February 9, 2018

"Utah mom upset after school tells 6th graders they can’t say no when asked to dance."

Fox 13 Salt Lake City reports.
“The teacher said she... has to say yes. She has to accept and I said, 'Excuse me,” [Natalie] Richard tells Fox 13..... "[The principal] basically just said they’ve had this dance set up this way for a long time and they’ve never had any concern before,” she said of his response....

“I do see it from their perspective [of kindness and inclusiveness]... but there are many other ways to teach children how to be accepting than with a social dance,” Richard counters....

“Sends a bad message to girls that girls have to say 'yes'; sends a bad message to boys that girls can’t say 'no,'" Richard said.... “Psychologically, my daughter keeps coming to me and saying I can’t say 'no' to a boy," she said. "That’s the message kids are getting."
I'll reserve my comment so as not to prejudice the answers to this poll:

Who is right and wrong here?
 
pollcode.com free polls

149 comments:

Gahrie said...

It's not "asking" if you're not allowed to say no.

rhhardin said...

6th grade boys are not interested in dancing.

They have to be forced to attend.

buwaya said...

Too many rules. We had no such rules, in either direction.

When we had school dances (a boys school - with the inmates of a girls school) it was supervised by nuns and everyone knew whom everyone else's mothers were.

There are advantages of Gemeinschaft vs Gesellschaft

mockturtle said...

Should youngsters grow up with no experience of rejection or disappointment? If so, how will they develop the coping skills necessary to live in the rough-and-tumble 'real world'?

buwaya said...

"6th grade boys are not interested in dancing.

They have to be forced to attend."

And 6th grade girls are not terribly interested in 6th grade boys.

langford peel said...

Next thing you know they are going to force her to kiss a tranny in the big brother house.

mockturtle said...

The only sixth grade dance in memory is the one where, when it was 'girls' choice', I told my friend I was going to ask a very handsome black attendee to dance. She told me, "He won't dance with white girls". I though that was awful but I believed her and didn't ask.

DougWeber said...

A lot depends on the context. At that age, I am not sure if this dance is a "social" event. At that age, being rejected is going to be hard. It is hard enough for a boy to ask. To be rejected is bad.

If they are worried about things, they should alternate the boys asking and the girls asking. If they are cruel, they do the alternating thing and allow people to say no. Watch the girls get destroyed. 6 grade boys can be really cruel.

Roy Jacobsen said...

Yes, we should be teaching everyone--boys and girls--to be kind. But that's a seriously ham-fisted way of forcing it.

And you know how well forced kindness works out.

Earnest Prole said...

This is exactly how Rob Porter, once a nice Mormon boy, became a wife beater.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I am so thankful that the adults in my life were not trying to micromanage every single f'ing thing in my life when I was in junior high.

Francisco D said...

Education bureaucrats = people who were not smart enough to get into Psychology grad programs, but think they understand adolescent psychology.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

AJ Lynch said...

Real Life is beginning to mimic....

1- Really bad Twilight Zone episode
2- Nonstop life advice from idiots
3- Riding a bike with training wheels your entire life because they said so
4- A Life without anticipation or surprises

PackerBronco said...

There should be a fourth option:

4. The school's policy is bad because it's none of their friggin' business.

Nonapod said...

Why is everybody so afraid to feel bad about themselves? What's so wrong about having doubt in ones abilities and status in life? The real world isn't perfect or fair. People aren't equal. People aren't guaranteed to be happy all the time. Bad stuff happens. Rotten luck happens. You can work hard and do everything right but still fail.

But all that is what makes life interesting.

exiledonmainstreet said...

exiledonmainstreet said...
I am so thankful that the adults in my life were not trying to micromanage every single f'ing thing in my life when I was in junior high.

2/9/18, 1:04 PM


Well, OK these kids are a little younger than junior high. (I don't remember any 6th grade dances, just 7th and 8th grade ones.) Still, this constant butting into the social lives of kids to prevent them from experiencing any sort of disappointment or pain will not end well.

Yancey Ward said...

We have set a goal for ourselves to fuck you over.

Inga said...

Good grief! So boys mustn’t be turned down? Or girls either for that matter? What a terrible message, forcing physical contact between unwilling partners (particularly children) because one of them may feel hurt? It’s going to hurt the boy or girl that’s been coerced too. Even if they’re not touching, it’s a creepy concept. Being able to say no to the opposite sex is something young people need to learn and be comfortable with. They can teach them how not to be little asses about the refusal though, it’s a part of teaching manners

Yancey Ward said...

Or maybe it should be "We have set a goal for ourselves to fuck you up?"

Yancey Ward said...

Or, "We have set a goal for ourselves to fuck with you?"

Drago said...

I can't imagine why so many parents want to homeschool their children.

It's inexplicable.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The school's policy is bad. Kids need to learn to deal with rejection and public humiliation.

Drago said...

Inga: "Being able to say no to the opposite sex..."

Uh oh.

Looks like someone needs a little "re-education" here....

Bay Area Guy said...

It's cultural leftism. There may be a boy somewhere who has his feelings hurt because a girl said No. More so, the girl may be racist or classist or something.

So, we can't have hurt feelings under any circumstance.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlbertAnonymous said...

Good Lord!

Good parents having been teaching their girls for a long time that its polite and nice to say yes, and rude to say no (unless you already promised the dance to someone else). If the boy has the courage to ask you, you accept.

Good parents have also been teaching their girls for a long time that you're saying yes to dance. It's a DANCE. You're not agreeing to sex, or grab ass or anything else. And if he does any such thing you can exit the floor, tell the teachers, or frankly slap him across the face.

Polite and Nice ends when he (or anyone) treats you badly.

This is how kids learn these things in reasonably safe environments.

For the love of God, what is wrong with people.... Does no one teach their kids manners anymore?

rcocean said...

Why are 6th graders dancing?

Boys must have changed. I had ZERO interest in dancing with Girls in the 6th grade.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I didn't vote in the poll because I think the policy is bad, but not "exactly" for the reasons the mother set out.

rcocean said...

Why are we always concerned about "Teaching young girls lessons"

What about Boys?

rcocean said...

Is it because "young girls" are weak minded idiots?

bagoh20 said...

Although I was mostly an obedient kid in elementary school, I got into some trouble now and then and was forced to sit in the hallway, and even got spanked with a board in the Principal's office a couple times. He closes the door to his office, makes me bend over his desk and spanks me with a board that hung on the wall. Then I go back to class embarrassed, but fine. Even then my parents were never even informed of it, let alone got involved. That seems unbelievable now, but so does walking blocks to school alone at 6 years old. With all that lack of supervision, it seems like issues with both behavior and danger with kids was far less common, and certainly far less of a concern for parents. How did that world survive. It seems impossible by modern standards, but I would never trade that for the experience of today's kids. I feel blessed by the independence and self-sufficiency, and confidence it created in me. It would be an impossible sell to today's adults, but I think we're very lucky to be so ignored.

Pillage Idiot said...

My 6th grade daughter has her first school dance tonight. I let her do invitations to her friends - that Dad would get them pizza and drive to the dance. She has five takers so far. An older sister will help with a little makeup.

There will now be a group of girls at the dance. If a boy tries to take one out of the gym, the others will be watching. If some of the girls get asked to dance, there will not be a single lonely girl embarrassed to be left behind - instead there will be a small group left behind for support.

I also get to meet the parents of some of her new friends when the girls get dropped off at my house.

When it takes "a village" to raise kids, there are huge gaps of no compassion with the obvious results. In my opinion, involved parents are a much superior solution.

We do have the problem of kids with no parental support, but running every school function at the level of the least common denominator is more harm than help.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

So does the school enforce the same policy if a boy asks a boy to dance? If not, the school is asking for a lawsuit.

bagoh20 said...

And if there was a dance like this, you just did it, whether you wanted to or not. You just did what the authority figure said. You might break rules when out of sight, but never in front of them or indirect objection. It just didn't happen. It was understood, and teachers were trusted by everyone. They were above reproach.

robother said...

Sounds bad, but context might be helpful. What kind of dancing? (Foxtrot and waltzes like I learned in gym class? or grind like late 90s?) School with sharp divisions in economic social status, leading to low status boys and girls being constantly humiliated at dances?
Even so, seems like a typically thick public school solution.

FWBuff said...

How to say no and still be kind:

"No, thank you."

That's not hard to learn and shouldn't be hard to hear.

Clyde said...

Probably would've been better if the school was in Oklahoma than Utah:

Oklahoma! - I Cain't Say No

AJ Lynch said...

Pillage - you sure don't sound like an idiot to me!

reader said...

My upbringing must have been twisted. I was taught that if a guy asked you to dance you said yes. My friends and I followed this rule well into our twenties at clubs. You didn’t have to dance with him more than once and you didn’t have to dance with someone who tripped your ick factor (made you nervous or they seemed off).

This meant we were always dancing. They were almost always polite and more than once they stepped in when things got uncomfortable with other guys.

madAsHell said...

everyone knew whom everyone else's mothers were.

I was more worried about her brothers!! It's funny how the proximity of family members can influence your....desires.


richlb said...

What if you were asked by a transgendered person. TRANSPHOBE!

Leslie Graves said...

The school also wants the parents to gracefully accept and say "yes" to all their policies.

Joshua Barker said...

While I appreciate the schools sentiment in trying to make everyone feel included, learning how to deal with rejection and being turned down are some of those "tough life lessons" that every well-functioning adult has had to go through at some point or another (for some of us, more often than others)..

All this policy does is make everyone feel uncomfortable (believe me, a boy can tell when a girl that doesn't like him is forced to be near him) and creates either a false sense of acceptance or of entitlement.

Thomas Cooper said...

Was attendance mandatory at the dance?

readering said...

Whole thing sounds crazy to me but I voted for going along since it's voluntary and has been the way things have been conducted for a while without incident. But go back to normal dances.

Hagar said...

What exactly do they mean by a "dance?"

I picked up my son from a high school "dance" once, and they were all more or less standing around solo, shaking in time with the music with lots of flashing lights and noise.

What are they doing today? Waltzes? Two-step?

langford peel said...

Grade school dances are always extremely awkward.

If you don't believe me just ask Woody Allen.

He has a hard time getting any of the girls to dance with him for some reason.

He doesn't understand because so many big name feminist actresses will do what ever he wants to be in one of his movies.

Don't these prepubescent fools know who he is?

langford peel said...

In other news we have a member of the Trump administration being accused of wife beating and sexual abuse.

I think that it is terrible and we should have a televised inquisition into this degrading sexual abuse.

Maybe we can get Matt Laurer or Charlie Rose to interview him and get to the bottom of this.

It is just shocking. Shocking I tell you!

Virgil Hilts said...

This is stupid, but one thing you can say in favor of Utah public schools (and that drives teachers unions crazy): (i) Utah typically ranks in the bottom 5 states (often 50th!) in per-pupil expend, and (ii) in the top 15-20 states in student achievement. A real outlier.

Triangle Man said...

How did it work with dance cards? The school should do that because that's what we did when America was great.

I Callahan said...

If so, how will they develop the coping skills necessary to live in the rough-and-tumble 'real world'?

I think rhhardin may have more to say about this, but modern education as taught by women seems to be that people ought not have to live in a rough-and-tumble "real world", because that would be "unfair".

Ken B said...

I am surprised at how many voters reject "Don't be rude". I played card tournaments where you play once with everyone as a partner. Or chess tournaments where you play everyone. Was that training us to be Harvey Weinstein?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The school is probably trying to counteract shyness. But the better way to do that would be by assigning and rotating dance partners. I seem to recall something like this in 5th or 6th grade gym class. Square dancing.

Howard said...

For 6th grade graduation, we did a square dance performance for the parents. That meant that we had square dancing practice once a week for months and months. No one could say no to the random partners that we were forced to dance with. What I learned that no matter what the girl looked like, they all smelled good and were soft and curvy. Good Times

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I think this no-rejection policy is a good idea. It will help prepare the kids for next month's key party social.

mockturtle said...

If a guy with whom you'd rather not dance seems to be headed toward you, just look away and avoid eye contact. He'll probably get the message.

wwww said...


Why are elementary students holding a Valentine's Day dance? 6th grade is young to encourage romantic pairings.

A school square dance, or any line dance such as Scottish country dancing would be appropriate. But those pairings don't imply romantic connection, and you dance with a bunch of people up and down the line. If the kids are learning how to formal dance, I could see assigned partners.

I could see, in the context of a formal dance lesson, that a cotillion dance teacher might ask that all say yes to partners, so the dance class can move forward in a smooth manner.

Not appropriate to insist that a girl to say yes to slow dancing at unstructured school dances.

mockturtle said...

I seem to recall something like this in 5th or 6th grade gym class. Square dancing.

Yes, I remember those. Everybody danced with everybody.

But Ignorance is Bliss brings up a valid point: Under the school's rules, if a person of the same sex asks you to dance does that mean you have to accept?

Sydney said...

Brings back memories. We didn't have rules like this, but my sixth grade teacher would let us have a dance in the classroom once in a while as a special treat. It included slow dances, and I don't remember people saying "no" when asked. We were just happy to get out of some classroom work for a little bit.

Jupiter said...

Do any of you do the assigned reading before coming to class?

"Prior to the dance, which is voluntary, students are told to fill out a card by selecting five people they want to dance with."

I think that kind of changes the situation.

Trumpit said...

I don't like the choices, so I refrained from voting. I would select, X) Don't bring a gun to school. I would advise her to do her homework first, and worry about social activities later. I would ask her if is she were gay, and would like to dance with a girl. I would tell her not to get pregnant or she'd have to live in a convent, not in my house. She may not know how to dance, and that might make her self-conscious. I'd put her up for adoption, if it's not too late.

Jupiter said...

When I took dance in college, there were four guys in a class of about forty, and two of us were gay. No one *ever* refused to dance with me. I tried not to play favorites. Very bad preparation indeed for the cruel world outside the walls of academe.

William Chadwick said...

As the saying goes, all your children belong to us. ("Us" being the "liberal" Hive.)

sean said...

What Albert A said. Also, if you read the article, you will note that (i) parents have been informed of the rules and (ii) attendance is voluntary. I think the rules as Albert A stated them are the rules at adult dances, so it is best if those rules are implemented for children, but of course, if you don't want your child to go under those terms, you don't have to send them. Set up a separate all-girl gathering and see who wants to come.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

If the mom had been at the dance, and a boy came up and asked her daughter to dance, the mom would have made her daughter say yes. Am I wrong?

AllenS said...

The way I figure it, the teacher didn't vote for Trump, and owns a pussy hat.

Professional lady said...

My husband and I took ballroom dance lessons for several years before ballroom dance became "in" again. Really improved my balance and coordination. There was open dance at the school on Saturday nights for practice and enjoyment. Our dance teacher told us there were only two acceptable reasons to refuse a request to dance with someone. Either you were too tired or you didn't know the dance. If you refused someone, you had to sit out that dance. You could not dance with someone else. That's the etiquette that was explained to us.

Etienne said...

6th grade is young to encourage romantic pairings.

My experience was, that the girls were getting a full dose of hormones in the sixth grade, but most of the boys were not interested in parties. I seem to recall we were still male bonding.

Birches said...

People are just looking for ways to be outraged these days. If somebody had the guts to come and ask me to dance, I would never say no. This shouldn't have to be a rule, but it should be a sign that your daughter will never learn how to say no either. People are dumb.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I remember square dancing too! I had forgotten all about that until Howard and mockturtle brought it up. We thought we'd hate it - how corny and uncool! But then we all discovered it was a lot of fun, a great way to burn off all that excess energy and yes, a good way to avoid anybody having hurt feelings, although that never occurred to us at that time.


It's also a way to teach kids that dancing doesn't have to mean anything overtly sexual.

TWW said...

"Man denied employment, sues company for lack of inclusiveness"

Unknown said...

When my son was in an early grade at school (he's 33 yrs old now) they had to ban the kids giving out Valentines to classmates. They had instituted a rule requiring that any kid that wanted to hand out Valentines had to give one to every one of their classmates. Every year, apparently, some subset of kids refused to comply, thus they banned the practice all together.

This is why we can't have nice things.

-sw

Kevin said...

That there IS a policy is horrific, no matter what the policy is.

Roughcoat said...

In 5th grade dance class in the 1950s we were taught that it was protocol for the girl to always accept a request to dance ("may I have this dance?") and for a boy to always yield his partner when another boy tapped him on the shoulder and asked "may I cut in?" It was also proper protocol for the girl to always dance with her new partner. This had nothing to do with micro-managing the situation or with either sparing or offending the sensibilities of the dancers. It was the way boys and girls were taught to behave as adults on the dance floor. Thus the experience was not just a dance lesson but also a lesson in courtesy and how to behave in a proper manner with members of the opposite sex and one's own sex as well. It was a civilizing lesson and experience. And for that reason it was a very good thing indeed.

The Elder said...

Just make every other dance a "ladies choice." Everyone can learn what it means to be stripped of free will and not to be able to say no.

It was always girls I didn't want to dance with that would ask me to dance on those occasions. It taught me that I didn't like being polite at those dances as my mother said I should be. But it took a few more years before I just became rude.

Jupiter said...

I'm actually kind of surprised they are still acknowledging that the vast majority of human beings are heterosexual, and dancing is something you do with a member of the opposite sex. I expect there will be some lawsuits and then everyone will be required to give everyone else oral sex. Not to worry, condoms and dental dams supplied.

Roughcoat said...

A big part of the dance class was being taught proper etiquette in mixed-sex social situations. For boys -- especially boys like yours truly from big Irish/German families where proper etiquette was often observed only in the breach -- these lessons were as useful as they were necessary. We boys learned not to be barbarians with girls and, later, with women. I can't speak for what the girls got out of it but I'm thinking that they learned to feminine and ladylike. Which are also good things.

Jokah Macpherson said...

Kids have to do a lot of stupid stuff adults make them do. It's nothing new and it's not the end of the world.

I mean 6th graders are no geniuses but give them a little credit. I think they can discern between "I have to put up with dancing with that awkward boy for two minutes at this one voluntary school event just so adults can make some stupid point about inclusion," and "I'm not allowed to refuse any man who propositions me the rest of my life."

Roughcoat said...

In the Midwestern milieu into which I was born and in which I was raised being polite is a primary virtue -- much more so, say, than in a place like New York City where being brash seems primary. The lesson of dance class -- asking politely on the part of the man, accepting politely on the part of the woman -- proved excellent preparation for adulthood, specifically for having happy rewarding relationships with women.

What I didn't realize at the time was that learning the dance class protocols of politesse was an important first step in learning the art of courtship and, more importantly, seduction.

This is an important point to grasp. The training in dance class etiquette constituted an introduction to mating rituals. That training stood me in good stead when I came of age and took part in those rituals. It lent mystery and excitment to the endeavor. It made courtship and sex meaningful ... and fun.

Koot Katmandu said...

I think as long as it works both ways. Boy asked by girl to dance he should dance too. Not enough information here. If they did not let girls ask the boys to dance then of course it is horrible.

Ken B said...

The school has a badminton day. It’s voluntary. But if you show up you have to play with whoever you are paired with. No refusing to play with the Jewish kid.
The voters here think that a *bad* policy. I know that because like Jupiter I know what the actual dance rule is.
Jeez Louise. “Don’t come unless you are willing to play with anyone” — monstrous!

Jupiter said...

"If they did not let girls ask the boys to dance then of course it is horrible."

See? Any vestige of sanity is now suspect. What am I saying? Not suspect, "horrible". A few lawsuits and it'll be free condoms all around for the After-Lunch Hookup.

Jokah Macpherson said...

Just curious - anyone who is part of the partner dancing circuit, do you sometimes say "no" when someone asks, and if so, what are your reasons?

I do a lot of swing dancing and generally never refuse if someone asks because (1) I'm at a dance and (2) I'm not dancing with anyone else, so even a polite refusal with no reason given would imply that the woman was so unattractive that dancing with her was worse than just standing there doing nothing. Which everyone says should be totally ok but most people would think it was impolite if I said, "No, you're too ugly," even though it's the exact same message being conveyed.

And the other option would be to make up a benign sounding excuse like, "No, I'm tired and I'm gonna sit this one out," but then you're getting into dishonesty and you're engaging in preference falsification just as much as if you were subject to the "dance with everyone who asks" rule.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Sexual selection doesn't work if you can't say no.

mockturtle said...

The main concern is for both parties to save face. While I don't recall ever refusing a dance there might be circumstances that would require it. But sixth graders are really very young and should be free of the complications of relationships that might make it necessary, e.g., someone who is relentlessly persistent when you have made it clear you aren't interested.

Mike Sylwester said...

In my blog about the movie Dirty Dancing, I posted excerpts from an article by Gary Needham, a teacher in a university Film Studies department. His article was titled "Heteros and Hustlers: Straightness and Dirtiness in Dirty Dancing".

Needham reflexively disliked the movie because he had bad memories of being the sissy who always was made to dance with the fat girl at the school's Christmas dance.

On the other hand, he felt that this experience explained why he reflexively liked the move Hairspray.

https://dirty-dancing-analysis.blogspot.com/2017/07/straightness-and-dirtiness-in-dirty.html

Rick said...

“Sends a bad message to girls that girls have to say 'yes'; sends a bad message to boys that girls can’t say 'no,'" Richard said.... “Psychologically, my daughter keeps coming to me and saying I can’t say 'no' to a boy," she said. "That’s the message kids are getting."

The rule says all kids fill out cards with dance partners so why the focus only on girls not being able to say no? Why are complainers and their megaphones so sexist?

traditionalguy said...

There needs to be an exception for a couple 10 year olds that both have braces. They risk getting accidentally hooked together.

Other than that, the whole ball room dance experience is to learn how to handle dancing with different partners. It is done in a well lit ballroom. Professional Lady @2:35 has it nailed.

Gospace said...

What happened to the No means "NO!" message? Kind of mixed signalling going on here.

MadisonMan said...

"My daughter cannot attend" or "My son will not be there"

Simple words to say if you object.

I agree that the School Policy is ham-fisted. Must all battles be fought?

Seeing Red said...

Can girls say no to other girls?

Achilles said...

Our public school system literally designed by fascists in Prussia.

I am not sure why people get all surprised when a system designed by fascists with a compulsory public support mechanism in the form of property taxes runs in a fascist manner.

Water is wet. Public schools are fascist. Duh.

Angle-Dyne, Angelic Buzzard said...

When did this become a problem? We started having school dances in 6th or 7th grade. It was not uncommon for boys to be refused. It was not unknown for girls to be turned down for the "girls ask" number. "Wallflower" girls were not uncommon, left unasked all night. (That happened to me once. Not much fun, but I don't recall being traumatized by it. I went happily to the next dance, and many dances after that.)

We all survived. The point was learning how to navigate social situations - getting past the inevitable awkwardness, learning how both to accept and to decline graciously, to handle disappointment, to understand that just because your parents thought you were lovely, your opposite-sex peers might not. The point was not to have it all done for you. You can't learn anything that way.

Bay Area Guy said...

It's another step in the same direction of not keeping score in 6th Grade soccer or forcing the teams to be coed.

That's how the Left rolls.

Meade said...

Oh good grief. It's only sixth grade. Only one dance. It isn't sexual selection. Just say yes. Or at least, if you must, just say no thanks. No need to be mean with your rejection. If the rejected person asks a second time, just say: I told you no and no means no.

A third time and you yell THIS IS HARASSMENT. SOMEONE CALL THE COPS.

pacwest said...

Can I ask the prettiest girl to dance on every song and monopolize her for the night whether she likes me or not? The trouble with making rules for every social interaction is you need more rules to cover all the possibilities. Subsection 3.2, Paragraph 3, Rule 4.6

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

There’s an assumption in the comments that this is usual Leftist participation trophy jive, but I’d be curious to know more about the community. There are public schools in parts of Utah that aren’t exactly public in the culturally neutral ideal we hope public education aspires to. This may be more about solidarity than hurt feelings.

Achilles said...

You know they are going to assign dance partners next.

Fascist is as fascist does.

Achilles said...

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...
There’s an assumption in the comments that this is usual Leftist participation trophy jive, but I’d be curious to know more about the community. There are public schools in parts of Utah that aren’t exactly public in the culturally neutral ideal we hope public education aspires to. This may be more about solidarity than hurt feelings.

It doesn't matter where your community is or what the political leanings are. Teachers are leftists. Overwhelmingly. Colleges accrediting teachers are propaganda mills. Colleges of education weed out anyone to the right of Mao forcefully. They are also overwhelmingly female k-6. North of 90% k-2.

tcrosse said...

You know they are going to assign dance partners next.

My wife went to a Catholic school in Outstate Minnesota where the Nuns did exactly that.

Inga said...

My wife went to a Catholic school in Outstate Minnesota where the Nuns did exactly that.”

FASCISTS !

Darrell said...

I want Yvonne Strahovski to dance with me.
By force, if necessary.

Lem said...

"I'll reserve my comment so as not to prejudice the answers to this poll:"

Say no to Althouse.

Meade said...

It's important that people to learn to court properly and sixth grade is none too soon to begin learning.

Roughcoat said...

Anyone here see the movie "Heaven Help Us"? Irish-Catholic boys at a Catholic school in Brooklyn in 1968. Wonderful movie, with a great cast: Andrew McCarthy, Mary Stuart Masterson, Kevin Dillon, Donald Sutherland, Wallace Shawn, John Heard, Patrick Dempsey.

Featuring a hilarious -- and spot on -- extended scene depicting a school dance with the students of a Catholic girl's school.

An excellent/accurate period piece too, perfectly capturing a time and place and subculture. But most of all, hilarious.

California Snow said...

Stop rocking the damn boat about everything. We could just be kind and go along. Accepting an offer to dance is not perpetuating rape culture. It's simply teaching awkward 11 and 12 yr old kids how to interact with each other. It bugs the tar out of me that people feel the need to run to the media about this type of stuff.

Roughcoat said...

Meade @4:23 PM:

A clip of Groucho courting Margaret Dumont would also be appropriate.

DrSquid said...

In a standard dance, they boys have to do the asking but risk rejection, and the girls have to wait until some boy invites them to take the floor. Were there any reciprocal rules in effect at the dance to make the girls feel more comfortable? e.g. was it required that every girl should get an invitation to dance? Not enough background here to really tell what was up with the motives of this little soiree. Was it supposed to teach genteel manners? Or train the boys that they take whatever they want from a girl whenever they want it. I doubt it was the latter. I'm picturing a heavily parentally supervised event where any boy who behaves like he was at a toga party or springbreak weekend would find himself looking for a new school to attend.

I'm one of the few who thinks this mothers objections are a bit overblown. These kids were not being imprinted with rules for life regarding man/woman interactions, although why the school thinks such an event is necessary or relevant in 2018 is another question worth examining.

Leland said...

My middle school had the same rule, and the reason was simple. If you could say "no" both sides would do so, and their would be no point in holding a dance.

PJ said...

I think Ann is overdoing her reserving.

Martin said...

The mother's concerns are legit but a bit overblown--one 6th grade dance will not eamn her daughter at age 18 will be "easy." Still, not a good thing, tho.

1. And can a girl ask a boy to dance, and if so do the same rules apply?

2. At some point the boys will have to deal with getting shot down, better to start early when the emotional stakes are low. If the idea is that the boy shouldn't feel bad, well, news flash, much of life is about being disappointed and dealing with it in a constructive way.

And we wonder where all the delicate little snowflakes come from?

lgv said...

This post just reminded of a 6th dance of mine. I asked the prettiest girl in the class to dance. She laughed, turned and walked away. OK, it was a reality check for me. I survived without much emotional scarring. Things changed over time. Not as much rejection. Although about 12 years later, a girl at a club gave me her phone number, 867-5309.

The idea of mandatory acceptance is that it is likely that the asker can easily tell whether it a real yes or a fake yes. The asker would have wasted a dance with someone who doesn't want to spend the dance with him while he could have moved on an found a better match.


langford peel said...

I always thought sixth grade girls had cooties.

Michael K said...

I don' recall dances at school before 8th grade and those were typically made up of two single sex groups staring at each other.

Mark said...

This is why we need to abolish sovereign immunity and immunity for public employees.

"You must say 'yes'" is child abuse and a fundamental destruction of their liberties as human persons.

Florence said...

When I first read the post (and voted in the poll) my brain read that girls must say yes when asked to "the" dance. My first thought is why is the school forcing sixth graders to ask other sixth graders to the dance -- shouldn't they all be dropped off for a big party?

Having now realized my error, I need to change my vote to the 2nd option instead of the 3rd.

I may be old-fashioned, but I think 6th grade is too young for romantic style slow-dances between boys and girls (of that age). Thus, at a 6th grade dance, there really shouldn't have to be any "asking" someone to dance.

However, I was always taught that if a boy asks you to dance, you say yes and dance the one dance. You don't have to say yes more than once. At a chaperoned dance, there should not be an opportunity for that yes to be taken advantage of by the boy (and certainly wouldn't be at that age).

I really think the school should re-evaluate the type of dance they are hosting. A party would be better than a dance for that age, but as another commenter pointed out, why not stick to line dancing, square dancing (it's actually quite fun once you've been taught, and 6th grade is plenty old enough to learn), or songs for faster (i.e. non slow) dancing should be the only type of music played.

Mark said...

These are the kind of things that if a private individual were to do, they would go to jail.

We need more principals and teachers in jail.

jimbino said...

I remember when Baptists were discouraged from making love while standing up because people might think they were dancing.

Ann Althouse said...

I agree with the majority here, and I am surprised it is the majority, especially since I wrote the second option to be super moderate and balanced.

I think the mother is right: we’re trying to teach young people that they always get to say who can touch their body and in what way. There should be no lesson that you agree in advance and then owe follow through. Just teach them to be considerate and polite.

Oso Negro said...

OY! Your polls! How about "No, but NOT for the reasons the mother stated"? A school dance is a GREAT place to be rejected and to learn how to handle rejection. No guts, no air medals.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger exiledonmainstreet said...
I am so thankful that the adults in my life were not trying to micromanage every single f'ing thing in my life when I was in junior high.

2/9/18, 1:04 PM



No, kidding! Me, too. Oops #metoo

iowan2 said...

Roy Jacobsen said...
Yes, we should be teaching everyone--boys and girls--to be kind. But that's a seriously ham-fisted way of forcing it.


No. No, "we" should be doing no such thing, Parents should be teaching manners, and family, and extended family.

Schools must limit themselves to scholastic education. This mucking about in the touchy feely areas of feelings only leads to messed up kids.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Speaking of being left on the shelf.

Howard said...

Oso wants to know how to sign up for the Utah dance where the little girls can't refuse him. He will save bigtime on candy.

Comanche Voter said...

Ah flash back around 35 years and my two daughters experience with cotillion. Yer dang straight that if a boy asked a girl to dance, she said yes. I believe the drill was to inspire confidence in sixth grade males. And boys and girls were polite--or the horrible grey haired lady grinch who had run cotillion in Pasadena and Glendale for forty years set things right tout suite. Actually the lady was very nice--but she had her rules for manners and deportment and woe betide the young un who crossed her.

Howard said...

I didn't realize the world was populated with so many Fascist boogerman. Doesn't the VA issue pills for that type of hallucination?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Rand Paul said ...
How come you were against President Obama’s deficits, and then how come you’re for Republican deficits? Isn’t that the very definition of intellectual dishonesty?


This mofo's gotta go.

Rabel said...

"I agree with the majority here, and I am surprised it is the majority, especially since I wrote the second option to be super moderate and balanced."

That's because most everyone just assumed it was more liberal educrats rum amuck when it looks to me to be a very conservative, traditional set of rules.

And I'm sure almost no one did their homework because no one has pointed out that the principal's name was... Mr. Willie.

And no one has looked up Mr. Willie's photo and raised the point that he quite likely had a good bit of experience with rejection by the fairer sex.

William Chadwick said...

Roughcoat, I saw "Heaven Help Us." An enjoyable, overlooked movie. I attended a Catholic, Brothers-run, all-boys high school in mid-Sixties Brooklyn (the same one Rudy Giuliani graduated from a few years before me). By the time I came along some of the sadism was being toned down, although the Psycho Brother who was the movie's villain was still an all-too-real presence. The more humane, sophisticated Brother played by John Heard was also realistic, too. We had an all-girls "sister school" in a near-by Brooklyn neighborhood, and the girls would be invited over to our school for the monthly Afternoon Dance. (They wore those Catholic Schoolgirl uniforms beloved by a later generation of perverts.) I remember one of the John Heard type Brothers encouraging us to attend to aid our being to be more comfortable with the opposite sex. He prophesied that if we didn't go we might end up loners and lifelong bachelors. Being a nerd I never went--and by golly if that Brother didn't call it right!






AJ Lynch said...

I am reminded of the old old joke where the punchlines were:

Would I! Would I!

Hair lip Hair lip!

Mark said...

To ask someone, "May I have this dance? Do you want to dance?" implies that the person has a choice to say "yes" or "no."

When one is compelled to say "yes," it is no longer asking. It is telling. It is commanding. It is imposing oneself upon another against their will. It is saying, "You're dancing with me whether you like it or not."

Again, there needs to be a rule for these authoritarians in education, whatever you would have done unto others will be done unto you. "You want to slow dance with a sweaty horny aroused Harvey Weinstein? You must say 'yes.'"

indiana118 said...

If the kids aren't old enough to handle the social niceties of a school dance, they aren't old enough for a dance.

There's plenty of time. Let the dance wait and schedule a more appropriate social event.

Howard said...

indiana118: Exactly. That's why they forced us to square dance in 6th grade... it was a good preparation for the free-market dance in 7th grade.

Big Mike said...

Just teach them to be considerate and polite.

21st century teenaged and adolescent girls who are considerate and polite? On what planet?

walter said...


Blogger DougWeber said...
If they are worried about things, they should alternate the boys asking and the girls asking. If they are cruel, they do the alternating thing and allow people to say no. Watch the girls get destroyed. 6 grade boys can be really cruel.
--
Article makes no mention of designated asking by gender...likely isn't in[play..that would be very weird. But the reporter knows it would undermine the victimology/#mettoo zeitgeist element if the scenario was reversed.

walter said...

Bart & the bullies at the dance

AZ Bob said...

"If a guy with whom you'd rather not dance seems to be headed toward you, just look away and avoid eye contact. He'll probably get the message."

Not so fast. If I know she has to dance with me, it won't stop me.

Having given kids trophies for participation, we now insulate them from rejection. They have no idea what adulthood has in store for them.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger Howard said...
Oso wants to know how to sign up for the Utah dance where the little girls can't refuse him. He will save bigtime on candy.

2/9/18, 5:33 PM


Everyone knows that strangers have the best candy.

exiledonmainstreet said...

They have no idea what adulthood has in store for them.

2/9/18, 8:11 PM

Great. Another generation of snowflakes who will sob and riot when a conservative speaker comes within a half mile of campus.

MaxedOutMama said...

I appreciate the social concerns, and the dance is voluntary. So students have the choice not to participate at all.

But still - dark ages stuff. On multiple levels.

MaxedOutMama said...

Inga & Drago - indeed, indeed, indeed.

Words are kind of failing me here, and I'm so pleased that others are more expressive.

They're in sixth grade. Let the girls dance with the girls and the boys dance with boys if they want to - do group dances.

MaxedOutMama said...

Albert - there is no politeness or courtesy if you are forced to do it. I'm not quite sure about the actual rules here - are they really assigning partners? And the cards are used for the teachers to assign partners? I'm not getting this. But while I would always teach a daughter the rules about politeness and courtesy, it is no courtesy and not polite to say yes if no other answer is allowed. It must at least be at least a theoretical choice for the words courtesy and politeness to apply.

I am also not sure that at that age, where they are not that good at faking anything, if it wouldn't work out that a (generally it would be boy, right?) who had to dance with a girl he didn't like wouldn't make it very clear that he was upset and that the social experience wouldn't be far more unpleasant than being a wallflower.

When we did these things in 5th and 6th grade it was terribly awkward, but everyone participated in at least some dances. And the boys really didn't want to dance with the girls at all, so we did a lot of group dancing. They tried to do thing about girls asking boys for a dance, but we all declined and stared at each other from against the wall through the song. Honestly, thinking back, the logical extension from that experience would be that we were all destined to become monks and nuns or hermits or computer programmers. Something along those lines.

I'm just not sure what the social training/experience is supposed to do for these kids if it's not at least partly a consensual experience? I'm missing something here.

I mean, if a girl wants to be Little Miss Bitch at this occasion, fine, but she's still going to be around these guys for years every school day, and what results will be a real learning experience for her. At this point they are far more interested in where they are in the pack as compared with each other than in the girls, generally.

MaxedOutMama said...

In any case, I think that the school would profit from either a more modern approach or a more traditional approach, such as this exercise in dancing and courtship from Pride and Prejudice.

sean said...

"there is no politeness or courtesy if you are forced to do it"

Really? I was taught that if another person extends his hand, you shake it, as a matter of courtesy. Always. Even if you don't like him much. It never occurred that it wasn't courteous unless I sometimes shook it and sometimes declined.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I am astonished that anyone would argue that politeness requires allowing someone to touch you when you'd rather they didn't. Fuck that noise. You don't have to refuse rudely, but refusing does not make you rude. Even if it did ~ who cares. Bodily autonomy is sacrosanct.

My daughters have been told from day one that their bodies belong to them, period. I'm sorry that some of y'alls daughters evidently have not been taught the same.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Oh. My son too. He doesn't owe access to his body to anyone, either.

PJ said...

Wait, are we back to touching while dancing? I think I missed a memo.

Unknown said...


We the judges of

the Utopian Internet

shall eliminate this badthink

from the body public

I am not sure what is right

but I'll know it when I hear it from someone else's

sick burn

And nothing less shall be acceptable!

For at least 5 minutes all we be right in the world

Till the next offense is brought before us

I'm working up a good lather as ya'll type...

Kansas Scout said...

It's a good policy. Otherwise, skip the dance. It's an excercise in inclusion. At that age range inclusion really helps kids on the margins feel included and less rejected. I remember a lot of rejection at that age and saw lots of it. When I attended a small two room rural school in Northern Illinois we exchanged valentines every year with all the other students. It always made me feel good and overall it was a self esteem booster for at least a day. For God's sake, let kids have some moments of kindness before they have to face a world full of narcissists and sociopaths and people that are in general, jerks. They already get a lot of that. I marvel at all these "Spartans" who are willing to have kids experience the fully negative aspects of a harsh social environment. "Let the little buggers suffer!" They almost revel in that.