A single mother in Georgia was banned from her daughter’s father-daughter dance after she attempted to go dressed like a man, ABC News reports.
Amy Peterson says her daughter, Gracie, was really looking forward to having her mom at the dance, since her father is not involved in her life. However, her school in Henry County, Georgia, wouldn’t allow them to attend.
"To me, I’ve identified myself as her father and her mother because that’s what I’ve done for six years. She was okay with it. She was excited that her friends were going to get to see this,” Peterson says.
Peterson filed paperwork with the school a month prior to the dance, letting them know she would be attending with her daughter. But just an hour before the dance was scheduled to begin, Peterson received a phone call from the school’s principal telling them not to come.
"[The principal] said, 'No. I forbid you to come, and if you show up, we will turn you away,'" Peterson says. "How do you explain that to a 6-year-old? You can’t go to a dance because you don’t have a male role model in your life?"
The Henry County school district released a statement on the matter defending their decision: "The school is cognizant that different dynamics exist across households in our school system. There are multiple parent engagement events and opportunities to participate with their kids annually at this school in an effort to make that connection and build school spirit."
Peterson believes this policy makes children like Gracie feel left out—bullied, even. "They're already being bullied. Why be bullied by the school too? Why is she being punished because she doesn’t have a dad?"