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NEW: Cranston Bans ‘Father-Daughter’ Dances

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


A Republican State Senate candidate Sean Gately is taking his Democratic opponent Frank Lombardi to task for being part of a school committee that was “asleep at the switch” as the Cranston School Department banned “father-daughter” and “mother-son” events in the city's schools.

The decision came after American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint.

"As the next State Senator from Cranston," wrote in a press release disturbed to the media Monday. "I will personally stand up to the ACLU and sponsor legislation to allow these events to continue if it is not remedied this fall. More importantly, as a father of a young son in the Cranston schools, I look forward to my wife and son enjoying the special life long memories that events like this create."

In an interview with WPRO’s Matt Allen, Lombardi said the school committee was not involved.

“I really think this was blown way out of proportion by Mr. Gately,” Lombardi said. “No one met behind closed doors, no one met with lawyers, no one met with anyone.”

Gately and Lombardi are running for the open Senate seat in District 26.

UPDATE: Mayor Allan Fung released the following statement:

"I am utterly disappointed to have such a time-honored tradition under attack in the name of political correctness. Traditions like this are what make up the fabric of our childhood memories and definitely contribute to the well being of our children as a whole.

"In the zeal to protect people who feel they are being disenfranchised, this policy has completely denied our children of one of the most cherished traditions in their school experience. I sympathize with these parents because it seems once again that Cranston is at the epicenter of another attack on our traditions by the ACLU.

"I have been flooded with calls from angry parents upset with the Cranston School Department’s decision to ban gender specific events like the Father-Daughter dances in Cranston. Although I do not have any legal authority over the issue, I implore the Cranston School Committee to review this decision and find a way to make this work for the children and their parents.

"I encourage all parents that are upset with this decision to contact their school committee members and make their voices be heard."


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