​Little Girl Banned From School Dance Because She Doesn't Have a Dad

dad-daughter danceAn 8-year-old girl who was barred from attending a Father-Daughter dance because her dad is no longer in her life will now have a special event held in her honor. Shawna Steeves and her daughter, Meghan, were shocked when they heard the parent/teacher organization (PTO) at Southwest Elementary School in Lawson, Missouri, where Meghan attends would stick to its guns and enforce its "no moms allowed" policy -- even after a principal had said Mom could go as her little girl's date. 

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Shawna explains:

One option they gave was that they [the PTO] would find a male substitute to take her, which was out of the question. She told me that she didn't want to make kids feel like outcasts. But where did my daughter fit in all of this? They didn't even offer me a chaperone position.

Can you imagine how left out a child would feel if all her friends are going and she couldn't because of a situation that was completely out of her control? We really feel for this mom having to explain this all to her child too.

Fortunately, a community service group, Missouri Widows Sons Masonic Riders Association, has organized "Meghan's Dance," inspired by Steeves, so children with similar circumstances will be able to enjoy an evening with family and friends. 

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That's wonderful news, but still, aren't PTOs supposed to be about the kids? What if your parent has passed away or you come from a family with two moms or two dads? 

It's these very same organizations that typically sponsor anti-bullying assemblies that preach the value of inclusion, so you'd expect them to be prepared to accommodate families with differences.

The Steeves family is not unique. If schools are planning to host Daddy-Daughter or Mother-Son dances, they should be open to the idea that not every child will be able to meet those criteria, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to attend -- or worse, that they should feel excluded. Accommodations should be made to include all kids -- even those with "nontraditional" families.

Do you think this PTO needs to change its mindset?


Image © Randy Faris/CORBIS

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