P.S. 65 in Staten Island, N.Y., scheduled its “Father/Best Guy & Daughter Dance” for Feb. 9. However, it was suddenly axed, according to the New York Post, when the Parent-Teacher Association became concerned that it violated gender guidelines established by the New York City Department of Education in March 2017.
Per the guidelines, “Gender-based policies, rules, and practices can have the effect of marginalizing, stigmatizing, stereotyping and excluding students, whether or not they are transgender or gender nonconforming.”
The statement further read, “For these reasons, schools should review such policies, rules and practices, and should eliminate any that do not serve a clear pedagogical purpose. Examples may include such practices as gender-based graduation gowns, lines, and/or attire for yearbook pictures. Students must be permitted to participate in all school activities (e.g., overnight field trips) in accordance with their gender identity consistently asserted at school.”
According to the Post, PTA president Toni Bennett wrote in a private community Facebook group, “Until we understand what we are legally permitted to do, we need to table this event.”
But the backlash to canceling the event was fierce, including from Donald Trump Jr., who tweeted, “If this doesn’t convince you that the PC/SJW [Social Justice Warrior] movement has lost their minds, I don’t know what will. This nonsense really needs to stop…”
If this doesn’t convince you that the PC/SJW movement has lots their minds I don’t know what will. This nonsense really needs to stop. https://t.co/VhyGDRTFnt
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 4, 2018
Staten Island school cancels father daughter dance. Will offer young person / caregiver event. What a shame. Fond memories of father daughter brownie square dance.
— O'B (@obhighlandlakes) February 4, 2018
Come on, Really?!!!
A Staten Island elementary school scrapped its traditional father-daughter dance this… https://t.co/XqckKxJPnf
— Single Father Help (@Single_Fathers) February 4, 2018
So this true story happened in my own hometown of Staten Island. I am speechless. Wow! The wheels have fallen… https://t.co/jD66iuoP91
— Bill Ackerman (@ackerman_bill) February 4, 2018
Heaven forbid a NYC school would encourage fathers… "A Staten Island elementary school scrapped its traditional *father-daughter dance* this coming Friday because of the Department of Education’s new gender guidelines" https://t.co/La8rpc6qhu via @nypmetro
— W Bradford Wilcox (@WilcoxNMP) February 5, 2018
“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,” father Matthew West told the New York Post. “They should leave it the way it was — father-daughter, mother-son.”
“It’s not fair at all,” Jose Garcia, also told the publication. “I have nothing against no one but I don’t think that it should affect the school or the kids for that matter.”
And mom Akaia Cameron said, “All this gender crap needs to just stop.”
Yahoo Lifestyle could not reach a representative from P.S. 65 or the Department of Education for comment.
Activities that divide children based on sex or gender are problematic, especially given new research published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, which found that more children are identifying as transgender or gender nonconforming.
“Gender-based activities are rooted in old-fashioned gender stereotypes,” Lenora Lapidus, director of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “For example, father-daughter dances exclude children raised by single moms, lesbian couples, a grandmother, or who otherwise don’t have male figures in their lives.”
Under Title IX, a federal law that prevents discrimination in an educational program based on a person’s sex, father-daughter dances are permitted, as long as there is also a dance for mothers and sons. “But it’s very difficult for schools to prove why they need to separate boys and girls in the first place,” says Lapidus. “You’ll also see schools that throw father-daughter dances and mother-son baseball games, which enforce stereotypes that girls like to dress up in frilly dresses and boys like sports.”
Adds Lapidus: “These father-daughter dances are a throwback to the 1950s nuclear family, and don’t at all address the realities of diverse families.”
The Post reports that P.S. 65 is rescheduling the father-daughter dance for March 2 and will welcome “kids and caregivers of any gender.”
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