04/09/09 — School district says 'no' to womanless pageant plans

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School district says 'no' to womanless pageant plans

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 9, 2009 1:46 PM

If you're a fan of the womanless beauty pageant, you won't find them in any of the area public schools.

Dr. Steven Taylor, superintendent of Wayne County Public Schools, reminded principals this week that the popular fundraiser is no longer allowed in the schools.

"This is actually something principals were told two years ago," said Ken Derksen, district public information officer.

Several reasons were behind the decision, he said.

"It could be viewed as a violation of Title 9 -- equal rights -- and it could be considered a violation because you're excluding one group," he said.

This type of event could also be considered a form of parody, Derksen said. In contrast to the traditional beauty pageants, he said, "We don't want to make those groups feel like they're being made fun of."

The announcement is also in line with the district's Policy 5330, which allows officials to deny the use of school facilities if the event has the potential to violate federal law.

Several schools had reportedly considered hosting a womanless beauty pageant this year. Southern Wayne High School had announced its event last month, then canceled it.

Derksen said the aforementioned concerns prompted Taylor to issue the reminder during the principal's meeting on Tuesday.

"At one time (the pageants) were held and just looking at the different concerns, that was something taken into consideration of why they are not held any more in the schools," he said.