US school cancels traditional dance over gender inclusivity – media — Analysis
A complaint led to the cancellation of both the annual father-daughter and separate mother-son events.
A parent teacher organization (PTO) in the state of New Hampshire announced this week that traditional events such as the Guys & Dolls dance and the Ladies & Lads fishing trip would not be held at their school, according to a letter sent to parents and seen by local media. Students and their families had to cancel the annual events because they were not in keeping with gender politics.
The PTO “Several concerns have been raised about the insufficient gender inclusion,” a letter from the Lincoln Akerman School (LAS) in Hampton Falls has said, as quoted by the New Hampshire Journal. Even though the school has previously welcomed everyone at the annual father-daughter and mother-son activities, “This long-running event at LAS has traditionally been segregated according to gender.”
According to reports, the school said that although they had considered inviting everybody to March’s dance but decided against it due to Covid-19 and offered to refund tickets purchased by families.
While the dance was for girls, they could attend it with a relative or guardian. The deep-sea fishing trip was for boys.
“There are families that have only two girls and two boys in our town. Some have multi-gender families. Parents who are not able to fish deep and have no dress code feel excluded.,” PTO Vice President Candace Cimon said, adding that “The boys were able to experience a different type of event from the girls..”
Although some believe these events reinforce gender stereotypes according to certain, others in the community were not happy with the decision. The couple now plan to hold a private party instead.
Hampton Falls Selectboard Chair Lou Gargiulo said it was “It is appalling” that no one would be able to attend because one parent complained. “It’s another silly thing that is going to impede kids from going to an event with their parents,” he said as quoted by local media.
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“To cancel because of gender identity, I can’t imagine that being a valid reason,” one parent said, adding that no one had ever been rejected for the events, and canceling the dance was “It is completely unnecessary.”
Another parent speaking at a school board meeting called the decision “This is ridiculous,” saying, “It was something I really looked forward to. [the dance] but now I don’t get to have that. Now, I’m no longer included.”
Local media reports that the school district administration and staff were not involved.
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