A Rhode Island school district has taken parents by surprise by
suddenly announcing it is banning "father-daughter" dances at the
request of the ACLU.
The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to Cranston
public school officials citing the federal Title IX
anti-discrimination law when a single mother complained that her
daughter was excluded from the "father-daughter" activities.
Peter Sprigg of the Family Research
Council finds it unfortunate that one girl is denying many
other girls a special event with their fathers because she feels
"A girl without a father is going to suffer some disadvantages
as a result of not having a father, not just as a result of
supposed discrimination, and no ACLU lawsuit can change that fact,"
Sprigg asserts that a father treating his daughter as a young
woman should be treated -- with dignity and respect -- offers a
valuable lesson in life.
"It's not just a matter of a social event where some people are
being excluded; this is an important or can be an important rite of
passage," he contends.
School officials pointed out that while Title IX legislation
banning gender discrimination gives an exemption for
father-daughter events, Rhode Island law does not. Sean Gately (R),
who is running for the state Senate, says he will work to change
the law if he is elected.
Mother-son events have also been banned.