CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) – When Trisha Palacios learned her 8-year-old daughter, Alyssa, wouldn’t be allowed to attend her school’s daddy-daughter dance, she was crushed.
Alyssa is a second grader at Eisenhower Elementary School in Clearwater. Her father was deported from the country when she was a baby. So, there is no daddy in the picture.
Palacios spent days trying to find a male family friend to take Alyssa to the dance, and when she couldn’t find one who was available, she decided she would take her. But, a staff member at the school told her that was not going to happen.
“She doesn’t have a dad,” said Palacios, crying from her Clearwater couch. “And it’s…It’s not fair. You know, I try to do everything for her. And just seeing her upset really upset me. Like I say, her dress is hanging in there and we were ready to go.”
Ray McNeil is a parent who attended the dance, and feels the school should be more flexible with single parents.
“I think in that situation, the school should’ve let the mother know, or the teachers know, that mothers that are raising daughters by themselves .. They should say ‘hey look, dads, chip in,’” said McNeil. “Kind of like neighbors in a neighborhood.”
Palacios plans to contact school officials on Monday, to try and work out a solution for future events. She feels she’s not the only single parent who’s experienced this feeling of exclusion.
“I mean, not just for me, but what about military dads? They can’t be here. Their daughters aren’t allowed to go either? You know, there are a lot of kids out there that don’t have dads.”