When single mom Amy Peterson heard that her daughter's school was holding a father-daughter dance event, she didn't want her six-year-old to miss out just because her father wasn't in her life. So she decided to dress up as a man to take her daughter herself. However, the school banned her from attending.
"To me, I’ve identified myself as her father and her mother because that’s what I’ve done for six years," Peterson told ABC affiliate WSB. "She was okay with it. She was excited that her friends were going to get to see this."
But despite filing paperwork with the school a month ahead of the dance to make this happen, Peterson received a phone call from the principal's office an hour before the dance telling them not to come.
"She [the principal] said, 'No. I forbid you to come and if you show up we will turn you away,'" Peterson told WSB. "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?"
While Peterson felt that the school handled this situation poorly, the school district defended its decision in a statement to ABC.
"The school is cognizant that different dynamics exist across households in our school system," the statement read. "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."
But Peterson told ABC that decisions like these make children like Gracie feel left out — as if they didn't already feel alone in their experiences.
"They're already being bullied," she told ABC. "Why be bullied by the school too? Why is she being punished because she doesn’t have a dad?"
Peterson is right, and we applaud her efforts to make her child feel less excluded. After all, if your family doesn't fit into the heterosexual mold of a two-parent household, you sometimes have to get creative — and she and her daughter shouldn't have to miss out or be punished for doing so.
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