Dad, she can go with any male friend, relative or even her mom or grandma. It's not a big deal. I am wondering if this school district was inflexible and before said girls could only attend with her father no exceptions. I don't approve of that. It seems to me they could have a parent & me dance and a parent & me ball game and welcome everyone to both. That is the right way to handle this. Mother-son & father-daughter events are great, but in publioc schools they do need to set up to accomodate all families.

    September 20, 2012 at 12:22 am |
  19. mojojojo

    A school in my area has a father/son choir song every year. My friend's husband can sing for beans, yet he always volunteers to be the "dad" for a boy who has no one else to ask. No one complains, some boys get to bond with a man for a change, and everyone walks away happy as far as I can tell because the song still happens every year.

    September 20, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • mojojojo

      sorry, meant can't sing... sigh proofing fail...

      September 20, 2012 at 12:18 am |
    • taylortofit

      shhhhhhhhhh, don't let the ACLU find out where you live or you won't be able to enjoy it anymore!

      September 20, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  20. Father daughter son

    Wow...I always turn to mass media for a chuckle. CNN, FOX news, CNBC, etc. They are all trying to get us riled up. I find that public media (while not perfect) leans toward presenting a balanced view on most topics. Before Regan deregulated the rules that govern FCC transmissions all new organizations were required by law to present both sides of Political issues.

    I need CNN and fox news like I need a hole in my head.

    September 20, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • Dave

      Yet here you are....

      September 20, 2012 at 5:39 am |
  21. Portland

    My job as a parent is to raise my children to survive with out me. In that, they need to learn to deal with dissapointment. Me stepping in every second to fix things for them does nothing but confirm to them that they have something to feel bad about and that they need someone to fix it for them. Every single one of us has something to overcome or deal with. I'm not sure what you're teaching your kids by taking away from others so that they don't have to deal with dissapointment.

    September 20, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • TheTraveler

      They've got to be kidding! ONE PARENT complains and they shut down the whole program? Only in America folks ... Makes me wonder what we've been fighting for and working for in this country all these 200+ years. So ONE PERSON can snivel and deprive a greater number of people of their joy and happiness? And what about the liberties of the many? Sickening ...

      September 20, 2012 at 12:20 am |
  22. kosh

    Once more the ACLU sticks their nose in where it does not belong. The ACLU should be disbanded.

    September 20, 2012 at 12:00 am |
  23. mel

    So the maples formed a union
    And demanded equal rights
    'The oaks are just too greedy
    We will make them give us light'

    Now there's no more oak oppression
    For they passed a noble law
    And the trees are all kept equal
    By hatchet, axe and saw

    September 19, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
  24. mel

    And demanded equal rights
    'The oaks are just too greedy
    We will make them give us light'

    Now there's no more oak oppression
    For they passed a noble law
    And the trees are all kept equal
    By hatchet, axe and saw

    September 19, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  25. Honey Booboo Einstein

    Why don't we ban Mother's Day and Father's Day also? I mean, there are people who can't conceive, right? There are children who do not have parents, so let's just get rid of any type of celebration because, at the end, there is someone out there who may not be joining the party. The ACLU needs to get real!

    September 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • mojojojo

      Good point. Can we ban Valentine's Day too for all the lonely people out there that can't participate for WHATEVER reason?????

      September 20, 2012 at 12:05 am |
      • Tom

        Good point. Banning all human interaction might be a way to go. Maybe there is someone that suffers from a disease where their sense of touch is lacking. We sure wouldn't want to offend these unfeeling people. Is it just me or does the ACLU seem to be losing touch with reality?

        September 20, 2012 at 12:18 am |
      • taylortofit

        i would like to nominate Halloween as well because of all the scary costumes and too many sweets hurt my teeth.

        September 20, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  26. cherekee dave

    the aclu should be labeled A TERRISTIC organization and should lose it's tax exemption. They have stuck their noses onto to many things and ruined to many things such as these dances just because some do gooder felt hurt by thimgs as this.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • abe


      Wow you ignorant redneck learn how to spell...TERRORISTIC with an O ...come on now make the O shape with your mouth. Good, good white insert the barrel of a gun into the O shape and pull the trigger.

      September 20, 2012 at 12:03 am |
      • taylortofit

        you r a hostile ass. guess u never make typos. why don't i do us a favor and go away.

        September 20, 2012 at 9:40 am |
      • taylortofit

        why don't U do everyone a favor a STFU!

        September 20, 2012 at 9:41 am |
  27. Brian

    Like a child who complains that others are getting something she isn't. Instead of working with the school to figure out a way for her daughter to be included, she would rather take this family activity away from others.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  28. Klaark

    Classic liberal response to a problem. "A few can't have something nice so we'll make sure no one has anything nice. Equality!"

    Of course Republicans aren't much better. Not better at all, really.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  29. Tom in ATL

    Missed the most obvious scenarios... what about the poor little boys that want to go to the father-daughter dance and are feeling 'left out'? And of course, who wants to hurt the girl's feelings who wants to go to the mother-son dance? Wow people. Take a few pills, kill the ACLU, and get this country back on its feet.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
  30. Kris

    Seems to me there is a very simple solution to this problem...have a parent child dance. No gender separation. Jeez...

    September 19, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Feekoningin

      I agree...except then we're going to hear from the kids who are raised by their grandparents, aunts and uncles or other guardians. It's sad that we don't understand the spirit of these events. And these are teaching tools, too, both for the child with the parent to learn about those who don't have them, and for the child with a missing parent on how to cope and accept love and caring from the others in their lives. And I think the solution brought forth by Carolyn Mahoney makes perfect sense. Even those of us with fathers may, at times, need to rely on a father figure.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
  31. brep

    most schools don't hold events that segregate gender. i have girls in middle school and elementary school and there has never been a daddy daughter dance

    i went to 3 daddy daughter dances growing up. 2 at church. 1 at the firehouse. growing up i went to schools in few different states, and never once did i hear of a father daughter dance.

    i'm sure this mother does regret the hubub this has cause for her child in her school district. but this school district was going to have to change sometime soon anyway.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
    • Silence

      No this mother does not regret it at all. If she went to the school district to complain, she might be regretting that, but she really had to go out of her way to find the ACLU and complain to them. She is sitting back looking at her handiwork right now. She got her 15 minutes of fame, feeling justified in he "noble" venture. What a shame.

      Father Daughter banquets have been around forever. I remember going with my father. It was the only activity I ever participated in with my father. I had a friend who had no father and there was an elderly gentleman who lived next door to her family. He and his wife had had only one child who died of leukemia as a 4 year old and when my friend asked the man if he would be her father for the event, you can't imagine joy she gave to that couple. Many years later, when my friend returned home from college, she had the opportunity to chat with the wife of this man. The man had died the year before. The wife told my friend that all her husband talked about for weeks after that dinner dance was how wonderful it was to have that invitation. He had missed his own daughter's growing up so much and this one evening had given him just a small piece of what fatherhood would have been like. So, you see, it is not all bad.

      September 20, 2012 at 1:47 am |
      • brep

        it is not the job of our schools and their allocated funds to specifically provide emotionally enriching events for girls with involved fathers, or for men who don't have the experience of being a father

        September 20, 2012 at 2:06 am |
  32. maggie

    Agree. These events are outdated. My child does not have a father figure and his biological father lives far away. Also, we have no family living close by and both sets of grandparents have passed away years ago. It is very difficult to explain to my son on such events, that no one can attend. I also don't like it when they say a grandfriend could attend: now we have to ask people to volunteer for such events!!! all this traditional view on things should go away.
    And, last but not least, I am tired as a working single mom from getting all the e mails about volunteering for practically weekly events at the school: I dont ask the teachers to volunteer at my job!!. I find the schools to be lots of work for the parents and I dont get it. (and this is a very expensive private school, where I am assuming I am paying the big tuition for them to "volunteer" and do their jobs.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
    • Tom in ATL

      Maybe when you take responsibility for your life, you'll realize that your current position is based on YOUR PRIOR DECISIONS, not on the activities of others. His biological father lives far away? How did that happen? Should have thought through your decisions that caused that situation. Very expensive private school? And you're complaining why? Stop with the victim mentality and start living.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • joe

      his biological father lives far away? Figures! This is what is wrong with America

      September 19, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Calvin

      I feel sorry for your child.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Involved

      I, for one, would want invitations to be involved with my child's school life. If you don't want to or cannot volunteer, fine, that's understood. The school, though, is being extremely thoughtful by asking parents if they want to be actively involved in that part of their child's life. Taking opportunities away from other people because you can't do something or don't want to do something, isn't right. Just don't volunteer and delete the email. Let those who want the invitation volunteer. It may have nothing to do with the school needing unpaid help and everything to do with parental involvement in education.

      September 20, 2012 at 12:24 am |
      • ProudMama

        Amen! That was exactly the point I was about to make!!!

        September 20, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • Silence

      Try public school where no one volunteers! You will fit in just fine. As for paying tuition; do you do it so you don't have to be a parent? Parents generally volunteer to help provide resources for the school that tuition does not pay for. Volunteering also shows your child that you value education. We put extra effort into things we value.

      September 20, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • Silence

      You should go away! You don't "ask teachers to volunteer at your job?" Why would you? Your child goes to the school they teach at. That school is not for their benefit. It is for the benefit of your child! And they don't benefit from your job and neither do their children. Grow up. The world does not revolve around you.

      September 20, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • taylortofit

      Um...not outdated at all. I still know many kids who enjoy these dances and time with their folks. Just because some people can't provide a father for their kids (and I won't even get into that right now) does not mean that those of us with two parent families should be made to lose out. Some of us still have moms and dads and wait for it, they even live all together in one house and are HAPPY.

      September 20, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • sd334

      You know that volunteering is optional, right?

      September 20, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • Oakspar

      (1) You have failed to provide for your child's emotional needs. A child, male or female, needs a male role model in life to teach the young boys how to be men and the young girls what to look for in a husband. Those are critical roles that cannot be fulfilled by a woman.

      It is a tragedy when this happens do to death, but when it is done by choice, that is unforgivable. If the man is unfit for fatherhood, then he was unfit for you to marry and have relations with in the first place. It is still your reponsibility to choose a good father for your children – even before they are concieved.

      (2) You have failed to meet your child's emotional needs. A child needs a mother. That you chose to take upon yourself the family financial burden by moving away from his father and your family's support might explain WHY you have to spend your time earning money rather than being a mother, but it does not EXCUSE the lack of motherhood. When the school asks you to volunteer, they are providing you an oppurtunity to increase the amount of time you can put into your child's life because the 128 hours a week you have with your child are often still NOT ENOUGH to meet your child's needs.

      (3) You do ask the school to come to your job and volunteer for you, since one of your jobs is mother, and you expect a school to offer EXTRA-cirricular activities. Parent/teacher meetings, PTSA, and all of those other after school activites are generally things teachers are not getting paid to do (unlike, say, coaching a sport, where they are compensated). So, when you complain because after work you have to go and meet with a teacher, that teacher is still at work NOT GETTING PAID to meet with you for YOUR child.

      (4) If you cannot and do not take responsibility for your decisions, why would your child? Children learn behavior from observation, not instruction. Why would your sons not feel free to have relations and then abondon his children if that is the only example he has? Why would your daughters not get pregnant from guys who will not be around for their children if that is the only example she has? Why would they want to work and succeed, if all they hear you do is complain about how hard and fruitless work is?

      It is not enough as a parent to WANT your children to do better than you. YOU must set the example by MAKING yourself better than you want to be an set an example of greatness for them to follow. Generational poverty is not fixed in the next generation – it is fixed in the behavior of the current generation as they lift their children up with their positive example.

      Teachers teach information to students and are accountable for what they know. Parents raise children into the adults they will become and are responsible for who they are and what they do with their lives.

      September 20, 2012 at 11:21 am |
      • Marcus


        September 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  33. brep

    public schools should not hold events that segregate gender

    do that through your church. or your community center. or your private school. or rent a room

    September 19, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
  34. Jack Alex

    Makes sense to me father daughter and mother son relationships sounds kind of pervasive to me, almost like priest and alterboys

    September 19, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • david nunya

      seek professional mental guidance

      September 19, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
      • Rich

        I second your comment and add "immediately".

        September 19, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • kpete

      Right, because daughters should only flock to their mothers and sons likewise to their fathers, promoting a segregated family unit...... It's sad that you should think that...

      September 19, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • OMG

      Your kids turn the gun to you one day, I totally understand why, and found him not guilty

      September 20, 2012 at 10:32 am |
    • OMG

      Your kids turn the gun on you one day, I totally understand why, and found him not guilty

      September 20, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • Marcus


      September 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  35. Missouri comment

    "How parents and other caregivers respond to situations, and how they help a child to respond, separates those adults who promote resilience in their children from those who destroy resilience or send confusing messages that both promote and inhibit resilience" (Edith H. Grotberg, Ph.D.The International Resilience Project) We, as parents, cannot change everything in the world so our children feel no discomfort – it's not our jobs. Our job is to help teach our children resilience, strength and courage to go through life (eventually) on their own. You have to let them grow up and face the reality of the real world – which (sadly) can be unfair.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • mac

      I like your comment , I for one am tired of some people always changing things to suit a few, suck it up, to many pansy in this great land of ours

      September 19, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
      • Missouri comment

        Thank you – I agree!! I see it happening more and more often. We do our kids such a disservice and more harm by not teaching them that sometimes you do have to suck it up and move on!!

        September 19, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • iChristine

      Really? So your response to a child who cannot attend an event because they have lost a parent or grandparent is to say "Too bad, so sad"? These events have nothing to do with schooling. As a teacher of 25 years I know that there are so many other activities that can be planned for kids without intentionally leaving many out. Schools have no business sponsoring these events. Leave it to the churches and clubs. Children in elementary school do not need to be taught this lesson in "resilience." I'm all for helping my two kids learn from mistakes and understand that life is not fair. I just do not need their school to set up a scenario for this type of learning. Glad to see it go, about time.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
      • Silence

        Really? And so how does one learn the lesson that bad choices in a mate will cause offspring to suffer? Many of my friends went out of their way to not make the same mistakes their parents made, because of the small amount of pain they themselves suffered because of their parents' bad decisions. We disallow children (uniforms in public schools) to where nice clothing because the other children might feel bad. So now we have a group of children who don't understand that hard work pays off and the reward is being able to wear nice clothing. Without a certain amount of suffering, there is no growth in character. You can't prevent suffering. What you teach a child about that pain is what is important. And what this school district is teaching is that everyone else will have to suffer because these children don't have fathers or mothers.

        September 20, 2012 at 2:29 am |
      • anna

        Dont agree with you, it is not a case of so sad to bad, but if you dont have a parent well you just have to understand that things happen and everyone else should not have to suffer because of you.

        I am sick and tired of people losing out because one other person has a complaint, to that I say so sad to bad!!!!

        September 20, 2012 at 8:26 am |
      • Oakspar

        It is either (A) the parents fault for poor parenting (either the father or mother left their parental responsibilities) or (B) a tragedy due to the loss of the parent (death).

        If the parent is dead, such a dance might cause some emotional discomfort as they deal with that loss. This is tragic, but nothing is going to bring that parent back from the grave and those pains only lessen over time as we experience them. Not having a dance does not heal that pain, it only puts off that moment of pain to some other time.

        If the parents are negligent, I understand wanting, once again, to protect the child from the pain (especially since that pain was avoidable). The pain, however, is not of the school's causing – but the parents. I understand why the parent would be upset at the pain the child feel when that pain is caused by the parent (who wishes to blame the school, so as not to acknowledge their failings as a parent to provide a stable home for the child with both parents present).

        September 20, 2012 at 11:30 am |
      • Marcus

        Christine: Every other child has to pay because this little girl does not have a father. Thats heartless its not their fault. I am a widower should marriages be banned because I am by myself. You call yourself a teacher.?

        September 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  36. Shea Wootan

    I lead a Girl Scout troop for 5 years. My troop had 16 girls and only 2 had a father that participated. Our service unit always held a Mother-Daughter Event and a Father-Daughter Event. Frequently it was my job to ORGANIZE these events. I always asked if we could be more inclusive and allow for a Family-Daughter event. I was quite promptly told that it had been done this way for 25 years, and that it was to stay this way. I found hypocrisy rampant because the motto of the U.S.G.A. was "For All Girls Everywhere." I felt it was "For All Girls Everywhere, Unless You Do Not Have a Dad." Be inclusive, allow them to bring what ever adult they have that fills the parental role. This is a common sense approach. It is appropriate for the school to cancel those events, but they should create new ones that include family, especially since they come in all shapes and sizes.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • iChristine

      Very well stated! I remember when my middle school in California had "slave days' when popular kids were "auctioned" off during a fundraiser to do whatever their fellow student "owners" requested ( carrying their books, fetching lunch, wearing silly outfits...) Yes, this really did happen in the 1970's! Of course since it had been a tradition for many years, the adults in charge, just like those in your organization, never thought twice about it until one year it disappeared. Finally someone obviously thought twice about depicting slavery as a fun and cute activity. Strange.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
      • amil2233

        My both my high schools did that too, with students and teachers, in the late 2000's at that! I also went to a middle school which had a father daughter dance. Even though these events may not be fun for everyone there are a lot of people who do love them and that is why they became traditions in the first place. There are most likely several other school events that are not totally inclusive or fun for everyone because people have their own likes and specialties. There is also a lot of room in schools to create new traditions, but I think adults today are starting to over think about these things and are trying to always please every child which simply cannot happen. I don't mean to sound harsh but I work with kids over the summers and I know that large groups are hard to please but it makes people more upset when you take these things away. Field/Sports days are technically all-inclusive, but is it really fun for those kids who hate sports or aren't very athletic and end up either not participating or being forced too? I don't think anyone's taking that away just to please them.

        September 20, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • Dawn MN

      So sad, our Service Unit changed to Me and My Gal / Pal or He and Me / She and Me. So sad to hit that kind of a wall of narrow minds, sometimes you can still have the event and only change a tiny part that does not affect the tradition.

      September 20, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Silence

      If your troop held a mother-daughter event and a father-daughter event, no girl would have been left out, that is, unless she was an orphan. Sounds like you just want to get rid of tradition.

      September 20, 2012 at 2:37 am |
  37. Mo

    My daughter attended her first Daddy Daughter dance last Spring. She came home and said it was the best night of her life. Girls with loving, involved Dads do better in life, make better choices. Why punish everyone because someone got a bad hand dealt to them? I had a father at home but he might as well have been cardboard cut-out. I want my daughter to experience these kinds of things with her Dad. I know what it's like to not have a Dad love you and yes, it hurts. This is exactly why these events are a good thing. My husband made my daughter feel like a princess at that dance. Maybe she'll know she's treasured and worthy of being treated that way.

    September 19, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • iChristine

      He could have done that at a church or club sponsored activity. Leave it there. Or perhaps he could just take her out for a special evening. No need to make others feel at a loss or unloved. I do not understand how you could feel no sympathy for others. Unlike you I had a dad who was very involved. But I would never want to make you uncomfortable or insignificant because you could not attend a school event. Unfortunately, it sounds like you would not give it a second thought if roles were reversed. Sad.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
      • Silence

        iChristine You sound like you think you are better than the rest of the world. Mo has a good perspective and has used the pain of an absent parent to better the life of her daughter instead of feeling sorry for herself. She has used that pain to build some character that you don't have. She went through that pain and is not asking others to go without just because of her misfortune. You, on the other hand think you will solve all the worlds problems by leveling the playing field. You can't! You can only teach children how to deal with the rocky playing field; how to step over the boulders in their way.

        September 20, 2012 at 2:45 am |
      • anna

        Your really are a twit!

        September 20, 2012 at 8:28 am |
      • taylortofit

        well then you can feel free not to participate. However, for the other kids and parents who want to, they should be able to. You sound like a bitter person, let me guess, you teach in public schools? I hope to GOD you are not in my district!

        September 20, 2012 at 9:51 am |
      • Oakspar

        Those girls without fathers in their life ARE at a loss and ARE unloved (by their fathers).

        Playing denial does not change the underlying fact that fathers are important and that not having one is harmful to the social well being of the child (whether physically or emotionally absent).

        If a young child's father dies, do we keep the child from going to the funeral, visiting the grave, writing Father's Day cards to the deceased? Do we give them no emotional help as if everything is okay, fine, and nothing is different in their lives? Of course not.

        Why then this need to treat absent (and thus equally not in the child's life) fathers in such a way? Those kids are in just as much need and do not get the help they need, because the mothers are too selfish in their desire to not admit the pain and trama they have inflicted willingly upon their child. (It is willing, because the mother chose who she would have relations with, and if he was not a quality lifetime father, that was her (poor) choice).

        Schools have a responsibility to educate normal, socially functional students. If the parents mess the child up too much to fit into education built for normal, socially functional students – that is not the responsibility of the school system to accomodize for. They already accomodize for those with mental and physical disabilities. Do schools really need to lable and accomodize for those whose parents who, through a lack of good parenting, have made their children emotionally disabled?

        September 20, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Charlie

      Thanks for your post. I understand your dad worked 6 days a week and stayed drunk when at home. I have no memory of ever attending a movie or any school event with my dad. I married the sweetest man that spends every evening and weekend taking our kids to events or just spending time with them. The community daddy/daughter dance is loved each year by my Tom-boy girl.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  38. Scratch

    There is another point here that seems to have been missed. Regardless of whether the complain was legitimate or not, it was ONE COMPLAINT. Is that the bar for canceling an event that everyone else enjoys? One person who doesn't like it?

    September 19, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Rich

      This is just one more sad case of how un-american things have become in our country – I agree, this is without a doubt a decision which is way out of line. Things have got to change or we can kiss our american traditions and beliefs good bye.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • iChristine

      So... as long as the majority rules, game on? What about something just being wrong? Do we have to have a popular vote to rethink lack of judgement or ethics? If that were the case, the Civil Rights movement would have been voted down in the South. "Let's keep lynchn' them boys. The crowd loves it."

      September 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • ProudMama

      Ir probably had more to do with the ACLU than anything. They have gotten so big, the school board probably decided to run scared rather than fight it out.

      September 20, 2012 at 12:44 am |
  39. Rich

    ......and so the trend continues in our country. The minority wins out and the majority is left out in the cold.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • iChristine

      This is a trend that goes back to our founding fathers. The "minority" has always had a voice in our society otherwise women would not be able to vote, "minorities" would still be considered property. It's called a balance of powers, very democratic and very American.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
      • Calvin

        women were never a minority

        September 19, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
      • taylortofit

        yes you're right we should ban or change everything when ONE moron doesn't like it. Hmmm. I don't think many people like taxes yet I don't see the ACLU taking that one on. But if Jane Doe here gets her panties in a bunch b/c her sperm donor can't take their brat to a dance well then EVERYONE MUST PAY!!!!!!!!!!!

        September 20, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  40. Tom in ATL

    These school officials have no balls and won't stand up to anything. Wise up, call the ACLJ to 'protect' your little white rear and get on with life. Letting the ACLU push you around like a crying baby is why this country is so messed up. On the flip side, I hope the residents of this fine Cranston town protest like dogs and get this person out of that position. Unfortunately, the damage is probably done. But would someone please get in there and clean up this pile. BTW, knocking out the ACLU is tops on my Christmas list. Who will play Santa for me???

    September 19, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Tom in ATL balls. ASSISTANT (per school district website) Superintendent in the story is a woman. 🙂

      September 20, 2012 at 12:08 am |
  41. Aristocles

    So, the way to help kids who don't have a parent figure in their lives is to penalize the 95% of kids and parents who do?!

    This is insanity. Next you know, smart people will be penalized because they make the dumb kids feel bad by comparison.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
    • dante

      well, at least most likely you do not have to worry about that latter problem . . .

      September 19, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • ToldUso

      That's pretty much the premise behind an old short story by Kurt Vonnegut, "Harrison Bergeron". Nobody was allowed to be smarter, better looking, or more athletic than the least American. The ACLU is nuts this time.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • david nunya

      you nailed it. I'm going to sue the NFL cause I have a girl that can't participate. it has to be the the NFL's fault cause it can't be my fault for having a daughter. Oh wait. These are the cards I was dealt.
      Metephor: I'm so undesirable I can't even get a a co-worker to stand up for her to allow her to play. F@#K M$!!! if this stupid c%^T had anysense at all she would realize she is the DAD and take her. AND NO ONE WOULD STOP HER. Nope. she is part of 47%. ALL MUST SUFFER. What's next? overweight applicants sueing fire departments for declination?

      September 19, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • EnoughAlready

      Smart kids already are penalized. More funds are spent on intervention and special ed than on gifted education by an enormous margin. Also have you not heard of No Child Left Behind...its goal is to make sure that there isn't a gap between gifted kids and all others. About the only way to do that is to hold the higher group back until the lower catches other words if no child gets ahead then none can be left behind...

      This penalty for good parents is ludicrous.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  42. dogbite72

    Maybe the mom could send one of hers johns with the girl!

    September 19, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • dante

      you are out of line!

      September 19, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • mac

      I dont think " DogBite 72 is out of line at all, she/he has a point, and most likely RIGHT

      September 19, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  43. DJH

    The mother will be ostracized as the cowardly piece of un-American filth that she is and sadly, her daughter will also face the abuse of having a whiny moron for a mother and being responsible for yet another assault on tradition by the left and the Amerikan Communist LIberals Union – an organization rightfully despised by most Americans for obvious reasons.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Fia

      Exactly what Jesus would have said.

      September 20, 2012 at 12:22 am |
  44. -C

    Father-Daughter Dance, Mother-Son Dance, no, no, no PoliticallyCorrectPerson-PolitcallyCorrectPerson Dance.

    I am so sorry for the little girl in the The Cranton, Rhode Island school district that does not have a father, nor a father-figure in her life.
    I am even more sorry that her mother had to take away something from her daughter and EVERY other girl and her father in that school district.

    My father has three daughters, myself included. Almost every year he that took one of us to our high-school Father-Daughter dances, he took one of our friends who did not have their father in the picture whether it be a divorce, death, or a no-show-dead-beat.
    My friends had a hard time missing their fathers. We are all so close that we shared parents anyways, however, going to these dances with our friends and their fathers was the highlight of the year. The point was sharing our fathers with every friend (fatherless or not). I got to share one of the most inspiring people in my life with my friends.
    My father and I share so many memories from these occasions, they truly are special. We talk most often about the years the he would take one of my friends too, those were always the MOST special.
    My mother ALWAYS stressed the importance of these dances to me and my sisters. She, youngest of 5, grew up without a father (he died when she was 12). She was grateful and appreciated the invitation to the father-daughter dances every year by he friends and their fathers. "Nothing can replace a father" is what she always said to me, "it's a very special relationship, and your father loves to take you girls."

    I would like to say to the little girl who did not get to go to the Father-Daughter dance, go with your friends and their fathers, it will be a blast, you will make amazing memories that you can retreat back to in your later years. Go with an uncle, brother, cousin, anyone you find special in your life. (I saw one of my good friends take his sister a few years younger than us to the Father-Daughter dance, very cool).

    I would like to say to your mother, don't be selfish and please don't be so narrow-minded in your thinking. You just DENIED your daughter memories, good people, and a great experience. You also DENIED every other girl the experience of Father-Daughter dances.

    BY THE BY there are such events specifically for the Mother-Daughter pair (also Mother-Son, Father-Son, I have even seen extended relative events), but based on your judgement, those should be banned fromt the school district too since there is definitely a little girl out there without a mother – WHAT A WAY to make her feel better than to close down a Mother-Daughter event in her sake.

    Please think clearly. Thanks.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
  45. Daniel

    What do you expect in today's school system? They are scared to death of being sued. My nephew was sucker punched in the face and knocked down by a boy 3 years older than him. He got up and showed the bully who's who and what's what. Dozens of witnesses including a staff member saw him blatantly 'jumped'. School decided both the boy who was the 'attacker' AND my nephew deserved the exact same punishment of a week's suspension that goes on their 'permanent' school record. My sister and her husband almost withdrew him from the school and wrote a scathing letter to the Superintendent, etc. Super apologized but suspension stayed on his record. Ridiculous!!

    September 19, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
    • Ian

      They should have sued to have the record cleared.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Silence

      If in california, state ed code say child has right to defend himself. So, fight it to the end. Go to the school board and if that doesn't work, take district to court

      September 20, 2012 at 2:50 am |
  46. dante

    I find this entire concept of a father daughter dance completely creepy. It relies on outdated notions of a girl being led and trained by her father in life for and till she gets married and then is led by her husband. I certainly would also not feel comfortable for any other fathers dancing with any of my daughters. It does not even seem appropriate. These traditional notions are not the kind of messages a school should be teaching girls who should instead be encouraged to be independent. Why not just have parent-kid events that do not specify gender?

    September 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • DJH

      You're reply only proves YOU ARE THE PROBLEM, not the dance.
      Congratulations on being so out of touch you had to prove how utterly ridiculous you are. I'm sure you're proud.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
      • dante

        Well, I certainly would not like my children to be around people like the ones commenting here in support of the father-daughter dance – mean, using bad language, terribly intolerant and insulting. Just more support for my point . . .

        September 19, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Scratch

      "mean, using bad language, terribly intolerant and insulting."

      That's a very funny description to hear from a person who began a post by describing a traditional parent-child event as "completely creepy."

      September 19, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
      • -C

        Let's take a look,

        dante *Opinion*

        DJH *Strongly Worded Opinion*

        dante *Strong Worded Opinion*

        For this sake I am going to assume mean = nasty. DJH definitely posted a strongly worded statement ("out of touch" and "utterly ridiculous").
        I would be careful about using your words, Dante, "terribly intolerant" since eyes need to be opened on both sides.
        However, Dante, I don't see how DJH's statement proves your point either-I don't see the leap of logic at all...

        September 20, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • -C

      If you view it as creepy and as "old-school" then it is and always will be to you. If you believe a girl who attends Father-Daughter dances will be unable to form her own opinions, incapable of being independent, then that notion will rub off on her and she won't. If you believe she will have submissive behavior to her father and then her husband with father-daughter dances as the issue, then it will be...those notions will be planted in her head if that's what you think. Children are great at mimicking, they are great at monkey-see-monkey-do, so if they see YOU with those opinions, then YES those opinions of yours will be realized, especially without a clear and articulate conversation.

      If you don't trust the parents of your child's friends, then you should probably rethink that friendship and maybe try to move your child away from someone you find threatening. Maybe meet the parents...

      Fathers are important, mothers are important, brothers and sisters are important, those relationships need to be celebrated. If you have two mothers or two fathers then celebrate that beauty and those children will go to dances with their mothers.

      From what I understand, being a mother and father is something to be proud of. I don't think my mother would appreciate "Non-Gender Specific Celebration Day" card in replacement of a mother's day card... That is actually pretty demeaning considering everything my mother has done for me, and will always do for me.

      I am a proud daughter to both my parents who did a superb job raising me, taking me to Father-Daughter Dances, and Mother-Daughter Brunches. I am in no way submissive to my father or my boyfriend (you can ask both of them), I compromise as anyone does in any relationship. Also, I am fiercely independent, and agressive in my chosen career path.

      My father showed me what a gentleman is, and how high my standards need to be in this world with more dead-beats than EVER present on this earth.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
      • Joe

        As a father and a teacher I am amazed by the people who choose to isolate themselves. If you do not want to participate then thats your choice. Love this country!
        I look at the eyes of children and see the smiles and the joy when girls attend such events. Its time to make choices for students and be less concerned about being politically correct. Give children opportunities to have wonderful experiences. Give children the option to do many things. Those who choose not to participate should not limit the joy of others.
        This country has always been melting pot of world. Lets get back to our roots and encourage all people to share and respect everyones traditions. If there are people who want to be critical of such freedoms then they should be minority. Their opinion matter, but does not impact the opportunties of joy for the majority.

        September 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
      • -C

        Sorry quick edit in 3rd paragraph:
        Those children who have two fathers definitely should go to those dances with their fathers too!! Yay Dads!!

        September 20, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Ian

      Hopefully, you have no daughters! The intent is for the father to teach the daughter what is a proper night out and give her grounds by which to compare future suitors.. If done up...gentlemanly pick-up, nice dinner out, nice evening out dancing, nice drop off. Not some incestual relations to which you are implying.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Wow

      Dante, you obviously don't have a daughter, or child. Let them be indpendent... WHAT?!?!?!

      September 20, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Marcus

      Whats wrong with the dance. Its a good thing for father to be able to bond with their daughters. I am assuming you have no children.

      September 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  47. Killian

    You know people need to realize that this happens and y'know what? SO What.

    I'm a single father. I sat through a mothers day tea for my son for 6 years. I got mothers day cards because he didn't have one. It was awkward as all hell for me. but I did it. I can only imagine how my son felt.

    I would NEVER have even thought of ruining others time spent with their kids like this. It's an important life lesson to be learned here. It's life aint fair, get use to it.

    freaking people. get over yourselves. move on and learn some life lessons.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Adam

      Awesome. Clearly a great father who will turn out a well-balanced kid. Forget the "we're all winners" (and whiners) mentality. Sometimes life is with it. As Killian stated, why spoil others' events? If you don't agree with it then don't go. Ruining it under the guise of inequality is the height of selfishness.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • -C

      Hats off to you Killian.

      ^That's a great dad^

      September 19, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  48. Tara B

    Shame on the mother, the ACLU and the school district. Not everyone can participate in everything, we need to be able to celebrate our differences and our similarities without the ACLU getting involved.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • KAL

      Tara B you are so right – shame on the mother, ACLU and the school!!! My feelings are hurt that ALL the other children can't bond with their families in these types of events. What will the ACLU and school board do about that?!?!?!?!

      September 19, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  49. LL

    Where does the stupidity end? Majority, not minority, rules in a democracy. Or at least it used to. I hope this gets over-turned so that other children do not suffer because one mother did not provide her child with a father figure of some sort. I have been a single parent for years, son and daughter-and NEVER would the thought even cross my mind to take the dances away from other children and their families because of my own situation. The nerve of some people! Here's some cheese to go with your whine.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • OrionStyles

      Nope wrong.

      To avoid a tyrannical majority oppressing the minority, civil rights are enforced.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  50. N Smith

    I never had a father around, and my mother died when I was nine. Yet I would never have thought to complain when I didn't have anyone to take me to the father/daughter dance, nor complain when I didn't have anyone to take me to the mother/daughter tea. It's just one of those things where you suck it up and go on about your life.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  51. Matt

    I'm sorry for the girl with no father figure in her life, but why does everyone else have to suffer? When I wa a kid, I couldn't participate in recess because I had severe asthma. Did my parents go to school and demend that the principal cancel recess because I was left out? No! They gave me a book and told me to deal with it. As a proud father, I am looking forward to sharing moments like this with my daughter. This not only affects the kids, but the parents who love their children. It's OK not to be involved in things...our society is going down the toilet because we're so afraid of offending everyone. Yet again the ACLU screws it up for everyone.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  52. Hired Gun

    Gad! This is what makes the ACLU look like total jerks and makes many Americans hate them. I generally support what the ACLU does, but NOT this. Too stupid. Not everyone has a perfect life. I grew up with out a father in my life. I lived through things like this and so can you.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • Steve

      I agree. While I generally support the ACLU, this is going too far.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • DJH

      Many? A majority of Americans have a rightfully negative opinion of the amerikan communist liberals union – they are not a respected organization nor do they care a bit about civil rights – they pick and choose which rights are worth defending, in other words they're intellectual cowards and un-American trash!

      September 19, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  53. KEG86

    I hve 2 boys and I cant goh fatheughtrdance an my kids school. My wife and son are going bowling.
    Grow up people life is not fair. I have known classmtes who did not have a parent for onereon or another. They understood that life is not always all sweeness an light. They would never have complained about this issue.
    The mother of this child jst messed up the kids life even more going to the ACLU a very one sided un American organization.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • sky

      You might consider going back to school yourself to learn how to spell, and perhaps even how to write.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
  54. Susan

    School should be about learning basics...reading and math. We should take out all the "extras" until at least high school. School board shouldn't have to waste its time on this silliness.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Well-rounded education

      Getting rid of the extracurricular activities defeats education. Learning reading and math is obviously crucial, but to get rid of the arts and music and other things that make up public education is short-sighted, at best. My question, Susan, is do you actually have any children in the public school system? If not, you probably need to keep your opinions to yourself until you can relate to the subject matter at hand.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Marcus


      September 21, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  55. Schmedley

    Instead of complaining, couldn't the parent work out a compromise? Geez, I am absolutely positive that no dad there would give a hoot if her mom took her to the dance.

    On top of that, the school district couldn't come up with any solution better than a ban? Talk about a blunt instrument... Seems like intelligence and creativity was lacking all around.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Marcus

      No she could not work out a compromise her panties were in a bunch

      September 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  56. Olive

    Yeah and I have a wheelchair so let's ban legs so I feel normal. I also don't have teeth so let's ban all solid foods. We should all just degrade ourselves to worms so that we all "FEEL" equal even though we are not. Maybe the kid should realize that it's NOT ok to not have a dad or father figure in her life. Maybe this would change the pattern of future generations.

    September 19, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  57. magnus

    They should put a photo of this woman for the world to see what a selfish horrible human being looks like.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Doodad

      With this 'parents' way of thinking, I guess this girl will never be allowed to get married either, since she doesn't have a father to give her away !!!! That poor child . . . . . . . .

      September 19, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
      • Olive

        If the child felt out of place because the lack of a father then maybe should would try make sure that her children had an involved father. If we reward mistakes we reproduce mistakes.

        September 19, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  58. msadr

    while we're at it, we had better ban all sports since some kids have asthma and can't play. And since some kids can't dance, we had better ban all school dances so that they won't feel left out. And we definitely need to ban blonde hair since all the little girls who don't have blonde hair will feel inferior. ridiculous. When, exactly, will kids be taught that life isn't fair?

    September 19, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
  59. mickeymb

    On many occasions when my children's father was not able to get away from work, I had Donuts with Dads or did Pumpkin Carving with Pop. I bet lots of Mom's fill in. And there was plenty of single mothers doing the same. Plus, we have no other family within a thousand miles, so my kids never had a Grandparent at Grandparents Day. That's just life, it's not always fair, but you make it work if you want to be happy.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  60. Paul

    When I was a kid I had friends who belonged to an organization called "Indian Guides" which is a father son organization. I wanted to join – I thought for sure, my brother (12 years my senior) could stand in. I lost my father when I was three. My oldest brother said that he would stand in. He wasn't allowed to. That hurt – 40 years later I remember it. Inclusion is important, please don't forget that. Its also important not to deny others opportunity. Banning these events is an overreaction brought on by an overly litigious society.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • JJ

      Similar rejections happened to me. It was discouraging to be ostracized over something I had no control over.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
      • Well-rounded education

        But you survived, right? It's part of life to face disappointment and rejection. Until we as Americans can learn that simple fact, we're going to have to deal with stupidity such as this.

        September 19, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
  61. FME

    My girls were 3 and 5 when my husband (their father) passed away after a short illness. That was almost four years ago. Since then, my oldest has attended two father/daughter dances. This year she will attend her 3rd and my youngest will attend her 1st. Who do they take with them? Whomever they choose to stand in for their Daddy. Does it hurt that their father isn't here? Of course. Would I expect the school to cancel the event because of our situation? Never.

    This mother should use this as an opportunity to teach her daughter that life is full of ups and downs and you have to learn to work through difficult times. Expecting everybody else to lose out because of her situation is simply not fair. And it is simply teaching the wrong lesson and sending the wrong message.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Joe

      Well Said!!!

      September 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
      • Mari

        I'm a foreigner and I love this country !! I have to American sons that did not go all the time to the mother son dance , sometime I had to work and could not take them and I asked a friend, my kids never though that their feeling got hurt or that was a big deal , you can not do everything or have everything that other people do or have ,that life!! But I always tell them the good things that thet do o have that others . I understand the girl could be sad ,she could instead take advantage and do other special thing for her ! And like the song WHAT DOES NOT KILL YOU ....MAKE YOU STRONGER!

        September 20, 2012 at 12:41 am |
    • Missouri comment

      What a wonderful lesson in resilience you are teaching your girls – I'm sure it will take them far!!!

      September 19, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
  62. Fran Kirby

    I grew up in RI and am now ashamed to say that. This is an absolute travesty and a total obliteration of a school children's childhood. As a father, I was always excited about the dances with my daughter. They had some girls with no father or father figure but were included anyways and always were treated with respect. The mother of this girl should be ashamed of herself. Instead of teaching her daughter about life and life events, she taught her how to get your own way and spoil everything for others. Daughter will become just like the mother. And since it is in Cranston, dollars to donuts there was never a father figure around in the first place. This country is screwed if we do not stand up and take it back. No longer is appeasement the necessary word of the day. Hell, people kill americans overseas and we freaking apologize for hurting someones feelings. I hate to see this great land go to hell but we are now becoming a second rate country thanks in part to the ACLU and others like them. The school superintendant needs to be fired or resign. This is the same school district that had a banner that was hanging for over 40 yrs removed because of some attention seeking money grabbing atheist. ACLU was paid by the school system then, bet they got something this time too.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
    • Jupitom

      Why fire the superintendent? He saved the district thousands of dollars in litigastion fees from this event and any future event. He also cut the school board's workload and avoided future complaints by not having to worry about bothering anyone at any school sponsored events.

      By doing this they have attracted national attention to a ridiculous issue, hopefully helping other districts avoid this issue altogether. they have also thrown it into the laps of the parents in the district. It's the equivalent of putting a referendum to voters. If the parents want these activities in the school district, they will have to come up with their own compromise and present it to the district and vote it in. Personally I think it is smart,

      That doesn't mean I wouldn't be ticked off if it was my district, but I would be scrambling to create my own solution, not blaming them for what one ignorant individual has forced on the district.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
      • Joe

        The district should have not caved in to the foolishness of one mother. The are suppose to look out for the good of all the children. This is another example of why "we are no longer" the greatest country in the world.

        September 19, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  63. scranton

    Selfish twit.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
  64. Name* Captain Obvious

    You thought your kid felt singled out before.... How do you think she feels after this sorry broke.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm |

    I left RI 16 yrs ago. I don't regret it one bit. Is this a joke. Cranstonites, you never fail to amaze me.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  66. mollykmanning

    I lost my father when I was young and went to a school with father/daughter dinner dances. Yes, it did tug at my heart that my Dad had died, but I never remember wanting to deny my other classmates of the joy of being with their fathers. This is a truly selfish act by the 'parent' who complained.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • Jason B.

      I commend you for your thoughts regarding your classmates. Very thoughtful of you.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • dbee

      And at my school, after my Dad died, the other Dads at the Father-Daughter dance were very supportive. They took turns dancing with me.

      September 19, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  67. imjustsayin

    wow, this student will feel totally included now.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Mike

      Soon the kids won't even be able to dance together they will have "teddy bear dance" where you bring your favorite stuffed animal and dance with that. Will be hilarious/sick and disturbing when a middle school kid brings a blow up doll to dance with.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
      • Jason B.

        Nope, won't have teddy bear dances either. Don't want the kids without a bear to feel excluded.

        September 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
  68. Fed up

    Soon the words "Husband and wife"will be dirty words, because a woman chosed to be single mother all we have to suffer, there is plan to destroy our values, religion, family and it done by the liberals, democrats, and people that chose to have children without responsability for them.
    Vote for your values, for the family. My daugher attended a dance with her dad, and to this day she remembers with love this event.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • stopblaming

      I don't think that the mother had some devious plan to "destroy family values and religion". She did what she thought was best for her child, and whether that decision was wrong or right, she still stood up for what she thought was right for her own family. Though I seriously disagree with the ultimate decision to ban the events (and I'm a liberal), it doesn't seem like the mother is "choosing not to take responsibility for her child"; quite the opposite, in fact. She clearly cared enough to challenge the school system. Actually, the article tells us absolutely nothing about the mother. Did she request the ban or was it solely the superintendent's judgement? Did she choose to keep the father out of her daughter's life, did he abandon his family, or did he pass early on? We don't know, so let's not jump to conclusions.

      Blame the superintendent for her poor call, but seriously, what do bad parenting and so-called liberal agendas have to do with the issue?

      September 19, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
      • CJ

        What I'd like to know is, did the school district perhaps refuse to let her (the mother) attend with her daughter if she didn't have a male who could go? If that's the case, that would be fairly petty, and I'd complain too. I'm a single mother, and while I have four male cousins and several male friends that are involved in her life, I can see how that would almost be as awkward as not going with a dad. People would keep asking if that was her father, etc. My daughter's in first grade, and we haven't run into any events that were "daughter and dad" yet. If she does, I plan to attend with her, unless she'd rather have one of the male figures in her life go in my place. I think that banning the event definitely went too far, and was probably not necessarily the intended consequence of the complaint. The superintendent's reaction is simply another example of the "zero tolerance" policy taken to extremes. I'm really disappointed in the vitriol I see toward single mothers in some of these comments. I don't have (and am not looking for) a boyfriend for myself or a father figure for my daughter. Her father chose before she was born not to be involved, and rather than force his hand, I let him go. It's not worth forcing someone to be involved in a child's life when they have no desire to be – and only causes more hurt for the child as they grow up and start to realize that parent never wanted them in the first place. Instead, I choose to give her the best life I can and surround her with adults who love her, and consistency rather than being shuffled from place to place and dealing with custody fights. In an ideal world, yes, her father would have stepped up and taken responsibility, but no amount of wishing or a court mandate can make that happen. A father is not made from forced child support and forced visitation. Ask any child who's a product of that type of situation growing up if they wouldn't have been better off having that parent be entirely absent.

        September 19, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  69. SilverHair

    That warped single parent needs to get over it. Her boyfriend would have done just fine.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
  70. KC75

    Better ban Fathers day, don't want her to feel left out on that one! On that note, better ban mothers day, grandparents day, holidays etc... She better not bring a snack to school on her birthday, I may feel left out because its not my birthday!

    September 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • 194919691982

      Father's Day? Mother's Day. Forget it. Every day is kid's day.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
  71. Ridiculous

    Im at a loss for words... This country has lost itself in trying to appease everyone. What's next? No prom because Little Susie has no boyfriend or friend to take her and she feels "left out"? Where does it end?

    September 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
  72. Gordon Duprey

    The ACLU strikes again. What a bunch of knotheads

    September 19, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  73. Kimberley Gebhart

    I guess we should cancel mother's and father's day as well. How about xmas or easter. What a joke. I grew up without a father and I just didn't go to the dance. I certainly don't feel damaged because of it. Geez!!!!! Political correctness is going too far. I'm thinking how badly I feel for not having a bank account like Mitt Romney. Maybe we should take away his money. LOL

    September 19, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Andrew

      sorry about your dad, but at the same time are these "traditional" activities so important. Maybe a parent child dance would be more appropriate? So people with gay parents or kids who are gay or without a parent can participate.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
      • KC75

        I will agree, rename it. Don't cancel it.

        September 19, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
      • Fed up

        Why? They can have a gay parents dance, why we have to stop celebrating parents that care to give values and form a real family? Nobosy told the single mother not to ask the grandfather and uncle to take the girl to the dance, all of the Liberals want company in their miserable lives.

        September 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
      • Jupitom

        Get over it. Not everyone can be included in EVERYTHING! These events are held to help keep parents involved in their kids lives. The more broad you make the event, the less the parent feels a need to be involved. Some parents will be at every event regardless. Special events are just that SPECIAL.

        September 19, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  74. Scott Tibbs

    It is the common practice of modern society to sacrifice the normal on the altar of the abnormal – and it is a shameful practice.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  75. Lew

    I'm glad my schools never had these events. What's the point? Administrators can't see how these would make certain people and families feel uncomfortable? Dumb.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Jupitom

      If you ever had a kid and you were a loving parent, you would understand why they have these events. I am guessing you don't fit that category. As for school boards. It is not their job to placate everyone.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • Marcus

      People have learn they cannot be included in everything. That is the problem with many americans

      September 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  76. Judy Whitney Davis

    Kudos, Jackie! I too am a single mom and would go to the dance...who knows? There may some good-looking, single men there...hmmm...!

    September 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  77. Florida

    I am disgusted by this! This is what our county is coming to.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
  78. Livsan

    This is very disturbing! I just hope this won't becoming a trend for other schools to follow. ACLU, your scope is so limited. Can't you see a bigger picture in this case? Don't you have other more important matters to handle? I am not familiar with how ACLU works. I guess, you won't be sided with every single matter. Even more disturbing is that the school actually take the recommendation. What on earth happen to all these people that suppose to give examples and instilling common sense and value to the future generations?

    September 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  79. Capt Rod

    Give me a freaking break. What a load of Leftist hockey puck!

    September 19, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
  80. nwosuccess

    Nothing wrong with this ruling. This is simply preparing Americans for their eventual take-over by China. An excellent part of the overall training program.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
  81. Thermal Jockey

    The school messed up, not the ACLU. The ACLU simply asked the school to include all kids in all events. The school overreacted and removed all events involving parents. They could easily have had student-parent dances, student-parent baseball or whatever. Nobody gets left out. Nobody loses any activities because of the lawsuit. But the school made the choice to just cancel them all.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Jupitom

      No the school did this to make a point. They didn't mess up. If this idjit parent wants to scream to the ACLU because she doesn't have a man in her life, then fine. NOBODY gets to have fun. That way the whole world gets to see how stupid the complaint was and they can take it out on her.

      I am with the school board. If you want to make their life difficult over something this dumb, then fine they don't HAVE to do anything special for the families, so they won't. Maybe people will learn to thicken their skin a little.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  82. ManTex

    How politically stylish. This make me sick to my stomach. The degradation Of the US comes one small insult after another.

    How corrupted can the stylish politically correct system become.

    The school district really needs to publish the name and address of the person filing the complaint that resulted in this decision.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  83. Bobo

    This country SUCKS!! We have become the Russia of the new millennium. We have more laws removing our rights than ever before and now this communist group the ACLU decides for us what is acceptable. Forget America, move to a differnet country before its too late.

    September 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Jupitom

      You are right. Please leave. Enjoy your stay in whatever foreign Utopia you find.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
      • Jeffrey Barker

        We are leaving this country. But we will be back for the revolution. Lock and load, it will be open season on liberals.

        September 19, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Liz Chrissian

      I don't think this country sucks....are people in this country diverse yes...nuts maybe....but I am a citizen of this country and I don't suck.....but I agree with everything else.....

      September 19, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
      • Marcus

        This country does suck!! The people here are awful. So opinionated always want to tell others how to live their lives. Thats why I left this nasty country!!!

        September 21, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  84. Noah

    So because one person complained, shut it down and punish everybody? Why did the minority get the win here? I am sorry that her child does not have a father or male figure in her life, but it is not right to all the rest of the children to be deprived because of that.

    September 19, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Jupitom

      Think about it. I am not sure the minority "got the win". The school board hung that woman out for the whole world to see. Now when the kids wnat to know why they don't have their dance or other fun school event they can point to this woman.

      I am guessing that the school board has now passed responsibility for these actions to the parents and it's that much less work they have to consider. It's just like the parent who tells one kid...If you don't want chocolate cake, fine. Nobody gets dessert. Next time maybe they will think before they complain about something "extra" th school board does for the students and their families.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  85. Greg M

    Are you kidding? It is so disappointing to live in a society where we mistake respecting an individual's civil liberties for catering to a few people that take away other families' chances to live in happiness and love for each other. Go away ACLU!

    September 19, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
  86. Jackie

    As long as the dance didn't require actual males, I don't see the big problem. I'm a single mom. I would TOTALLY go to the daddy-daughter dance with my daughter. I wouldn't have it cancelled.

    September 19, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Nelson

      Luckily you will never be considered a daddy, so the rest of the rational world doesn't need to worry about it.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • scarlet it not possible to send an uncle, grandfather, godfather or male friend of mom's??? How is this so hard??

      September 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  87. widow

    My husband and father of my two wonderful adult children died when they were very young. It was hard on them when the school had a father-daughter/son or dad type activity at school. While it broke my heart to see them upset I would have never complained to the school about it. My children understood that it was a part of growing up without a dad and not everything in life is always rosy. Perhaps this parent should discuss "life" to their child instead of making it all about HER and her DAUGHTER.
    To this mom: Life isn't fair. Get over yourself. Instead teach your child that when they are older they can make a point of going to something with a child who does not have a mom. In other words teach them empathy.

    September 19, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • tice

      That's the most reasoned statement I've seen in the comments section in a long while, so much so that I'll drop a rare opinion in. I think you're in the wrong place. This is where idiots congregate to get each other all lathered up.

      September 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Mary

      A thoughtful comment from one "who has been there". Your children should be proud that you brought them up to recognize that "life is not fair". Those who foster that notion are the ones who are out of touch with reality! BTW are we losing all traditions due to political correctness?

      September 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Jupitom

      Amen! Widow, you said it all. I doubt the parent (or those of her ilk) will bother to give your thoughts credence, but I don't think it can be stated more succinctly.

      September 19, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  88. A Dad Who Cares

    For all the good you've done, ACLU, can't you just ONCE exercise a little common sense? Some things just need to be left alone. Life's not fair, and it will never be. And that's okay- kids will learn and adapt. Fomenting these tyranny-of-the-minority cases hurts far more children than it helps. My childrens' school activities are in serious jeopardy because of other lawsuits you've championed, and we're not talking about a one-off dance, we're talking about drama, show choir, band: activities that might be the foundation of their lifetime pursuits. But because a few children can't afford them, you sued saying the schools can't charge for them. Guess what?? No more show choir, no more band, no more drama. What kind of perverted sense of justice do you think you're defending?

    September 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  89. Bellezurdog

    My grandchildren attend a school that has a grandparents week where grandparents may have lunch with their grandkids. There are children there that do not have grandparents available. Should this be banned because someone feels left out? NO! It also has Muffins With Moms and Donuts With Dads while a have feelings for those students that don't have a parent life is tough. I was taught that when life gives you lemons make lemonade don't try to change them to apples. This mother has over reacted, and the school is in the middle.

    September 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  90. Ludwig

    I generally support the ACLU, but this is just plain nonsense. If every event took into account everyone's individual feelings or situations, we would all sit at home alone every day never interacting with anyone. Should be ban music in schools if there is a child who has a hearing problem? Athletics if there is a child who is physically unable to play? It sounds like the mother of this poor child has her own axe to grind and is going to some kind of power trip. If I was a parent at that school, I would organize a private parent child dance and flip the school and the ACLU the giant bird.

    September 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
  91. hyper71

    Guess what, Life's not fair, so let's cancel the orphan's picnic because everyone isn't an orphan, let's cancel Cinco DeMayo because everyone's not Latino, let's not give awards at school so nobody feels bad (my child's school did this), let's get rid of professional and college sports because someone will feel bad becase they cannot afford a ticket, lets cancel high school sports because a kid might feel bad because they could not make the team, let's just cancel everything so there is no chance that anybody will ever feel bad about anything. Get a grip!!!!!!!!!!

    September 19, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Richard

      I'm with you. It seems as though whenever one person has a problem with anything in the good ole U.S of A. everyone else gets penalized because of it. WHEN are the American people going to shut down this association (ACLU)?

      September 19, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
      • iChristine

        Gosh, Richard, wouldn't it be great to go back to the "good ole days" when a woman knew her place and understood her role as property, a man could own others and they could just be happy to work and have a cot. Darn, if we did not have organizations like the ACLU life would be grand. What are they thinking? Speaking up in a democracy? We need to shut them down and become more like China or Syria. Now that would be a grand way to live!

        September 19, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • iChristine

      Can you say "Overreaction"? Now the world will come to an end because parents need to find something else to do with their kids. Get over it.

      September 19, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
      • VladT

        Way to take it to the extreme, "Christine." The ACLU is totally overstepping its bounds with this, and to compare this to "holding women down" or slave ownership is ludicrous at best. The sign of a failed argument, where one will stick behind their side no matter how idiotic or pointless it is. I am the proud "Facebook dad" of a girl who has a deadbeat dad (I am one of her mother's closest friends), and have played the role of "dad" in many situations. She seems to be ok, even without the ACLU's help.

        Good thing she no longer is a slave, too, right Christine?

        September 20, 2012 at 6:20 am |

    What the heck, now we are bing told we can dance with our daughters or sons. next thing they will tell us our kids cant pray in school o wait they do People need to get a life

    September 19, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
  93. carolyn Mahoney

    My son did not have a father present in his life while he was in grammar/middle school. He attended father/son events with the father of a friend or a father from our Church. The ACLU needed to stay out of this discussion.

    September 19, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
  94. Buffalo2002

    Can you say "Over reaction"?

    September 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
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