HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — A single mother in Georgia was told she couldn’t attend her daughter’s father-daughter dance.
Amy Peterson and her 6-year-old daughter, Gracie, had been looking forward to the dance for months, according to WSB-TV.
Peterson said she let the school know she would be attending the dance with her daughter, and even got dressed for the dance by wearing a man’s dress shirt, bow tie and painting a beard on her face.
“She was OK with it,” Peterson said. “She was excited that her friends were going to get to see this.”
But an hour before the dance, Peterson said the school principal contacted her and told her not to attend.
“She said, ‘No. I forbid you to come and if you show up, we will turn you away,'” Peterson told WSB.
Peterson said she had to break the news to her daughter that they couldn’t go.
“To me, I’ve identified myself as her father and her mother because that’s what I’ve done for six years,” Peterson told WSB.
The school released a statement explaining the decision:
“Per my conversation with school administrators, the mom was spoken to in advance of the dance. An apology was also issued and a refund was pledged in reference the money spent for entry into the dance. There were a few other mothers who inquired as to being allowed in the dance, and they were informed of the same stipulations.
“It was explained that the dance announcement indicated that in lieu of a dad being available to attend, any family or friend father-figure could attend. There are three different dance events the school hosts throughout the year to include everyone. There is a mother-son dance, a father-daughter dance, and sweetheart dance that includes students and anyone they wish to bring.
“The school is cognizant that different dynamics exist across households in our school system. Anyone with a question as to the requirements or specifics of any school extracurricular event is encouraged to reach out to a school official or teacher. 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.”
“If you don’t want things like this happening, put parent-child dance,” Peterson said. “Don’t put a stipulation on it’s a mom or a dad.”