Question: Issues with gender specific events.

Has anyone had any legal issues with holding a Father/Daughter event and a Mother/Son event (different days and events)? We have a parent who is very vocal about the girls being excluded from a Mother/Son event as girls are apparently a "protected class", even though they have their own event with dad or someone else special. Any help on how to handle this would be appreciated. Thank you!

Asked by kerstie



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
We haven't heard of legal cases over these events, but they definitely have been controversial in various communities over the last several years. A common issue has involved single moms who want to attend the father-daughter dance with their child. Another concern has been the names, which don't always reflect nontraditional families. A girl with a single parent might want to bring an uncle, for example.

This isn't legal advice, obviously, but in general we don't see a problem with these types of events. I'd recommend if you do hold them that you be inclusive -- don't turn away anyone who wants to attend, create names that are inviting and don't seem to exclude nonparents, and create equivalent events for boys and girls (don't have a dance for girls and a field day for boys, for instance).

We have a current Facebook thread with lots of alternative names for these events. Good luck, and please let us know how this turns out.

Answer this question: