A single mother in Georgia said she was banned from attending her six-year-old girl's elementary school father-daughter dance after she tried to go dressed up like a man.
Amy Peterson said her daughter, Gracie, was looking forward to having her mom play the role of her father, given that her dad is out of the picture, ABC affiliate WSB reported on Monday. But the school in Henry County, Georgia, forbade them from attending the annual dance.
"To me, I’ve identified myself as her father and her mother because that’s what I’ve done for six years," Peterson told WSB. "She was okay with it. She was excited that her friends were going to get to see this."
Peterson said she filed paperwork a month ahead of last Friday's dance to let the school know that she would be attending.
But Peterson said she received a phone call from the school’s principal about an hour before the dance telling them not to come, according to WSB.
"She [the principal] said, 'No. I forbid you to come and if you show up we will turn you away,'" Peterson said, recalling the conversation. "How do you explain that to a 6-year-old? You can’t go to a dance because you don’t have a male role model in your life?"
Peterson said she believes the school handled the situation poorly.
The Henry County school district defended its decision in a statement.
"The school is cognizant that different dynamics exist across households in our school system," the statement read. "There are multiple parent engagement events and opportunities to participate with their kids annually at this school in an effort to make that connection and build school spirit."
But Peterson said the policy makes children like Gracie feel left out and compared the school's behavior to bullying.
"They're already being bullied. Why be bullied by the school too?" Peterson said. "Why is she being punished because she doesn’t have a dad?"
(If you read my take without reading the article, just know this isn't like a transgender situation. This mom was just doing this so her daughter could try to experience the father-daughter dance.)
I feel badly for this girl. I honestly do. As a child of divorce, I always feel for kids who grow up in a "non-traditional" households. As much as we wanna normalize it and say it's normal, it's not. It's just not. Simple as that. It's not the same as having a childhood with married parents. I know first hand. I'm not diving into my own life right now, but I do feel sorry for this little girl that she couldn't go because she doesn't have a dad. That sucks.
And I know she's six years old, so we should want to protect her, but I actually think the school made the right call here. And I usually always side against school boards. They are worst and are a major reason why I'm so hesitant to dive into teaching. There's literally thousands of examples of school boards making horrible decisions on what seems like common sense issues.
But guess what kid, life sucks.
Might as well just find that out now. Life isn't fair, not everybody is the same. Maybe knowing that this young can help you prepare better.
I'm sorry you don't have a dad, I really am. But guess what, a lot of people don't have dads. A lot of people don't have moms either. Some people have two moms or dads. Some re-marry. Some kids don't have parents at all.
You know I'd like a girlfriend too but don't have one, doesn't mean I think it should be illegal for other people to get married just because I'm single.
Maybe it's cold but I'm a big believer in tradition and Father-Daughter and Mother-Son dances having been going on forever, they shouldn't just stop because there's people who don't fit the description. If you don't have that parent in your life you can't go. Sorry. It doesn't make you anti- the other stuff it just means on this issue that's how you feel. If they want to have another event for kids of non traditional households I don't see an issue with that at all.
Plus it's awesome that you have a mom who would do this for you. I genuinely mean that. I don't know a lot of moms who would draw a beard on their face and wear that ugly short sleeve-button down with a bow-tie and fedora. Then again I don't know too many moms with kids that young.
You probably have a great mom who wants to give you everything she can and give you as normal of a childhood as possible. But that's the thing, you have a great MOM. I know today in 2017 we want to blur the lines of gender and race in society, but can we just accept the fact that not everybody is the same? We preach diversity then try to put everybody in a cookie-cutter, I don't get it. If you don't have a dad you don't go to the father-daughter dance. That simple. It's not like this is the first girl on earth to ever not have a dad in the picture.
I do commend this mom for trying though. But she made a vital mistake by telling the school ahead of time this is what she is doing. Would you call a bank ahead of time to let them know you're coming to rob it?
In 2017 with gender shit a wicked hot button issue, she should've just gone dressed as a guy, walked in confidently and just tried to blend in. Confidence is key, so I've heard. Then if anybody hassles you say "I identify as male." end of discussion.
It's like when a woman says she was having "feminine issues" or something like as to why didn't show up to work. Instant conversation ender, no need to go any deeper. You already said enough.
I feel kinda the same way with gender shit, it's such a messy situation that most people will just be like, "okay whatever I don't want to deal with this, just go in." At least that's what I would do because again I feel bad this 6 year old got denied. Now I know in Georgia that may not work out, but it's gotta be better than letting them know ahead of time.