The Senate Education Committee votes Wednesday on legislation allowing schools to hold events like father-daughter dances. Cranston’s school committee asked lawmakers to draft the bill after a complaint last year shut down its father-daughter dance.
The Cranston School Committee banned the dances at the request of the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU says a single mother complained that she was not allowed to take her daughter to either the father-daughter dance or the mother-son baseball game. And that, the ACLU says, violated anti-discrimination laws. Legislation sponsored by Senator Hanna Gallo allows for activities focused on one gender as long it’s provided for students of the opposite sex. The bill also calls for local schools to designate someone as an “equal opportunity officer” who will make sure schools are in compliance.