Late last month, a Utah mother was forced to defend her 11-year-old daughter against her middle school’s heinous policy prohibiting children from saying “no” when asked to dance.
“She was so excited she could barely sleep,” Alicia Hobson told TODAY Parents, noting that her daughter Azlyn, a sixth grader, picked out her outfit for her school’s Valentine’s Day dance a week ahead of time.
“It was supposed to be the best day ever,” Hobson said. When Azlyn came home that afternoon, however, she learned that the daytime dance had gone horribly wrong.
Hobson recalled how Azlyn had an “emotional explosion” in the kitchen and revealed that a boy who makes her uncomfortable had asked her to dance.
“She politely said, ‘No thank you,’” Hobson said. At Rich Middle School in Laketown, Azlyn’s school, however, it is apparently against policy for a student to decline a dance partner.
Hobson said her daughter’s principal, Kip Motta, allegedly intervened when he heard Azlyn turn down the boy’s request.
“He said something like, ‘No, no. You kids go out and dance,’” Hobson said. “He basically shooed Azlyn and the boy off onto the dance floor.”
Azlyn told Hobson that she “hated every minute” of dancing with the boy and was “so relieved” when the song finally ended.
According to TODAY, Motta doubled down on the school’s policy in a letter to Hobson.
“We do ask all students to dance. It is the nice thing to do and this will continue to be our policy,” Motta wrote on February 15. “There have been similar situations in the past where some students have felt uncomfortable with others, and, as stated prior, the issues were discreetly handled. This allowed all students to feel welcome, comfortable, safe, and included.”
Motta also noted in the letter that parents always have the option to check their children out of school during dances, which are held during school hours.
Understandably, Hobson says that isn’t good enough.
“Girls HAVE to learn that they have the right to say no and that those around them have to respect that,” Hobson said in a Facebook post, declaring that she will take the fight to the state Board of Education if the policy isn’t revised.
In a more recent post, Hobson wrote that she believes “Principal Motta is going to review this policy with mindfulness of the concerns that have been voiced” and that “once that has happened, I look forward to telling everyone about how we as a community have grown and overcome a challenge that was holding us back.”
As of this writing, Hobson has not posted such an update.
While we refuse to legitimize the perpetually-triggered #MeToo movement that seeks to root out all but the “approved” expressions of masculinity, any policy that would force a girl to dance with a boy for any reason is deplorable.
If this is their policy on school dances, I can only imagine where they stand on allowing biological boys in the girls’ bathroom! Shame on this school!
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