A Rhode Island school district has banned father-daughter dances, along with mother-son activities, saying such events violate the state’s prohibition on gender discrimination. Rhode Island’s Providence Journal reported that the Cranston school district made the move to ban the activities after the ACLU sent a letter to the district on behalf of a single mother who complained that her daughter could not attend a father-daughter dance at her school.

The district’s superintendent, Judith Lundsten, “said school attorneys found while federal Title IX legislation banning gender discrimination gives an exemption for ‘father-son’ and ‘mother-daughter’ events, Rhode Island law doesn’t,” reported the Journal. In a letter to school organizations Lundsten acknowledged that while “many of these events have long traditions, and for many parents these types of gender-based events are not an issue … this is a public school system and under no circumstances should we be isolating any child from full participation in school activities and events based on gender.” She admonished the groups to be “all-inclusive when planning your events.”

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