US school cancels traditional dance over gender inclusivity – media
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. The annual activities organized for students and their families were apparently scrapped for not being in line with gender politics.
The PTO “has received some concerns regarding the lack of gender inclusivity,” 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, “these long-standing events at LAS have traditionally been separated by gender.”
The school also reportedly explained that they considered inviting everyone for the March dance, but decided it was not an option due to Covid-19, and promised to refund families who purchased tickets.
The dance was intended for girls to attend with a family member or guardian of their choice, while the deep-sea fishing trip was meant for boys to go with their mothers or a guardian.
“We have families in town that only have two girls, two boys, some multi-gender. Those parents are feeling left out because they only get to go deep-sea fishing and not to a dress-up event,” PTO Vice President Candace Cimon said, adding that “the boys had a much different event than the girls did.”
While, according to some, events like these reinforce gender stereotypes, other community members were disappointed with the cancelation. They now apparently plan to organize a private dance instead.
Hampton Falls Selectboard Chair Lou Gargiulo said it was “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.
“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 “absolutely unnecessary.”
Another parent speaking at a school board meeting called the decision “ludicrous,” saying, “I was really looking forward to [the dance] but now I don’t get to have that. Now, I’m no longer included.”
The school district and administration were not involved in the decision, local media reported.