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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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Comment #1 by Sean GATELY on 2012 09 18

Mr. Gately deserves credit for exposing this totally asinine situation. Given Mr. Lombardi's public involvement in the Cranston West High School banner matter, it's surprising he has chosen to be uncharacteristically subdue in this situation. But then, elections sometimes does that to people. Let's see if the Cranston folks show as much passion in this case as the pray banner?

Comment #2 by Harold Stassen on 2012 09 18

40+ years ago, my mom forced me to attend the "mother and son" dance. It was a extremely traumatic experience, and I still have not fully recovered...
PMSDS "post mother-son dance syndrome"

Comment #3 by Roger Lachance on 2012 09 18

My daughters really enjoyed the Father/Daughter dances in Lincoln back in the 80's and early 90's. They particularly enjoyed their father's attempts to dance. but most of all they cherish the memory of Dad spending real quality time with them. I would like to point out that our dances back then were not exclusionary at all. There were several moms there with their daughters. They were either single moms, or the husbands' work schedules conflicted with the activity. Whatever. The women were certainly welcome. I understand that a couple of dads also went to the Mother/Son activities. This Cranston thing is a shame. Is the ACLU discriminating against Cranston?

Comment #4 by Michael Trenn on 2012 09 18

Are we free to make our own choices, what is the matter with the ACLU, don't they have enough to do? It's a long standing social event that a father and daughter and they can choose to go or not to go. If some social wacko that can’t talk it out in the family goes to the ACLU to make it easy for them to not have to make a decision then there is something wrong with the system. Why should one or two make everyone else have to change? The majority should be the deciding factor NOT the minority in numbers with the ACLU.
The ACLU sounds more like a crusader of any cause besides a common sense cause. This organization has gone off in the weeds and into a fit of nonsense. The ACLU should be taken to task.

Comment #5 by Gary Arnold on 2012 09 19

This is simply a disgrace. The fact that it was ever even suggested to ban the dance, is absurd. Now that they've actually banned it...a complete disgrace.

Comment #6 by pearl fanch on 2012 09 19

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