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Mom Upset After School Tells 6th Graders They Can’t Say No When Asked to Dance

WEST HAVEN, Utah - When Natalie Richard’s sixth-grade daughter told her she couldn’t say “no” if a boy asked her to dance at Kanesville Elementary’s Valentine’s Day dance, she didn’t believe it at first.

“Oh no, no honey," Richard said of her reply. "You guys are misunderstanding again. That’s not how it is."

However, after speaking to her daughter’s teacher, she realized the statement was accurate.

“The teacher said she can’t. She has to say yes. She has to accept and I said, 'Excuse me,” Richard told KSTU.

Richard took her concerns to the school principal.

“He basically just said they’ve had this dance set up this way for a long time and they’ve never had any concern before,” she said of his response.

Lane Findlay with the Weber School District confirms it’s a rule, but he said it’s meant to teach students how to be inclusive.

“Please be respectful, be polite," Findlay said. "We want to promote kindness, and so we want you to say yes when someone asks you to dance."

“I do see it from their perspective when it comes to that, but there are many other ways to teach children how to be accepting than with a social dance,” Richard counters.

Richard says forcing students not to say no teaches them the wrong lesson. 

“Sends a bad message to girls that girls have to say 'yes'; sends a bad message to boys that girls can’t say 'no,'" Richard said.

Prior to the dance, which is voluntary, students are told to fill out a card by selecting five people they want to dance with. The administration says if there’s someone on the card you feel uncomfortable with, the student is encouraged to speak up.

“If there is an issue, if there’s students that are uncomfortable or have a problem with another student, I mean: that’s certainly something that can be addressed with that student and parents,” Findlay said.

However, Richard says rejection is part of life and at the end of the day, this policy is sending impressionable children the wrong message.

“Psychologically, my daughter keeps coming to me and saying I can’t say 'no' to a boy," she said. "That’s the message kids are getting."

One of the concerns that Richard addressed with the principal at Kanesville Elementary is that parents weren’t aware of this policy. She recommended he send out a permission slip, detailing the instructions given to students, and he agreed. As of now, the rule remains in place.

7 comments

  • Wyneta levine

    SIMPLE SOLUTION I WOULD TELL MY DAUGHTER SHE CAN SAY NO AND IF THE SCHOOL PERSISTS I WOULD KEEP MY CHILD AT HOME AND START LOOKING FOR OTHER VENUES FOR THEIR EDUCATION…

  • Cowboy

    It’s also called COURTESY when I say (NO THANK YOU)!
    Snowflake Syndrome began at home with the parents being liberal democrats.
    Tell it as it is!

    • COLEY

      Honestly not sure what this has to do with politics. Stupidity via “people being overly sensitive” exists on both ends of the spectrum. This story can be flipped either way, but of course in the “era of Trump”, anything that offends you or is in disagreement with your conservative viewpoint is the fault of a “liberal democrat” or someone you tag with the anti-Semetic term “snowflake,” because they happen to think equal rights, the environment, education, is way more important than guns, abortion, and going to church, right? If its beyond your understanding or exposes some kind of truth that conflicts with your brainwashing it must be “fake news” too. Not even sure why I waste time here.

  • Jonestown Sippy Cup

    It’s called COURTESY, dimwit! That’s what’s wrong with these kids, nowadays! What? The mother wants to make certain that her daughter goes for women or just remains an amoeba?

    Being polite and courteous should be (SHOULD BE) taught in all schools, particularly public schools. This is how Special Snowflake Syndrome began: entertaining the one in lieu of common sense.

    • Nikki0101

      I agree, people need to be courteous, however saying “yes” to everyone is not the way it is done. “Thank you, but I do not want to dance” is also courteous. We are not robots. We have opinions and, yes, need to learn to deal with rejection. What if a girl asked another girl to dance? Is she not allowed to feel anxious and say No Thank You? What if a boy asked a boy? Sorry, we need to stop coddling our children and let them experience life and all of its bumps and bruises. That is how we grow up strong and able to handle all types of situations we will experience in life.

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