Officials at a public elementary school in Columbia, S.C. have scuttled an annual father-daughter dance because a handful of parents complained that the event is not sufficiently “inclusive.”
The father-daughter dance had been held for the last five years at Brockman Elementary School, reports local NBC affiliate WIS-TV.
The principal at Brockman Elementary, Eunice M. Williams, and representatives of the school’s parent-teacher organization agreed to cancel the dance after the complaints arose. The exact number of complaints is unclear but it is “fewer than 10.”
Flyers for the annual event, which has raised $2,000 for the school in past years, clearly indicated that the dance is open to all.
“There were a few parents that did not think the father-daughter dance was inclusive, when actually, it was at all times,” school district spokeswoman Karen York told WIS-TV. “It was never an event that was exclusive to only fathers and daughters. Mothers and anyone else who wanted to show up at the dance were certainly welcome to attend.”
York also observed that “other districts here in Columbia as well as across the country” sponsor father-daughter dances. Nevertheless, she said, “the whole focus is to have a special occasion for all students and all parents.”
The parent-teacher organization at Brockman Elementary is refunding money to parents who have already purchased dance tickets.
A large number of parents have expressed frustration over the cancellation. They say they still hope to organize a father-daughter dance, presumably at a different venue.
Meanwhile, officials at Brockman Elementary say they want to hold a dance called the Brockman Ball.
Ending the bane of father-daughter dances has become a fairly common occurrence at America’s public schools.
Earlier this year, for example, the Rochester, Minn. school district changed the name of father-daughter dances to “parent-daughter dances” to improve sensitivity. The change caused a massive drop in popularity which led to the dance’s wholesale cancellation. The same school district replaced its Halloween party years ago with a “harvest festival” that bans costumes. (RELATED: Minnesota Principal Wants To Halt Celebration Of Valentine’s Day, Other ‘Dominant’ Holidays)
In 2012, the Cranston, R.I. public school system banned father-daughter and mother-son events following a complaint by the American Civil Liberties Union. (RELATED: Cranston, RI Public Schools Ban ‘Father-Daughter’ Dances Following ACLU Complaint)