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.

The Christian Science Monitor/Andy Nelson
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.

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.

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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