Kanesville Elementary School girls are being told they can’t say “no” to boys who want to dance with them, a local Fox affiliate has reported.
The Utah elementary school appears to be sending sixth-graders the message that not accepting boys’ offers to dance is bad, making West Haven residents, such as Natalie Richard feel uncomfortable.
“[It] sends a bad message to girls that girls have to say ‘yes,’ [it] sends a bad message to boys that girls can’t say ‘no,'” she said.
But according to the school, instructing the girls that they must agree to dance with any boy who asks them to dance is their way of teaching them to be inclusive and to respect each other.
“We want to promote kindness, and so we want you to say yes when someone asks you to dance,” Weber School District spokesperson Lane Findlay said.
“I do see it from their perspective when it comes to that, but there are many other ways to teach children how to be accepting than with a social dance,” Richard said.
However, the school assured reporters that the dance is voluntary, and that if a student is uncomfortable with a student, they are encouraged to say something.
“If there is an issue, if there’s students that are uncomfortable or have a problem with another student, I mean: That’s certainly something that can be addressed with that student and parents,” Findlay added.
To Richard, the school is teaching children the wrong lesson by not allowing them to experience rejection.
“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."
After Richard's daughter told her about the policy, the mother contacted the school and recommended that they send a permission slip to parents so that they are aware of the instructions given to students. Still, she told reporters she isn’t happy about the lessons her little girl is learning. And we understand.
After all, it’s in school that we learn to socialize and experience relationships in a realistic way that we carry with us throughout our lives. Teaching young girls and boys not to say “no” for fear of appearing disrespectful is far from the realistic life lesson a school should be passing on to the young.
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