An annual father-daughter dance has been canceled at a New York elementary school because of worries that it might violate new “nonconforming gender” guidelines.
The New York Post reported that the annual dance at the PS 65 school in Staten Island was suddenly postponed when the school’s PTA announced it might violate the new rules.
“Until we understand what we are legally permitted to do, we need to table this event,” PTA president Toni Bennett wrote to a private school-parents group on Facebook seen by the Post.
The dance was slated for Friday, Feb. 9. The principal had instructed the PTA to change the event, “to ensure all students and families were welcome to attend,” DOE spokeswoman Miranda Barbot said, according to the Post.
The parents who were looking forward to the annual dance are not happy and are blaming the cancellation on PC culture.
“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,” Matthew West, a 32-year-old father of two daughters at the school, Lily and Willow, told the Post. “They should leave it the way it was—father-daughter, mother-son.”
“It’s not fair at all,” said Jose Garcia, 37, who’s gone to the past two dances with his 9-year-old daughter. “I have nothing against no one but I don’t think that it should affect the school or the kids for that matter.”
“All this gender [expletive] needs to just stop,” said mom Akaia Cameron.
According to the Post, the PTA confirmed that there had been no parental complaint that prompted the change of heart.
In March last year the New York Department of Education issued new “Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Student Guidelines.”
The guidelines state that schools should “eliminate” any gender-related elements without a clear educational purpose.
“Examples may include such practices as gender-based graduation gowns, lines, and/or attire for yearbook pictures,” the guidelines say.
There is nothing specific in the DOE guidelines that specifies or indicates father-daughter dances should be banned across the board, according to Jared Fox, the DOE’s LGBT community liaison.
However Fox said that, “Father-daughter dances inherently leave people out.”
“Not just because of transgender status, just life in general,” said Fox, according to the Post.
The Post points out that many other New York schools are continuing with plans for other events of a similar nature.
For example, PS 83 in The Bronx has a “Mother/Daughter Spa Night” planned for April 27, a “Mother and Son Field Day” planned for May 19, as well as a “Father/Daughter Dance” on June 6, according to the school calendar.