Kanesville Elementary in West Haven, Utah, is telling girls that they cannot say “no” when boys ask them to dance at the Valentine’s Day dance.
Natalie Richard, who has a sixth-grade daughter, told KSTU:
The teacher said she can’t. She has to say “yes.” She has to accept and I said, “Excuse me.”
Richard recalled speaking to the school principal:
He basically just said they’ve had this dance set up this way for a long time and they’ve never had any concern before.
Lane Findlay of the Weber School District defended the non-consent rule:
Please be respectful, be polite. We want to promote kindness, and so we want you to say yes when someone asks you to dance.
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.
Sends a bad message to girls that girls have to say “yes”; sends a bad message to boys that girls can’t say “no.”
Findlay continued his defense of the non-consent rule:
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.
Richard insisted the rule was teaching girls they must consent to a boy:
Psychologically, my daughter keeps coming to me and saying I can’t say ‘no’ to a boy. That’s the message kids are getting.