0
   

School rules for inclusion. Another day another outrage.

 
 
Reply Wed 14 Feb, 2018 11:56 am
Here is the outrage of the day (from DailyKos via the MeToo thread).

The school has a policy. It appears to be gender neutral (I see no reporting otherwise). If a girl asks a boy to dance, he should dance with her. If a boy asks a girl to dance, she should dance with him. (There is no indication of whether this includes same sex couples, but that is another issue).

http://fox13now.com/2018/02/08/utah-mom-upset-after-school-tells-6th-graders-they-cant-say-no-when-asked-to-dance/

The school states very clearly that the purpose of the policy is inclusion.

When are making up your mind about this, think about a similar rule where a student needs to be a science lab partner if another student asks. This rule clearly benefits girls and minorities and would lead to inclusion. If I remember correctly, I was often assigned lab partners.

The outrage is all over the liberal blogosphere today. Maybe this rule is a mistake... but it clearly is aiming for a worthy goal where kids don't get left out. What should 6th grade teachers do for kids who for whatever reason (e.g. race, disability) are excluded from an activity that all of the other kids are doing.

A school dance is a school activity. It is not sex. If you tell boys that they need to work with a girl as a lab partner when he would rather not... it is a similar circumstance.
 
hightor
 
  4  
Reply Wed 14 Feb, 2018 12:27 pm
@maxdancona,
Why bother having the kids go through the charade of "asking" if there's only one allowable response? Why not just assign dance partners? Why give unappealing people the mistaken belief that other people want to dance with them? What kind of life skills are being taught here?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Feb, 2018 12:47 pm
@hightor,
I have danced Contra Dance since I was a kid. The culture was always clear, if someone asked me to dance I should dance with them. This worked pretty well to make a fun, social environment.

Recently this has been changing, I think in part because of the issue of consent... but it is still just a dance. There is still a kind of rule that if you say "no" to a dance you should sit it out so as not to hurt someone's feelings. But even this is going away.

There is something to be said for a inclusive environment where social interaction is welcomed by all.
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  3  
Reply Wed 14 Feb, 2018 01:29 pm
@maxdancona,
I saw an article on this in the Washington Post. It seems insane to make any student say yes to this. The article doesn't say if the same thinking applies to a boy if a girl asks him...or are we returning to the old days when females were not allowed to ask a man (or woman) out? A dance should be a fun social occasion. I didn't dance but enjoyed hanging out at a few of these things when I was in high school.

As to lab partners, two schools made it easy. Each desk was a 2-fer and you got stuck with them. There was no choice or teaming up with your pal or girlfriend/boyfriend. Another school ran it alphabetically. Later on as a teacher, I modified the alphabetically and went with the end of the alphabet for boys and beginning for girls, the following term, I'd switch and in odd number fall terms, it was start at the center and work from there...alternating towards a then z. Got some interesting pairings.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Feb, 2018 01:39 pm
@Sturgis,
Why not just adopt the military system: alphabetically according to height?
Sturgis
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Feb, 2018 02:06 pm
@roger,
Quote:
...according to height.


No, never!

I was height challenged as a youth...still am on the shorter side of things. Always stuck at the front of the line. Alphabetically, I am usually at the end. I can never win Crying or Very sad
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Feb, 2018 02:57 pm
Did anyone else have dance as part of gym class in school? I think this was common.

I can't remember how they ensured that even the unpopular kids were included. I think they may have just matched us up and told us to dance.

There are lots of things kids don't want to do in school.
Sturgis
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Feb, 2018 03:32 pm
@maxdancona,
There was dance in the lower grades (1-6) as part of phys ed. All I remember is the dizzying mayopole dance...on a hot sunny day in the schoolyard (not a bright idea) and some strange Hawaiian thing where we sat on the floor and hit sticks together in something resembling rhythm. (How that related to physical education is still beyond me!).

One of my complaints against the school dance in the article above, is that, it seems a little young and inappropriate to the having a Valentine's Day dance, since the day relates to romance. How many 10 or 11 or 12 year olds are really at that stage? (article mentions 6th graders)
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Feb, 2018 04:58 pm
@Sturgis,
http://ih.constantcontact.com/fs153/1103636083896/img/1421.jpg

I think this is fairly common in schools. I don't think it has anything to do sexual assault.

Sturgis
 
  2  
Reply Wed 14 Feb, 2018 06:38 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
I don't think it has anything to do with sexual assault.


If you read what I wrote, I never said it was sexual assault. My concern was and is, regarding the appropriateness or lack thereof, for a Valentine's Day dance since, Valentine's Day is typically associated with romance. Save that for middle school seniors or high school.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Feb, 2018 06:50 pm
@Sturgis,
I am sorry Sturgis. I shouldn't have said that. That comment was in no way meant to be directed at you.
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Feb, 2018 06:51 pm
@maxdancona,
No problem.

0 Replies
 
ekename
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Feb, 2018 07:51 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
dance as part of gym


Only the traditional ancient greek polka.

0 Replies
 
TheCarolG
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Mar, 2018 04:36 pm
@maxdancona,
I think you give a very valid point. It is great that this school is trying to create a policy of inclusion, one that would attempt to combat the exclusive nature of middle school. However, while I think a policy of inclusion is great I don't think this particular instance is the best way to teach children about the inclusion of others.
I believe that forcing the students to say yes to a request to dance is solidifying the wrong message: that girls can't say no. I know this might seem a little extreme and I understand that saying yes is polite but why must the students choice be taken away?
Students are already heavily controlled and while in some instants I agree with that supervision I don't believe that schools need to constantly micromanage their students. I'm not saying let the student have control of what they will and will not do (as in work or participation in class), that would be impractical. But I do believe that there are other ways to teach inclusion and acceptance that don't take away a person's ability to say no. Forcing children to participate in an event that causes them discomfort and strips them of their voice is not an activity or policy that should be enforced because it's very doubtful that inclusion is the message they take home. The lesson of inclusion is very important but within the right context.
School has a big impact on children and teaches them basic skills and life lessons. Taking away one groups ability of choice is just teaching the children as a whole that some peoples opinions are not relevant or even essential. How can such an event be inclusive if it deprives some children of a choice?
Young girls and boys deserve to be taught that their voice matters and that their opinions are valid. It is also imperative that adolescents are taught that your gender doesn't determine your importance and that every person deserves the right to choose and be respected for their decision.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Mar, 2018 04:43 pm
@TheCarolG,
Quote:
I believe that forcing the students to say yes to a request to dance is solidifying the wrong message: that girls can't say no.


Quote:
Taking away one groups ability of choice is just teaching the children as a whole that some peoples opinions are not relevant or even essential. How can such an event be inclusive if it deprives some children of a choice?


Do you see your own bias here?

From every telling of the story I have seen, the policy is that that every child should accept an invitation. You have changed this, based on your own bias, to a story that only girls are forced to accept. That isn't what actually happened. Facts matter.

This policy was applied equally to all children. Boys were just as much victims and just as much "deprived of a chioice".

You can still disagree with the policy. The idea that girls are victims in this story is a myth.

TheCarolG
 
  2  
Reply Fri 2 Mar, 2018 06:07 pm
@maxdancona,
I apologize for my bias and I see your points. I didn't mean to offend you or your opinions. I was trying to promote the idea of a different kind of inclusive policy. I misunderstood the policy but i still think that no matter what gender, a child deserves the right to say no. I did not say that girls were victims I was merely implying that by forcing the children to say yes it can lead them to feel uncomfortable and even trapped within the situation. Forcing the children to say yes can teach them that everyone will say yes to them and that is just not life. No matter what gender, a person can be taught to believe that what they want will be given to them and when it is not they will take it (not saying for all cases). Maybe again I am digging too much into this but I think it's ok to have my own opinion on this. My opinion is valid as is yours.
The reason I wrote what I did earlier was because, in my experience and knowledge of that age, children are very concerned with image. A girl is expected to be asked by a boy to dance and it is seen as taboo for the girl to ask the guy. I'm not saying this is right it is just what I've seen. In this instance I figured usually the boys would be doing most of the asking but it was me who was at fault because I generalized. I think everyone's opinion matters and I also think children should be taught to respect each other more. Teaching respect could only benefit their generation.
I think reaching children when they are young is the best defense against sexism. We can be taught to respect one another, no matter what gender you are.
I still disagree with this policy because I don't think the school should control the children to that extent. I thought it was great that they aimed for an inclusive policy but I think there are other ways to promote this.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Fri 2 Mar, 2018 07:25 pm
@TheCarolG,
There is a political agenda behind the outrage from this story. The narrative is that the school is oppressing girls, and this narrative is accepted because it fits a political ideology. That is why there is such an outrage. In reality, the outrage is not justified by the facts.

Probably the school had the right intention, whether or not the policy was foolish or not. My daughter's elementary school has a policy that you have to bring Valentines Day gifts to all students if you bring them for any... they do this to prevent kids from getting excluded.

- I disagree with you that this has anything to do with sexism. If the policy was applied to all kids regardless of gender, then this claim is ridiculous.

- I disagree with you that it is taboo for girls to ask boys to dance. My daughter doesn't feel this way. If this case, then this policy where girls can ask boys to dance is a way to address that.

- I disagree with the absurd implication that middle school dancing (these are 10 to 12 year olds) is sexual assault. I do folk dancing and Salsa dancing... if someone asks me to dance, I dance with them. I am a heterosexual man. When I folk dance, I sometimes dance with other men. It is not a big deal. Dancing is not sex, the confusion between the two is laughable.

The real issue here is the gender stereotypes that are being applied to girls and boys by adult feminists. It feminist who are seeing girls as passive and helpless. It is feminists who are saying that dancing in middle school is victimization of girls.

The feminist outrage is ridiculous. I am not sure that I fully support the policy... but it isn't worth the outrage. If there was a situation where black kids were being excluded, or overweight kids, I would likely support this policy. There is no nuance here.

I want my daughter to see herself as confident, safe, able to dance with lots of people, inclusive. Feminists want to teach my daughter to be scared, aloof, victimized and unwilling to dance. That's not what I want for her.



TheCarolG
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2018 12:56 pm
@maxdancona,
I see what you're saying but I think you are taking some of what I said out of context. I tried to make it clear that from my experience and what I've seen of kids at that age is that they are focused on image. I'm not saying this is for all. Your daughter gives a good example of someone who doesn't follow along with the crowd just as I am sure there are many others like this. I just know many younger girls feel like it is taboo to be the ones who ask someone to dance or to "date." Once again I am not saying this is right or that is implies to all children I am just stating that this is what I have seen.
I don't think this is an act of sexism either. I was trying to convey that a way to combat sexism is to teach and educate children on respect, acceptance, and inclusion. I think taking away any genders (male, female, ect.) choice though, even if they are children, is still teaching the wrong message.
I also think the mother in the article was just upset that her daughter was forced to do something she didn't want to do. As a parent I would suspect you may understand the desire to protect and make your daughter happy and comfortable. Whether the mother in the article took it to far is up for each individual to decide but can you not understand where this parent is coming from? This is not an attack it is just a simple inquiry.

I also feel like there has always been a stereotype set for males and females even before the feminist movement began. Males are expected to be masculine, strong and unemotional while females are expected to be submissive, ladylike, and soft spoken. There are more gender stereotypes and when I list these I do not imply that this is what men and women are like, I simply wish to display unfair expectations placed on people because of their gender. To say feminists are the cause of these stereotypes or why boys and girls are expected to fit these stereotypes is unfair. We are all taught gender expectations, from our parents, school, friends, work, strangers, media, etc. Parents are the first people to imply gender stereotypes, not on purpose of course but that is what they were taught (along with all of us) to do. Does a parent treat their daughter exactly like they treat their son? I wouldn't expect them to but that is my very point. We don't treat them the same because different things are presumed of them. I'm not trying to blame anyone for stereotyping because we all do it. Our culture and society shapes us into who we are.

I also don't think a middle school dance is sexual assault either. I don't think that's what people were implying and if some were then they have it all wrong. Whoever insinuated that dance is sex is not understanding the meaning of sexual assault. However the way you say these things makes it sound, to me, like you are disregarding the seriousness of sexual assault. I may have read it wrong and I apologize if there is any misinterpretation.

I feel like it is pretty biased to say that feminists want to teach your daughter to be scared, aloof, victimized and unwilling to dance. To claim that only feminists are causing fear in girls is close minded. Nobody is born afraid we must be taught and women are taught at a young age. Women are taught to take precautions, stay in groups, plan ahead and to expect the worst. It is a sad reality but I cannot say that feminists are the sole reason for this. We all see the statistics for rape and sexual assault and as a result we try to teach our young women how to avoid such situations but what we teach them is to be afraid of the world. There is a difference between being sensible and being afraid. We all have a part to play in this sad reality. And when you state that women are taught to aloof and unwilling to dance I feel as if you are looking at feminism wrong. In truth there are many different types of feminism, many different theories. When you claim these things about feminists you focus on only a radical feminist view. Not all feminists believe the same things. There is intersectionality feminism, liberal feminism, atheist feminism, cultural feminism, marxist and socialist feminism, eco-feminism, and so many more. You generalize all feminists into a box when the feminist community is a diverse and ongoing thing. It is ongoing in the sense that new theories and ideas are being presented and each part is questioned to form better opinions.

I commend you on what you teach your daughter, all those things are very important. I just hope you can see that not all feminists want to teach girls that the world is bad and that men are out to get them. Each feminist theory has a different definition for feminism and what that looks like. For me I just wish for an end in oppression, but not just for women for everyone. I wish for a world where we all respected each other and where people wouldn't be put down based on what they look like or what their gender is (and the countless other things). There are a lot of things I wish for and as someone who associates with feminism and the feminist movement I just hope people can see that essentially feminism to is equality.
Feminism is not a political movement and those who use it as such are not presenting feminism in the correct light. Feminism is a social movement before a political one.

Thank you for sharing all your beliefs and I hope you do not take offense to what I said. I am not blaming you for anything and I respect your opinions and thank you for them. It is nice to speak to someone with different views on things and I can see how it has opened my mind and broadened my perspective. I hold to my opinions but I see where yours are just as valid and hold merit.

0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » School rules for inclusion. Another day another outrage.
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/15/2019 at 06:08:21