A New York elementary school was forced to cancel its father daughter dance to adhere to new policies calling for “gender neutral” events.
The public teacher associations for Staten Island’s Public School 65 put the father daughter dance on pause to double check whether it adheres to Department of Education new guidelines on gender practices, reports The New York Post.
“Until we understand what we are legally permitted to do, we need to table this event” PTA president Toni Bennett said in a Facebook group for parents at the school. The guidelines in question call for the elimination of “gender based practices” unless such activities can be shown to serve an educational purpose.
In lieu of the father daughter dance, the PTA plans instead to throw a daughter and person of any gender dance in March, the DOE told The New York Post. Bennett also plans to have the PTA revamp the father daughter dance in the future so it can be inclusive to everyone.
There does seem to be some confusion among school administrators about the decision. A DOE spokeswoman said the principal scrapped the event to adhere to the gender neutral guidelines, while the principal said the event was canceled because the PTA president wanted to host it in a bigger area.
Regardless, parents at the school seemed unhappy with the change, believing that the “gender crap” has gotten in the way of their children being able to have a good time.
“It’s not fair at all. I have nothing against no one, but I don’t think that it should affect the school, or the kids for that matter,” Jose Garcia, a parent who attended two dances with his daughter, said.
Another parent said the school was trying to take away an important tradition to the community.
“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 father of two girls. “They should leave it the way it was — father-daughter, mother-son.”
Harvard University recently banned single gender frats on campus, prompting a sorority to go gender neutral.