**Bumped Up From TAM Wire. Posted by naga5**
Crocker/Riverside Elementary School will be eliminating their PTA sponsored Father-Daughter Dance and changing it to a Family Dance. This caught my attention, but not for the reason one might imagine. I attended Riverside School. Back in the Sixties, the neighborhood was very mixed. The neighborhood houses were built in the 1930s and housed a fair number of Asian families at that time. Consequently, the ethnic makeup of the school was actually quite diverse.
Over the decades, the neighborhood gentrified. My mom finally moved out last year and she was probably the last one of the families I grew up with to leave. The place is now populated by families in their first unaffordable house, worrying about paying back college loans on a City of Sacramento or State of California salary.
One can imagine Blue State Liberals raising their children there. One can also imagine hearing the request being made, “Can you be more inclusive and change the name of the Father Daughter Dance?” One can now hear the Principal of Riverside/Crocker saying, “However the child wants to define their family, whoever they want to bring with them they’re be able to do that.” He even mentions that the change is overdue and it can also be used as a teaching moment.
Thus begins the cascade of my concerns.
First, apparently, this principal thinks that this dance, along with the corresponding Mother-Son Hike, are the only two social/family events that the PTA can muster that will raise funds, have a good time and get people together.
How about a Mother-Son Hike, Father-Daughter Dance and a Family Picnic? Perhaps the school can sacrifice some of their “putting condoms on bananas” time to allow a third social event so diverse families with primary school age children can break bread together differently. I guess Riverside/Crocker has time for only two teaching moments per school year.
More importantly, the real tragedy in this is the devaluation of fathers. Fathers are important members of a family. A great deal of poverty in the inner cities can be attributed to the breakdown of the traditional family and fathers being replaced by AFDC checks. I appreciate the principal’s effort to allow children to define families, but isn’t that the job of adults? And what of the important relationship between fathers and daughters? The dance was started so fathers would be included in school activities with their daughters. My daughter married into the Army life and when her husband is deployed, the family takes a social hit. Absent fathers need substitutes. I know for a fact that other men not deployed rise up to meet the need. A retired fireman mowed their lawn and drove her to the hospital when she went into labor with our second grandchild. Men at her church rough housed with her kids. Uncles and grandfathers also help; but I am not so sure about Tammy’s uncle that looks like Hillary Clinton. An engaged, encouraging father can raise a strong independent girl or a lousy father can start a cycle of poor relationships for a young woman.
I am sensitive to Tammy’s feelings on growing up fatherless. I, too, grew up without a father. I remember trying to opt out of pointless Father’s Day cards and projects that were made for no one. It is a difficult road to adulthood without a father, but it is not an impossible one. Society needs to help families fill that role, not minimize its importance.
A California elementary school has changed the name of its Father-Daughter dance to the “Family Dance” to “be more inclusive.”
Parent Teacher Association president Patrick Kuske, whose organization sponsors the Father-Daughter Dance at Sacramento’s Crocker/Riverside Elementary School, bowed to pressure to change the name of the dance after being told by “a couple of parents” that they don’t like it.
“We got a request from a couple parents to be more inclusive and change the name,” Kuske told Fox 40.
School principal Daniel McCord agreed with the change. “However the child wants to define their family, whoever they want to bring with them they’re able to do that,” McCord said….