Friday, September 21, 2012

Selfish Mother Shuts Down Dances

Selfish Mother Shuts Down Dances
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
September 21, 2012

If there could be some mechanism for typing equivalent to speed dialing on the telephone, the phrase “political correctness run amok,” would be just the sort of phrase to be first on the new speed typing application.

In this specific case, that expression would apply to the insanity occurring in the Cranston, RI school district where a mother, along with the support of the ACLU of course, manage to shut down a district-wide, years tradition of father-daughter dances, along with all other cross gender parent-child activities.

To be fair, the mother and ACLU have a legally legitimate complaint, at least according to the laws of the ultra-liberal state of Rhode Island. “While federal Title IX legislation banning gender discrimination gives an exemption for ‘father-son’ and ‘mother-daughter’ events, Rhode Island law doesn’t.” (

But there is a bigger picture to be seen here. Where does the chicanery of political correctness end? Will there be protests and objections every time one person is unable to participate in an event or activity and a lawsuit to curtail that event or activity? Where does reasonableness come into play? What role does common sense play in this drama of the ridiculous?

Should team sports be cancelled if a complaining student is cut from the team? Should the prom be cancelled if a complaining student doesn’t have a date? Should the school choir be disbanded if a complaining student doesn’t have the vocal chops to participate?

It was bad enough when a Newton, MA middle school unofficially banned the wearing of “celebratory clothing” last year – such as t-shirts commemorating a student’s birthday or bar/bat mitzvah simply because not all students had been invited to a particular event. G-d forbid a child has to come in contact with a reminder of an event for which he or she was not invited. (“Keep Your Shirts On,” 12/24/11

Legislation is designed to restrict behavior, such as the state law in Rhode Island prohibiting the mother-son and father-daughter programs, even after federal law exempts such outings from falling under the auspices of Title IX.

Could there have been another way of handling this situation? Sure. Did the mother not have a brother, father, uncle, good friend of the family to step in and accompany the daughter to the dance? If there is no adult male influence in the child’s life, that is a different problem for another column.

Upon hearing of this situation and law, state senate candidate Sean Gately (R) said he will work to change the law if elected. (

Not every child will be able to participate in every activity; but that child or parent should not be allowed to hold an entire school or district emotionally hostage to prevent their precious angel from feeling the pangs of disappointment. These children had better learn about disappointment, rejection, failure and losing now before it hits them like a ton of bricks and they are too far gone emotionally living in the world of Oz to recover and there are more Paducahs, Columbines or Auroras.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

No comments:

Post a Comment