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Published On: Mon, Feb 5th, 2018

Elementary school scraps ‘father daughter dance’ due to ‘gender based guidelines’

An elementary school in Staten Island has canceled a scheduled father-daughter dance out of fear it would violate state Department of Education “gender-based” guidelines.

According to the New York Post, based on 2017’s Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Student Guidelines, the DOE has ordered schools to do away with events like the dance “unless they serve a ‘clear’ educational purpose.”

photo courtesy of LC.org

PTA leaders took issue with the framework of the dance.

“Until we understand what we are legally permitted to do, we need to table this event,” PTA president Toni Bennett wrote to a private school-parents group on Facebook.

The move angered some parents, viewing this as political correctness intruding on tradition, now in its third year, and some spoke to The Post.

“They’re trying to take away everything that everybody grew up on and has come to know and I don’t think it’s fair or right,” said Matthew West, a 32-year-old father of two daughters at the school, Lily and Willow. “They should leave it the way it was — father-daughter, mother-son.”

 

From the story: “It’s not fair at all,” said Jose Garcia, 37, who’s gone to the past two dances with his 9-year-old daughter, Jolene. “I have nothing against no one but I don’t think that it should affect the school, or the kids for that matter.”

A disappointed Jolene said, “They had a dance party. We got to wear dresses and hang out with our friends.”

Parents pointed out PS 65 has no gender-inequality issues, because the Stapleton school had a mother-son bowling event last year.

Department of Education LGBT Community Liaison Jared Fox said “Father-daughter dances inherently leave people out. Not just because of transgender status, just life in general. These can be really uncomfortable and triggering events.”

Fox discussed the rules before focusing on the transgender students which may or may not be at the school.

“For a young trans girl, to be able to go to a father-daughter dance can feel very affirming,” Fox said. “In this instance she’s recognized as a daughter.”

The school’s PTA will stage a rescheduled dance for kids and caregivers of any gender next month: the annual “Father/Best Guy & Daughter Dance” to have a more inclusive theme.

 

 

About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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