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Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Your Daddy Can't Dance": Gender Discrimination in Public Schools


A school system in Cranston, Rhode Island
has determined that traditional father-daughter
and mother-son activities put on by the school
are in violation of the state’s gender discrimination law.

Yes, that's right. Title IX, the federal legislation banning gender discrimination in schools, evidently has no rational exemptions to the rule even though events like these are meant to encourage and support children.

I beg to disagree. I think schools are allowed certain exemptions under Title IX.

The ACLU claims that, under Rhode Island law, there is no exemption for any gender-based activities in schools. In fact, the Rhode Island law can be interpreted to be broader than the federal law. So, the school district is scared about racking up big attorney’s fees in defending a lawsuit on this. Hence the ban. (Lis Wiehl, "Daddy and Daughter Dances Banned -- What's Next, No Apple Pie?" Fox News, September 21 2012)

(8) Father-son or mother-daughter activities at educational institutions

"This section shall not preclude father-son or mother-daughter activities at an educational institution, but if such activities are provided for students of one sex, opportunities for reasonably comparable activities shall be provided for students of the other sex."

Doesn't this wording mean that Cranston can, indeed, offer (1) a father-daughter dance if it also provides (2) a mother-son dance? Is there something I am not reading in the Title IX language? After all, male and female are still considered the two sexes under Title IX, right? Two dances, one provided for each sex = even Steven, tit for tat.

My Take

Why does the government continue to rip and tear at the fabric of American life just because somebody is going to get his or her feelings hurt? Father-daughter dances or Mother-son dances are held by a public institution to strengthen parental ties and provide opportunities for sensible, positive recreation and family entertainment.

Section 1681 (a) Paragraph 8 of the Title IX text clearly provides for such activities at school. But, no, now we are losing every stitch of the exclusion just because a person's daughter cannot attend one such event.

Into the fray steps the ACLU to deal with "feelings" and not with "law and equality." Can't the girl in question go to the event with an "adopted" father if she wishes to dance? Or, for that matter, can't she just feel happy for those who have a father who will take them to the dance instead of insisting the event is a personal affront?

I am sick of every tradition value being scrutinized under the government microscope until one very minuscule speck of protest is discovered that destroys its entire worth. If people want to organize decent alternative events in public schools, let it happen, but denying established activities, clubs, and observances that build character is much more harmful to the community than bowing to isolated, perceived injustices. (And, yes, I believe in the right to pre-game or after-game prayer, but that's another related topic for another day.)

For example, would schools be required under Title IX to buy equal numbers of magazines for their school libraries that advocate a gay life style over traditional marriage and courtship? Would one gay publication be enough or would equality reign? In truth, how many genders or sexual preferences constitute the realm of fair exposure? Maybe schools should just ban all publications and "dummy down."

Or, instead, would schools be required to scour the contents of all magazines to be sure every edition that deals with traditionally female domestic skills such as cooking and sewing or traditionally male skills such as auto mechanics and hunting provide complete sexual equality in coverage?

Already I read articles about male homecoming queens. Does this mean the government bans the traditional kiss of the queen because the football fullback escort chooses not to kiss another male? I mean this kind of thing does work both ways. I wouldn't kiss another male in public. So, instead, does the ACLU recognize my wishes and protect my rights under traditional values? Here it comes... no, they just ban the kiss altogether.

In the world of equality, nothing is simply understood; however, that doesn't mean that Title IX applies to every situation in question. I am my daughters' father, and I am my sons' father. Attending an event that celebrates fatherhood in a healthy, wholesome way causes damage to no one.

Oh, I know what you're saying. Why doesn't Cranston just replace tradition with a parent-child dance and cave into the ACLU interpretation? Because the traditional dances are already covered in law under the 1681 (a) 8 exception. Thank God people in 1972 had the sense to see the reason instead of overreaction.  

Hell, require Cranston to have a father-son dance and a mother-daughter dance and a legal guardian-son/daughter dance and a provider-pet dance. I don't care. I just don't want to see something worthwhile go down the tubes because it upsets a single mom and her daughter. I feel that the mom should handle her daughter's displeasure without selfishly causing displeasure for countless other fellow parents in the district. What is wrong when things get this picky? You tell me.
“At issue is not the Title IX statute itself, which simply outlaws discrimination in educational institutions on the basis of gender. The problem is the way in which Title IX has been applied. Feminists have used Title IX as their all-purpose vehicle to advance a radical agenda in our schools, and have imposed this agenda on a willing bureaucracy and the federal courts. As a result, current Title IX enforcement has demeaned the legitimate athletic and academic accomplishments of women and institutionalized discrimination against
boys and men in schools.”
-Allison Kasic, Kimberly Schuld

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