Our Middle School Isn't Allowing Parents to Chaperone at Valentine's Dance?

Updated on February 03, 2009
S.R. asks from La Mesa, CA
6 answers

This is my 11 year old's first dance and the school has outright denied my being there. I called the PTA president and she laughed it off saying she knew nothing of the sort. Then e-mailed me saying the school "didn't need any parents, only the teachers take care of the kids". My inclination is to offer my kiddo something other than going to the dance since she is only eleven and waiting for high school dances where they do allow parents. What do you recommend? Can you share your experience and give wisdom?

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So What Happened?

Wow! Thanx for your advise! I will do everything you suggested, especially talk to her. I think it will be a win-win situation where she experiences fun, and freedom. I love it!

More Answers



answers from San Diego on

Hi S., I have raised 3 kids, and they all went to middle school and High school dances, and there were never no parents there, the chaparones are the priciple and the faculty, can you emangine when you were your sons age, if your mother showed up at one of your school dances, you would never want to show your face at school again. Usually at the middle school dances the guys hang out with the guys and the girls with the girls with a few exceptions, that was what all 3 of my kids told me about their middle school dances. J. L.

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answers from Los Angeles on


Is the school during school hours or after school? If I remember correctly, most schools who have the dances like this sell tickets so, the number of attendees is limited and then, the chapperons are ALWAYS teachers and staff. I don't remember ever seeing a parent at my Middle School dances...but, things have changed with laws about volunteers and staff. Also, at my high school dances, I don't remember their being any parents either...but, maybe that was just my school.

With that being said, my Mom was a teacher at literally every school I went to from elementary school to high school, and like one of the other posters...she made a point to NEVER be present at dances I planned on going to. She wanted me to experience these things on my own and not feel intimidated by her presence or not enjoy my time with my friends.

I think if you keep an open dialogue with her about what is appropriate behavior and what is not, and set ground rules now for her then, it will be okay. My Mom used to set time limits...like you can go for an hour and then would pick me up. I always had fun and never felt like I was missing out on things. Like Susan mentioned, this is a milestone in her life and you don't want to deprive her of the experience.

Good Luck...oh, and call the school. They should be able to explain why they don't let parents come to the dances.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Let her go -especially since you posted about building friendships. Nothing is going to occur at a dance that couldn't occur during the school day. School's are very strict and aware at these types of things. Let's face it, the boys will be on one side and the girls on the other at this age.
If you have good communication with your daughter and you are rasing her right, you don't need to worry.
From what I remember, kids were embarrassed if their parent was the chaperone. And myself, I'll never forget the dance my dad showed up at with the video camera. I was mortified, to say the least.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I have a feeling that they do not allow parents at the dance as then each parent would have to pass the required background checks (ie:live scan fingerprinting)that is necessary to work/volunteer with minors. And this can be expensive and time consuming! And we all know how tight money is for schools these days. There will be plenty of teachers there to supervise. I went to the same high school that my dad taught at (and he was the head football coach) and he made and effort not to chaperone any of the dances if I planned to attend to give me some space. I think you should let her go, but before you do talk with the principal about how many teachers will be there and the school's policies regarding dancing and what not to ease some of your fears.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I agree with the others - let her go! At least the dance IS chaperoned, and I'm sure the teachers won't let anything bad happen. Talk to your daughter about it first, and set some "rules" (like setting a specific time/location in which to pick her up afterward, etc). Let her have a little fun with her friends! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

The school may have this 'policy'... because otherwise, if they let 1 parent 'chaperone'....then they have to let ALL Parents be there too... and that, is another 'issue' all together.

The 1st dance for a child, is indeed a 'milestone' and I can understand how you feel.
Why don't you simply ask the school 'why' a parent is not allowed to be there? Perhaps, the school has incurred problems previously, whereby it is simply not conducive to it now. Or, perhaps, the kids feel, especially at this age, that having Parents there makes them feel like "babies."

I have no idea about this school's reasons...but just ask them. And ask them, as any Parent would, what the 'rules' are at the school dance: (ie: what is the schedule of it, the entertainment, the code of dress, the security/supervision.... what happens when a child goes to the bathroom... will they be alone or accompanied. What safeguards are there to ensure their safety, what entry/exit doors are unlocked or locked to ensure the safety of the children and to make sure all is accounted for, etc. etc.)

I don't think, a child's attendance at a school dance should be determined upon whether or not their Parent is there. Keep in mind, that at this age, they are self-conscious....and if all her friends are going, she'd want to attend too. Otherwise, she will have to 'explain' to her friends 'why' she can't go because her Mom can't. And this may make her feel awkward, if not 'weird' about it in comparison to her friends. Or her friends may tease her about it.

All in all... a 1st dance is very important at this age. Let her enjoy it. But just talk with her about it, let her ask questions openly, without judgment, and let her know what your expectations of her are too as a 'responsible' young girl. And most of all, let her know that you TRUST her. Keep an open dialogue about this and everything, so that you will always know what her feelings are and what is going on in her life... especially at this age. So that she will KNOW that she can come to you for ANYTHING anytime, good or bad. You want to stay in the loop. And this is one way to do it... when you can't be right there among her as a chaperone.

All the best,

1 mom found this helpful
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