R.I. school: Father-daughter dance violates law

(CBS/AP) CRANSTON, R.I. - School officials in the Rhode Island city of Cranston have ended their traditional father-daughter dances and mother-son ballgames, saying the activities are a violation of state gender discrimination law.

School Superintendent Judith Lundsten told the Providence Journal the move came in response to a complaint from a single mother, after her daughter was not allowed to attend a father-daughter dance.

The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to school officials on behalf of the mother.

Lundsten says school attorneys found while federal Title IX legislation banning gender discrimination exempts such events, Rhode Island law does not.

School Committee member Janice Ruggieri said she believes the school system can adjust and host "family dances" to accommodate all types of parenting situations.

CBS Affiliate WPRI reports the decision comes just seven months after Cranston school officials removed a prayer banner from an auditorium in Cranston High School West after a federal judge ruled on behalf of a lawsuit filed by an atheist student.

The city received a $173,000 bill for legal fees in that case.


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