This Friday was supposed to be a father-daughter dance for elementary school students in Staten Island, New York.
But now that dance had been postponed because of concerns that it would violate the state’s new gender guidelines that aim to create a more inclusive space for transgender people, according to the New York Post.
“Gender-based policies, rules, and practices can have the effect of marginalizing, stigmatizing, stereotyping and excluding students, whether or not they are transgender or gender nonconforming,” read the guidelines from the New York City Department of Education. “For these reasons, schools should review such policies, rules and practices, and should eliminate any that do not serve a clear pedagogical purpose.
“Examples may include such practices as gender-based graduation gowns, lines, and/or attire for yearbook pictures.”
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Instead, the dance has been postponed until March, when people of all gender identities will be able to attend, according to CBS New York.
“We have clear guidelines in place that require schools to maintain welcoming and supportive environments at all events,” a spokeswoman for the Department of Education told Staten Island Live, “and (the principal) worked closely with the PTA to ensure the event was in the best interest of the entire school community.”
That hasn’t gone over well with some people with children at the school, PS 65.
“It’s almost as if they’re taking it away,” Matt West, a father, told CBS.
Akaia Cameron, a mom of a third-grader at the school, didn’t mince words.
“All this gender crap needs to just stop,” she told the Post.
Angelina Lubo, a fifth-grader who was preparing for the big dance, called it “kind of a letdown.”
Even Donald Trump Jr. weighed in on the controversy.
But not everyone is upset about the gender-segregated dance being nixed.
“If there’s a situation that’s going to make a child uncomfortable, feel left out, sad because they can’t attend that’s not what we want,” parent Roxanne Ingroe told CBS.
There’s been a growing push for gender inclusivity as more children begin to self-identify as something other than the gender they were assigned at birth. A study of 81,000 Minnesota teens found that 3 percent of ninth- and 11th-graders identified as gender nonconforming or transgender, according to The Associated Press.
That includes debate over gender neutral bathrooms, clothing lines that both boys and girls can wear and pronouns for those who identify as neither male nor female.