Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing generally to gripe about when it comes to the American Civil Liberties Union – the ACLU.
The organization definitely has a purpose and has worked hard to protect the rights of Americans for a long, long time.
But sometimes things get a wee bit out of hand and an issue – which in my opinion is a non-issue – gets blown way out of proportion and bam, the you-know-what hits the fan for no good reason.
This time, in my opinion, the ACLU is wasting its time and efforts.
In Cranston, R.I., thanks to a single complaint from a mother, the traditional dad-daughter dance is a thing of the past.
As reported on NBCNews.com, the Cranston school district said it is banning the traditional father-daughter and mother-son activities, saying they are a violation of the state’s gender discrimination law. NBCNews.com cited an article in the Providence Journal.
According to the report, Superintendent Judith Lundsten told the newspaper the decision was in response to a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a single mother who said her daughter was not able to attend a father-daughter dance.
“This is 2012 and they [public schools] should not be in the business of fostering blatant gender stereotypes,” said Steven Brown, of the Rhode Island ACLU.
States the article:
“According to the Providence Journal, Lundsten said that while federal law banning gender discrimination gives an exemption for such gender-specific events, Rhode Island law does not.
“In a letter sent out in August, Lundsten says, ‘I acknowledge that many of these events have long traditions and for many parents, these types of gender-based events are not an issue, however, this is a public school system and under no circumstances should we be isolating any student from full participation in school activities and events based on gender.’
According to the Associated Press, School Committee member Janice Ruggieri said the school system can begin hosting “family dances” to accommodate all kinds of parenting situations.
Call me old-fashioned or whatever, but why does our country operate on the basis of every single person’s complaints, whims, opinions, etc.? Sure, everyone has a right to their opinion but do we have to change every law, every tradition, every way of doing the things we do in order to NOT offend someone?
The basis of the complaint here was that the girl was unable to attend the dad-daughter dance. Obviously, her dad is either not in the picture or deceased, or something. OK, I get that. But would it have been so difficult to find another male relative, friend, neighbor to go with her?
Or how about this: go with her mom. I’m sure if the school understood her circumstances no one would have objected to a mom filling in for the dad part of the program.
But no, instead the ACLU butts in on an old tradition of a dad-daughter dance.
Years ago I attended one of the dances with my daughter. It was a couple hours of talking – mainly to the other dads because the daughters all just got together and talked among themselves – and a few dances with our little girls. Totally harmless. We each had a chance to keep a memory – even if it was just a dance we enjoyed together.
Why is it that we have become so overly sensitive? I remember I was a “copyboy” at the Philadelphia Daily News back in the late 1970s. Well, that classification as “copyboy” is long gone. Why? Because there were young ladies who did the same tasks so the title became “editorial assistant.” How vanilla can we make things? When you were a copyboy it had the image of a young kid with a tilted cap, running around the newsroom like back in the 1940s, smoke-filled rooms, people (not really) yelling, “Stop the presses!”
We have made our lives so vanilla, so homogenized that we have taken all of the allure, the magic, the tradition out of what seems like everything. All in the name of making sure no one is offended.
I say bring back the dad-daughter dance, the mom-son baseball events – heck even the copyboy and call them copyboys AND copygirls. Who cares?
Tradition is tradition. It gives us a wonderful memory, a pride in something and an anticipation of what is to come. If I am the dad and the daughter, going to a “family dance” could not be more boring and generic. Knowing it’s a dad-daughter event makes it special.
Please, those who whine about things like this, get over it. You are taking yourself way too serious. Leave the traditions alone huh?
— Andy Hachadorian