Amy Peterson’s daughter Gracie had been getting teased at school for not having a father.
“She had one kid tell her she didn’t have a dad because she’s fat and ugly,” the Henry County mother told told WSB-TV.
So when the daughter-father dance rolled around, Peterson got the idea to dress up as a father and go to the dance, she told the news station.
“(Gracie) was OK with it,” she said, “She was excited that her friends were going to get to see this.”
They even posted a photo of what Peterson would look like taking her daughter to the dance.
But an hour before the two were set to leave, Peterson got a phone call from the Locust Grove Elementary School principal telling her she couldn’t go.
“She said: ‘No I forbid you to come and if you show up we will turn you away,’” she told WSB-TV.
Peterson had no choice but to tell her 6-year-old daughter they couldn’t go.
The news was just as painful for her as it was for her daughter.
“I identify myself as her father and mother because that’s what I’ve done for six years,” she said.
In a statement to WSB-TV, Henry County school officials said administrators spoke to Peterson in advance about the dance and said she was told in a dance announcement that any father figure could attend in lieu of a father.
“The school is cognizant that different dynamics exist across households in our school system,” officials said in the statement. “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.”
The school also holds a mother-son dance and a sweethearts dance for Valentine’s Day.
The school also offered to refund Peterson her $20 and made an apology.
Still, Peterson thinks more could have been done.
“I think they handled it poorly,” she told WSB-TV. “They shouldn’t have turned any parent away.”