Seventh-Grade Dates? Just Say No

Two friends of mine, both dads in their 40s, were complaining about their seventh-grade daughters going to a dance at the public school. Both of these attractive young girls had dates, and with nice boys. But both dads feel their daughters are too young to go to a dance. They’re right.

“Just say no,” I said, myself a father of three girls, the oldest rapidly approaching seventh grade. “Tell them they can’t go.”

After all, what good can come to 12-year-old girls at a dance? Are they being courted for marriage? Are they being respected? Will they be treated in a way that will please their fathers? How many of them will be used? How many just want to be liked, but will have their little hearts broken? How many will get sneered at by jealous, carping, conniving competitors?

I went to dances. My friends and I were barbarians. Our intentions were nothing but destructive.

Again, what good can come to 12-year-old girls at a dance?

I repeated my advice to the dads: “Just say no. Tell them they can’t go.”

Of course, that’s easier said than done. As the dads noted, the peer pressure is huge. How would their daughters face the public scandal on Monday morning when they’re among the ignominious cast-outs who didn’t have a date to the big dance?

If I may, allow me to pinpoint the true culprit here: It’s the public school. Think about it: Why is the public school having a dance for seventh-graders in the first place? Why? For what possible good? Better yet, how do such dances relate to the school’s educational mission?

Well, actually, many of our modern public-school disciples of John Dewey indeed see this as part of the public school’s educational mission. It’s seen as a form of the all-important “socialization.” It really is. And that’s yet another reason why the entire public-school system and philosophy is a failed one.

It is most certainly not what Pope Benedict refers to as “education that is truly educational.” No, dances for seventh-grade girls are not education; they are nonsense.

For Catholic and Ave Maria Radio, I’m Paul Kengor.

Dr. Paul Kengor


Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values. His books include “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism” and “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.”

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  • chrishaubrock

    I agree that the government schools are part of the problem.

    The bigger problem is the peer pressure that the dads are feeling, not the kids. A real dad that is the spiritual head of the family has no problem telling his daughters and sons that he loves them and that there is “no way I am letting you date at such a young age.”

    Fathers are called to be priests, prophets, and kings. We are the ones that must make the decisions that are best for our families.

    Pope John Paul II told us “The future of the world and the Church passes through the family.” Strong and faithful families equals a strong and faithful Church which in turn gives us a strong and faithful world.

    Strong and faithful families must start with a strong and faithful dad leading the family with love and mercy.

    Dating trains our children for divorce. We give away a little part of our hearts every time we break-up. A six-week or a six-month adolescent romance that is called off for the most immature reasons can be heart breaking at least and life-changing at most. Every break-up makes our hearts just a little more hard.

    The world tells us to just have fun and let loose for a few years but those are empty and dark promises from Satan. That is a sad road to travel that is hard to repent from and recover.

    Courting is a way that teaches our children to pray and look for that person that God wants for them and that marriage is for life.

    Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, and with your whole soul, and with your whole strength. And these words which I command you this day, shall be in your heart: And you shall tell them to your children, and you shall meditate upon them sitting in your house, and walking on your journey, sleeping and rising. Deuteronomy 6:4-7

    I challenge all dads; do you love your children enough to do the right thing?