A Rhode Island school district has banned father-daughter dances—and mother-son sports events—because of "gender discrimination" after a challenge by the ACLU. A single mom complained that her daughter was shut out of a dance in Cranston, and the civil rights organization argued in a letter that the event violated state law, reports the Los Angeles Times. Many parents are stunned by the change. "I am utterly disappointed to have such a time-honored tradition under attack," says Cranston Mayor Allan Fung. "I implore the Cranston School Committee to review this decision, and find a way to make this work for the children and their parents."
The ACLU hailed the change, which was instituted months ago but just started getting attention this week. "Public schools have no business fostering the notion that girls prefer to go to formal dances while boys prefer baseball games," reads a slightly prickly statement. "The time has long since passed for public school resources to encourage stereotyping from the days of Ozzie and Harriet. Not every girl is interested in growing up to be Cinderella, not even in Cranston.This type of stereotyping is contrary to federal law." In fact, federal discrimination laws exempt such events, but the state measure does not, say local officials, according to the Providence Journal