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Given the different forms families can take, it seems pretty normal that single moms and dads sometimes stand in for each other at school events that specify "mom" or "dad." However, some schools still adhere to rigid rules about this, for no apparent reason. A perfect example of this is single mom Amy Peterson in Georgia, who was planning on taking her 6-year-old daughter to her school's father-daughter dance. She dressed up in men's clothes and even painted on a beard, only to be told via phone call an hour before the dance that she would be unwelcome. As in, not even allowed in.

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Speaking to WSB-TV, Amy Peterson said, “To me, I’ve identified myself as her father and her mother because that’s what I’ve done for six years." When she found out that there would be a father-daughter dance at her daughter's school, she didn't want her to miss out, so she figured she'd go with her daughter instead.

To make sure it was all right, Peterson filled out paperwork a full month before the dance letting the school know her plans. All seemed fine, but just an hour before the dance, the school's principal called Peterson to tell her, in no uncertain terms, not to come.

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“She said, ‘No. I forbid you to come and if you show up we will turn you away,’” Peterson told WSB-TV. She continued, “How do you explain that to a 6-year-old? You can’t go to a dance because you don’t have a male role model in your life. I think they handled it poorly. They shouldn’t have turned any parent away.”

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The Henry County School District issued a statement explaining that they'd told other mothers the same thing (as if that somehow makes it acceptable). The statement read, in part:

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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.

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Um, okay, whatever. Hopefully incidents like this will be fewer and fewer, as more schools learn to accept the fact that families don't always have moms and dads, and kids shouldn't be punished for that. The schools should be happy when parents are involved enough in their children's lives to attend a school dance in the first place.