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Father/Daughter dances banned in RI


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I've always felt those events were discriminatory. I wasn't thinking necessarily in terms of gender, but in terms of family realities. I remember events like these when I was young, and I always hurt for the friends who I knew couldn't go because they didn't have a dad to take them (or in the case of mother-son events, those sons who didn't have a mom).

 

Sure, daddy-daughter dances are great if you have a daddy, but how much must that sting the girl who doesn't but really wishes she did and has to sit there while her friends with daddies gush about the event for weeks before and after?

 

Why would anyone want to make a child feel like that?

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And on a side note, if it's discrimination to do a father/daughter dance that some people would not be able to attend, wouldn't it be discrimination in the private arena, as well?

Just a thought. Discrimination in one place should be defined the same everywhere, shouldn't it?

 

Private groups that are not public accommodations are allowed to discriminate as they choose.

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And on a side note, if it's discrimination to do a father/daughter dance that some people would not be able to attend, wouldn't it be discrimination in the private arena, as well?

Just a thought. Discrimination in one place should be defined the same everywhere, shouldn't it?

 

Private organizations and people are allowed to discriminate. The SCOTUS ruled that about the Boy Scouts.

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Calling it discrimination still seems overly inflammatory to me. It's not like they were sitting there in their offices at the school saying, 'Ooh, let's do the father/daughter dance even though there are kids who can't attend. Especially ____. We don't like girls who don't have dads, so we don't care if it bothers her or makes her feel left out!'

I'm not saying that in retrospect it was the best thing to do. But people getting all up in arms about so-called discrimination is silly.

 

ETA: Did the article say she was the only girl without a dad? Because that would shock me, honestly.

 

If it isn't discrimination...what is it?

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I've always felt those events were discriminatory. I wasn't thinking necessarily in terms of gender, but in terms of family realities. I remember events like these when I was young, and I always hurt for the friends who I knew couldn't go because they didn't have a dad to take them (or in the case of mother-son events, those sons who didn't have a mom).

 

Sure, daddy-daughter dances are great if you have a daddy, but how much must that sting the girl who doesn't but really wishes she did and has to sit there while her friends with daddies gush about the event for weeks before and after?

 

Why would anyone want to make a child feel like that?

 

I have no idea, but some in this thread have simply responded with the equivalent of "too bad, so sad, move on".

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And on a side note, if it's discrimination to do a father/daughter dance that some people would not be able to attend, wouldn't it be discrimination in the private arena, as well?

Just a thought. Discrimination in one place should be defined the same everywhere, shouldn't it?

 

No, the issue is with the public funding.

 

Private citizens can certainly choose to hold activities to which access is based on gender- but a public school is not allowed to spend public funds to do the same. Boy scouts, anyone?

 

Title IX law does not prohibit the existence of gender-based events or organizations, but it does not allow them to be paid for by public school funds.

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If it isn't discrimination...what is it?

 

I don't know. Unfortunate events that could have been prevented?

Discrimination just seems so harsh. Like I said, I highly doubt they were purposely trying to leave this girl out (and I still have a hard time believing she's the only one).

Maybe because I'm defining discrimination as being purposeful - ____ can't come because s/he's ______.

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The posted article that launched this thread says she was prevented from attending without her dad. Did you actually read it?

 

Um wow. That was rude. I did read it, and it just says "prevented". I want to know if not having a father made her feel as if she couldn't attend or if there was an actual rule that said she could only attend if she was accompanied by her father.

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Wow. Just wow.

I don't see it as discrimination at all. But I guess it's just a wording choice for me.

 

I think that when you think of discrimination, you are thinking of intentional discrimination.

 

I would agree that intentional discrimination is far worse than unintentional discrimination. But unintentional discrimination does happen.

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Sure, daddy-daughter dances are great if you have a daddy, but how much must that sting the girl who doesn't but really wishes she did and has to sit there while her friends with daddies gush about the event for weeks before and after?

 

Are my DH and I the only ones here who find the whole institution of "father/daughter dances" slightly weird and creepy?

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Are my DH and I the only ones here who find the whole institution of "father/daughter dances" slightly weird and creepy?

 

I really don't get why they're creepy.:confused: My dds have gone to them with my dh. They had a great time. I danced with my dad, and not just at my wedding. My dad has since passed, and I'm glad to have those memories. Nothing creepy about them.

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Can you link the article that says the child was not allowed to attend specifically without her father? Where does it say another male figure would not be able to escort her?

 

But what if she didn't have another adult male in her life who could do such a thing? Then she doesn't even have the option?

 

Look, I think there is some interesting fodder for discussion here. Specifically, the question of whether public schools and public school funds should be academics only or whether schools should do more for the students and the community. Also, if gender roles have changed in such a way that father-daughter dances are now outdated and if so, what sort of thing could replace them.

 

But whether this event excludes some kids based on their gender seems obvious and not worth debating. It's not even about the girl's father or lack thereof (though it seems clearly insensitive to me that people are so callous about it) but boys aren't allowed to attend.

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Maybe because I'm defining discrimination as being purposeful - ____ can't come because s/he's ______.

 

John can't come because he is a son (and not a daughter).

Mary can't come because she is a mother (and not a father).

 

Discrimination does not have to be purposeful. It can be simple negligence- buildings that only have stairs because nobody thought of wheelchair access, for example.

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I have no idea, but some in this thread have simply responded with the equivalent of "too bad, so sad, move on".

And what would you have her do? I'm just saying, that's life. There are things not everyone can go to. I'm not saying (once again) that they shouldn't have made this dance more open to everyone. But I also think our culture is WAY too happy to call up lawyers, or the ACLU, or whatever, when things don't go their way. And maybe that isn't how it happened. Maybe the mom went through all the right channels - whatever, it really doesn't matter to me.

I don't think it is right that the school wasn't following the law. But I also don't think it's right for people to push and push and push just because their special snowflake doesn't get to go to something. I don't see why the ACLU had to get involved. Just let the mom and the daughter be p**sed about it and move on.

I don't see that as me having a 'too bad, so sad' mentality. But seriously? It's a DANCE.

Are my DH and I the only ones here who find the whole institution of "father/daughter dances" slightly weird and creepy?

:lol: I don't find them creepy at all! I think that the father/daughter relationship is a special one - I think he's the first male in her life who she can look to and trust. I think she should be able to see in him good qualities for future relationships, and she should be able to set her standards of treatment based on her father's treatment of her mom and her. :) I think they're nice. :)

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Seriously, father-daughter dances were not a part of my childhood. We just didn't have them, to my knowledge. I think I survived. Why do those of you who are protesting this ruling think this is the end of the world?

 

Father daughter dances aren't even banned. Host one in your own basement if it's so important to keep the tradition alive.

 

Public funding aside, I just hope none of you have to console a sobbing child over something like this. I am sure if you did your inner mama bear would come out roaring and you'd do the exact same thing. Usually people here are a sympathetic bunch, but many seem very callous in regard to this issue.

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Are my DH and I the only ones here who find the whole institution of "father/daughter dances" slightly weird and creepy?

 

 

You are not, but that's a separate issue. Also, context is everything.

Edited by Audrey
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But what if she didn't have another adult male in her life who could do such a thing? Then she doesn't even have the option?

 

Look, I think there is some interesting fodder for discussion here. Specifically, the question of whether public schools and public school funds should be academics only or whether schools should do more for the students and the community. Also, if gender roles have changed in such a way that father-daughter dances are now outdated and if so, what sort of thing could replace them.

 

But whether this event excludes some kids based on their gender seems obvious and not worth debating. It's not even about the girl's father or lack thereof (though it seems clearly insensitive to me that people are so callous about it) but boys aren't allowed to attend.

 

I see you point. I'm not callous to the absence of a parent. I lost my mother in college. My brother was still in high school. Every mother's day was nearly unbearable for both of us. It's better now because I have my own children. I can't imagine what it is like for a child to have to make a mother's day or father's day craft in class. Maybe that should be banned too. Things have just changed so much and traditions of the past may need to be replaced with new ones.

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And what would you have her do? I'm just saying, that's life. There are things not everyone can go to. I'm not saying (once again) that they shouldn't have made this dance more open to everyone. But I also think our culture is WAY too happy to call up lawyers, or the ACLU, or whatever, when things don't go their way. And maybe that isn't how it happened. Maybe the mom went through all the right channels - whatever, it really doesn't matter to me.

I don't think it is right that the school wasn't following the law. But I also don't think it's right for people to push and push and push just because their special snowflake doesn't get to go to something. I don't see why the ACLU had to get involved. Just let the mom and the daughter be p**sed about it and move on.

 

It is *likely* they got involved because someone at the school would not let the child attend. It is interesting that you put all of the burden on the parent and child to just move on, rather than on the school district to do what is right and be inclusive.

This isn't about getting a special snowflake special treatment; it is about getting her equal treatment. There is a massive difference between the two.

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Seriously, father-daughter dances were not a part of my childhood. We just didn't have them, to my knowledge. I think I survived. Why do those of you who are protesting this ruling think this is the end of the world?

 

Father daughter dances aren't even banned. Host one in your own basement if it's so important to keep the tradition alive.

 

Public funding aside, I just hope none of you have to console a sobbing child over something like this. I am sure if you did your inner mama bear would come out roaring and you'd do the exact same thing. Usually people here are a sympathetic bunch, but many seem very callous in regard to this issue.

 

This is what I don't get.

It's just a dance. Why sobbing? Why crying? Why call up the ACLU?

 

I haven't seen anyone being callous.

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It is *likely* they got involved because someone at the school would not let the child attend. It is interesting that you put all of the burden on the parent and child to just move on, rather than on the school district to do what is right and be inclusive.

This isn't about getting a special snowflake special treatment; it is about getting her equal treatment. There is a massive difference between the two.

 

I specifically said I didn't think the school district did the right thing.

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Seriously, father-daughter dances were not a part of my childhood. We just didn't have them, to my knowledge. I think I survived. Why do those of you who are protesting this ruling think this is the end of the world?

 

Father daughter dances aren't even banned. Host one in your own basement if it's so important to keep the tradition alive.

 

Public funding aside, I just hope none of you have to console a sobbing child over something like this. I am sure if you did your inner mama bear would come out roaring and you'd do the exact same thing. Usually people here are a sympathetic bunch, but many seem very callous in regard to this issue.

 

Some here just trigger off of "tradition" and "ACLU". Put those words in a story and common sense goes right out the window, and next thing you know society is crumbling before our very eyes.

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It is *likely* they got involved because someone at the school would not let the child attend. It is interesting that you put all of the burden on the parent and child to just move on, rather than on the school district to do what is right and be inclusive.

This isn't about getting a special snowflake special treatment; it is about getting her equal treatment. There is a massive difference between the two.

 

:iagree:

 

Especially since you keep repeating "it would be so EASY to make this inclusive." Which is the point.

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Some here just trigger off of "tradition" and "ACLU". Put those words in a story and common sense goes right out the window, and next thing you know society is crumbling before our very eyes.

 

Yeah, it seems pretty obvious that most of the criticism of this has to do with actually hating the ACLU.

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Yet you still put more of the blame on the parent for sticking up for her child.

 

Maybe I'm just not the type to go to the authorities or whoever. I have acquaintances who have sued the school when their kid fell on the playground and had to get stitches.

I guess I'm just more laid back than all that. I would be like, dang, honey, that sucks... let's do whatever you want to that night. While calling the school and asking why they were choosing not to follow the law. :D I just stop short of making big hoopla over stuff.

 

I'm not trying to be critical of the decision. I just think the whole issue is kind of silly. And yes, I do hate the ACLU. :D

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This is what I don't get.

It's just a dance. Why sobbing? Why crying? Why call up the ACLU?

 

I haven't seen anyone being callous.

 

8 year old girl. Friends are all going to the dance and getting excited about it. Lots of talk, signs at school, you name it.

You want to go but are told you can't. Why? Because you don't have a dad.

 

Nope. You can't see an 8 year old girl crying over something like that?:confused:

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And what would you have her do? I'm just saying, that's life. There are things not everyone can go to. I'm not saying (once again) that they shouldn't have made this dance more open to everyone. But I also think our culture is WAY too happy to call up lawyers, or the ACLU, or whatever, when things don't go their way. And maybe that isn't how it happened. Maybe the mom went through all the right channels - whatever, it really doesn't matter to me.

I don't think it is right that the school wasn't following the law. But I also don't think it's right for people to push and push and push just because their special snowflake doesn't get to go to something. I don't see why the ACLU had to get involved. Just let the mom and the daughter be p**sed about it and move on.

I don't see that as me having a 'too bad, so sad' mentality. But seriously? It's a DANCE.

 

My son has COPD. Our local youth services tried to exclude him from all youth activities (mainly by trying to stonewall me, but you people know me too well to think that worked) because they weren't sure how to handle it, despite numerous forms and letters from his doctors (including a specialist). They only allowed it when DH and I threw a full-blown hissy fit in the office of the head of youth services and told her that we weren't leaving without him being enrolled. If they had continued to refuse, then we probably would have called a lawyer. The fact that it was such an issue caused me to contact other families and now it's being sent up to higher commands as an issue affecting families who have children with special or medical needs.

 

People call lawyers because other people don't want to do their job or do the right thing or make simple accommodations, like they are supposed to, according to the law. Maybe it is just a dance or a field trip or a class, but you cannot exclude kids because they are disabled or diabetic or black or male or any other reason *while using public funds*. That's the only issue here.

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This is what I don't get.

It's just a dance. Why sobbing? Why crying? Why call up the ACLU?

 

I haven't seen anyone being callous.

 

When I was on a field trip in 6th grade, a couple of bullies thought it was funny to say "Charlene's dad croaked." They said it until I cried. This was about a year after he died. So I was already pretty stigmatized because my dad died of cancer. Really funny right? Never mind that the best man I knew was gone forever and that is a pretty big thing to deal with when you are 11. So had there been a big dance every year where all my friends got dressed up to spend a special night with their dad and I was not allowed (heck, even If I was--I love my uncles but they are not dad) it would have been devastating.

 

That is all aside from the ACLU, which had a really clear cut case of discrimination being publicly funded.

 

Does that help at all? Or are you still confused about the sobbing part?

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And yes, I do hate the ACLU. :D

 

Why?

I have grown up in a country where civil liberties were not a guaranteed constitutional right and I very much appreciate their existence in the US. I don't understand why it is bad if an organization helps individuals claim their civil rights.

As long as there is plenty of discrimination on the basis of race, gender, disability, the ACLU is very necessary. It would be nice if it were not.

Edited by regentrude
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8 year old girl. Friends are all going to the dance and getting excited about it. Lots of talk, signs at school, you name it.

You want to go but are told you can't. Why? Because you don't have a dad.

 

Nope. You can't see an 8 year old girl crying over something like that?:confused:

 

Wait.

She's 8?

What elementary school even holds dances, period?

And how the heck did I miss that she was 8? I was thinking she was at least 12.

Hmm. I could see the crying then.

Sorry. I really thought when I read the article (I apparently skimmed over the part that mentioned her age) that we were talking about a teenager. Which would still suck, but assuming she lost her father several years before, she would have better coping skills and stuff, I would think.

But it was hard for me, I guess, not having 'parents' in the traditional sense when I was a kid. I grew out of it with time, though.

 

 

Hmmm.... well, anyway, I only ended up back in this conversation because of the 'discrimination' word and my interpretation of it. :D :lol:

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Maybe I'm just not the type to go to the authorities or whoever. I have acquaintances who have sued the school when their kid fell on the playground and had to get stitches.

I guess I'm just more laid back than all that. I would be like, dang, honey, that sucks... let's do whatever you want to that night. While calling the school and asking why they were choosing not to follow the law. :D I just stop short of making big hoopla over stuff.

 

I'm not trying to be critical of the decision. I just think the whole issue is kind of silly. And yes, I do hate the ACLU. :D

 

Then, it is a good thing nobody is relying upon YOU to protect their civil rights.

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So, as far as I can gather from those who object to the RI decision:

 

1. Father-daughter dances are cherished traditions that create moving experiences and lovely memories. It spoils things for everyone and ruins everyone's good time if father-daughter dances cannot occur, because they are just. That. Special.

 

2. Excluded kids should just suck it up and move on. It's just a dance. It's nothing to make a big deal about - so some kids can't go, whatever, who cares.

 

It can't be both ways at once, y'all.

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Why?

I have grown up in a country where civil liberties were not a guaranteed constitutional right and very much appreciate their existence in the US. I don't understand why it is bad if an organization helps individuals claim their civil rights.

 

The ACLU and I don't have corresponding beliefs and I don't hold to their agenda, that's all. No more, no less. :)

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Wait.

She's 8?

What elementary school even holds dances, period?

And how the heck did I miss that she was 8? I was thinking she was at least 12.

Hmm. I could see the crying then.

Sorry. I really thought when I read the article (I apparently skimmed over the part that mentioned her age) that we were talking about a teenager. Which would still suck, but assuming she lost her father several years before, she would have better coping skills and stuff, I would think.

But it was hard for me, I guess, not having 'parents' in the traditional sense when I was a kid. I grew out of it with time, though.

 

 

Hmmm.... well, anyway, I only ended up back in this conversation because of the 'discrimination' word and my interpretation of it. :D :lol:

 

I was giving an example. You said you couldn't imagine a child crying over this, and I gave a scenario where it would likely happen.

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So, as far as I can gather from those who object to the RI decision:

 

1. Father-daughter dances are cherished traditions that create moving experiences and lovely memories. It spoils things for everyone and ruins everyone's good time if father-daughter dances cannot occur, because they are just. That. Special.

 

2. Excluded kids should just suck it up and move on. It's just a dance. It's nothing to make a big deal about - so some kids can't go, whatever, who cares.

 

It can't be both ways at once, y'all.

 

Just to be clear, I don't care much about father/daughter dances to the extent that I think they are so special. I never went to one. I think the idea of one is nice, but I see no reason for it to be publicly funded. It seems more of a private sector thing to me anyway - like our church has mother/daughter teas (which I would never take my boys to, and they would want to DIE if I did! :lol: ) and father/son campouts (which I have no desire to go on, tyvm! :D ), etc.

Anyway, just wanted to make sure that I wasn't being misinterpreted. Me thinking they are nice and seeing the importance of a father/daughter bond doesn't equal me thinking they are so special that the loss of them would mean the end of the world. :D

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You don't believe in freedom of speech? Freedom of expression? Freedom of religion?

Interesting.

 

What I love about the ACLU is their consistency. They have one cause. They will stand up for freedom of speech for groups I find despicable and I can't fault them for that. It's not about the message, it's about the right to deliver the message.

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But whether this event excludes some kids based on their gender seems obvious and not worth debating. It's not even about the girl's father or lack thereof (though it seems clearly insensitive to me that people are so callous about it) but boys aren't allowed to attend.

Exactly.

 

 

 

 

So, as far as I can gather from those who object to the RI decision:

 

1. Father-daughter dances are cherished traditions that create moving experiences and lovely memories. It spoils things for everyone and ruins everyone's good time if father-daughter dances cannot occur, because they are just. That. Special.

 

2. Excluded kids should just suck it up and move on. It's just a dance. It's nothing to make a big deal about - so some kids can't go, whatever, who cares.

 

It can't be both ways at once, y'all.

I think that sums it up well.

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The ACLU and I don't have corresponding beliefs and I don't hold to their agenda, that's all. No more, no less. :)

 

Their only agenda is protecting civil rights. They have fought for all sorts of different individuals and organizations. They routinely fight against laws that infringe upon our privacy and civil rights.

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You don't believe in freedom of speech? Freedom of expression? Freedom of religion?

Interesting.

Is that really all the ACLU is? It was my understanding they have a very liberal agenda. Granted, I read that several years ago and I haven't looked at them much since. But considering I'm not liberal by most definitions of the word, I would say of course I believe in the basics of our rights as American citizens, but my understanding of the ACLU is that those are not their main agenda.

I was giving an example. You said you couldn't imagine a child crying over this, and I gave a scenario where it would likely happen.

 

Wait...now I'm confused. She isn't 8?

A teenager isn't a child, if she's a teenager. She needs to learn to cope if her dad died many years ago. I'm very sorry that it happened, and I wish it never did. But holding onto hurts and disappointments and sorrows for ones whole life does not a good life create.

 

Anyway, none of that really matters.

The school broke the law. It's fixed. I think that is a good thing.

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Is that really all the ACLU is? It was my understanding they have a very liberal agenda. Granted, I read that several years ago and I haven't looked at them much since. But considering I'm not liberal by most definitions of the word, I would say of course I believe in the basics of our rights as American citizens, but my understanding of the ACLU is that those are not their main agenda.

 

 

Wait...now I'm confused. She isn't 8?

A teenager isn't a child, if she's a teenager. She needs to learn to cope if her dad died many years ago. I'm very sorry that it happened, and I wish it never did. But holding onto hurts and disappointments and sorrows for ones whole life does not a good life create.

 

Anyway, none of that really matters.

The school broke the law. It's fixed. I think that is a good thing.

 

Please see my post on the previous page. I was 10 when my dad died, so I guess it was okay for me to still be grieving not only the loss of my father but also a sense of fitting in? But If I were 3 years older, tough, get over it?

 

And the ACLU has in fact defended some conservative causes. Those are the ones that I dislike but then I remember oh yeah, even people I don't like have the right to speak freely.

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Please see my post on the previous page. I was 10 when my dad died, so I guess it was okay for me to still be grieving not only the loss of my father but also a sense of fitting in? But If I were 3 years older, tough, get over it?

 

And the ACLU has in fact defended some conservative causes. Those are the ones that I dislike but then I remember oh yeah, even people I don't like have the right to speak freely.

 

Sigh. I'm just not coming across, I guess. I need to go back and read the article for clarity. I'll edit then.

 

ETA: The article referenced in the first post says nothing about any of this. No mention of any girl, anything. :confused:

Obviously, at any age when someone loses a parent, it will hurt immensely. Good grief. I never said it wouldn't. I never said it should be easy if you were a teen and your father passed away, or if you were 33 or 53. It will always be hard.

I don't know where I got the idea that we were talking about a teenage girl who had lost her father years before. To me, it seemed that after many years, she would be used to this sort of thing by now (whether or not she should be forced to be 'used to it' is another matter entirely) and wouldn't be home sobbing about it. That's all I was saying the age referring to - the sobbing and coping skills.

I still think the law is the law and that the school should be following it.

I didn't have parents in the traditional sense, either. I had art teachers who gave me a hard time because I wouldn't write 'To Mom' on something because I didn't have one (that I remembered). As a little kid, it bugged me. As a tween, I started getting used to it. As a teen, I finally began to see my situation as part of what formed me instead of just life being sucky. As an adult, I take pride in my upbringing and thank God daily that my mom didn't take me with her when she left.

Now, I know that having a parent (and remembering him/her) is much harder when the loss comes than never having them at all. I don't know that from experience, obviously, I learned it from an anime - but it makes sense. The kid whose parents died had much more sorrow to deal with than the one who was an orphan shortly after birth. So please don't think I'm trying to discredit that in any way. My grandparents have become my parents to me, and you better believe I'll be a hot mess if they die.

 

Regarding the ACLU, their statements in the article:

"in the 21st Century, public schools have no business fostering the notion that girls prefer to go to formal dances while boys prefer baseball games.

 

"This type of gender stereotyping only perpetuates outdated notions of 'girl' and 'boy' activities and is contrary to federal law.

 

"[Parent-teacher organizations] remain free to hold family dances and other events, but the time has long since passed for public school resources to encourage stereotyping from the days of Ozzie and Harriet. Not every girl today is interested in growing up to be Cinderella -- not even in Cranston. In fact, one of them might make a great major league baseball player someday.

 

"We commend the school district for its resolution of the matter, and are sorry to see some people turning it into a political football -- a game that they may think only boys should be interested in." "

 

are a little unnecessary. I guess I need to research them again, as I really thought they were pro-everythingthatidon'tstandfor. :)

Edited by PeacefulChaos
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Sigh. I'm just not coming across, I guess. I need to go back and read the article for clarity. I'll edit then.

 

You might want to look up the ACLU, too. They had a big case defending Rush Limbaugh a few years ago. It probably didn't get much press in the conservative media, though. I assume that's where you heard that the ACLU is the big bad liberals.

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What I love about the ACLU is their consistency. They have one cause. They will stand up for freedom of speech for groups I find despicable and I can't fault them for that. It's not about the message, it's about the right to deliver the message.

 

Really? Have they come out in favor of the inflammatory Muslim movie and the director's right to expression?

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