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Are Father-Daughter Dances and Mother-Son Baseball Games Gender Discrimination? Rhode Island Says Yes

Father and Daughter
Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Father-daughter dances and mother-son baseball games have been banned in Cranston, Rhode Island schools much to the dismay of students, parents and even the city’s mayor. The ban was put into place in order to comply with a Rhode Island state gender discrimination law, but most believe this is nothing more than political correctness at its worst extreme.

It was last spring that a Rhode Island ACLU affiliate filed a complaint on

behalf of a single mother whose daughter was prohibited from attending a father-daughter dance because her father was not in her life.

Cranston Mayor Allen Fung said he was “utterly disappointed” in the school superintendent’s decision to nix the events in what Fung called “the name of political correctness” and said his office has been flooded with calls from angry parents.

State Schools Superintendent Judith Lundsten sent a letter to school organizations that said after reviewing the complaint – school district attorneys concluded that while such events are exempt under federal gender discrimination laws, they are not exempt in Rhode Island.

Lundsten also said, ” I acknowledge that many of these events have long traditions and for many parents, these types of gender-based events are not an issue. However, this is a public school system and under no circumstances should we be isolating any child from full participation in school activities and events based on gender. Please be all-inclusive when planning your events.”

The school committee will be seeking a resolution asking the General Assembly to change the state law to allow such events, which makes perfect sense.

I don’t know about you, but I really believe that if we as a society, continue this type of thought process, our social problems are only just beginning. What kind of message are we sending our children today by passing these kinds of laws?  At some point, this political correctness madness has to stop. This is exactly the kind of thing that should never involve legislators and let’s be honest, part of the driving force behind this type of legislation is the growing number of families in this country that have two same-sex parents, in addition to families with absentee parents.

Just because the event is a father-daughter or mother-son event, why can’t the other parent escort their child to the event if the other parent is not in the picture for whatever reason…. is it really that hard? If we don’t re-focus our attention on the really important issues facing us today, we could be headed for some deep doo-doo! Also, for the record, before you point fingers at the Rhode Island ACLU, remember they are just doing their job…and looking after our rights, IS their job. The problem is the law the ACLU had to file a complaint against.



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