Utah mom upset after school tells 6th grade students they can't - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Utah mom upset after school tells 6th grade students they can't say no when asked to dance

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WEST HAVEN, Utah -

A Utah mom says her daughter's elementary school is sending the wrong message with a rule that won't let students say no if they are asked to dance. The school says the rule is meant to promote inclusion.

Natalie Richard said she thought her daughter had misunderstood misunderstood when she said she couldn't turn down a dance during Kaneville Elementary School's Valentine's Day dance.

"Oh no, no honey," RIchard said. "You guys are misunderstanding again. That's not how it is."

But Richard spoke with her daughter's teacher and was blown away when she learned the rule was actually in place.

"The teacher said she can't. She has to say yes. She has to accept, and I said, 'Excuse me,'" Richard told KSTU-TV. She brought up the issue to the school's principal. Richard said the principal told her the rule has been in place for awhile and hasn't raised any concerns before.

A spokesperson for the school district, Lane Findlay, says the rule exists to teach students to be promote positivity. 

 “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."

Richard said she understands what the rule is meant to do, but says teaching students that they can't say no sends the wrong message.

“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.

School administrators say prior to the voluntary dance, students are told to fill out a card by selecting five people they would like to dance with. But the administration says if a student is uncomfortable, they're encouraged to speak up.

However, the Utah mom says the rule was implemented the wrong way, and parents weren't made aware of the policy.  She recommended the principal send out a permission slip, detailing the instructions given to students, and he agreed. As of now, the rule remains in place.

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