OGDEN, Utah (CBS Local) – Student dances are a normal part of school life for most American children, but a controversial policy at one Utah school is telling kids that they don’t have a choice in whom they dance with.
Sixth-graders at Kanesville Elementary School have been told by school officials that they can’t refuse a request to dance from one of their classmates during their Valentine’s Day dance. “The teacher said she can’t. She has to say yes. She has to accept,” Utah mother Natalie Richard said via KMVT.
Richard, the mother of a girl at the school, reportedly approached school officials about her concerns over a dance where girls are not allowed to say no. “He basically just said they’ve had this dance set up this way for a long time and they’ve never had any concerns before,” Richard reported, regarding her conversation with Kanesville Elementary School’s principal.
The Weber School District confirmed the dance policy and claimed that the rule was made to promote inclusion among their students. “We want to promote kindness, and so we want you to say yes when someone asks you to dance,” district community relations specialist Lane Findlay said.
While the dance policy is reportedly still in effect, Richard argued that it is sending a bad message to young children who are not being taught that rejection is a normal part of life. “Psychologically, my daughter keeps coming to me and saying, ‘I can’t say no to a boy.’ That’s the message kids are getting,” Richard warned.