Father-daughter dances banned: R.I. school says it's gender bias

Father-daughter dances and mother-son ballgames violate state gender discrimination law, says Rhode Island school official. "Family dances" to replace them.

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    Father-daughter dances may be a tradition in the rest of the country – as seen here, President George W. Bush dances with daughter Barbara Bush at an inaugural ball in 2001 – but Cranston, R.I. says that father-daughter or mother-son events are gender biased.
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School officials in the Rhode Island city of Cranston have ended their traditional father-daughter dances and mother-son ballgames, saying the activities are a violation of state gender discrimination law.

School Superintendent Judith Lundsten tells the Providence Journal (http://bit.ly/Pv6SzE ) the move came in response to a complaint from a single mother, who brought her case to the American Civil Liberties Union after her daughter wasn't allowed to attend a father-daughter dance.

Ms. Lundsten says school attorneys found while federal gender discrimination laws exempt such events, Rhode Island's law does not.

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School Committee member Janice Ruggieri says she believes the school system can adjust and host "family dances" to accommodate all types of parenting situations.

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