Wishing things had been different, a local mother and daughter, as well as an exceptional educational agency, found themselves in somewhat of an unfortunate sticky wicket this week at a dance slated for fathers and their daughters.

Although Amy and Patrick are upset at what happened to their seven-year-old daughter at Logan County High School Tuesday night, they don't want it to reflect poorly on all the positive aspects of the local Family Resource and Youth Services who put on the annual dance each year. What they do want, however, is to see changes made to prevent what occurred to their child from happening to another in the future.

When the first-grader asked her mom to go with her to the father-daughter dance because her dad had to work late, she admits there was a fleeting moment she wondered if it would be an issue. But she quickly dismissed it because of the "times we are in."

"Because of her father's work schedule he isn't able to take her to these dances," said Amy. "Last year she went with her grandfather. I asked her if she would like to go with him again this year or possibly take one of her uncles but she wanted to go with me. I didn't think in today's times that would ever be an issue."

When Amy and her daughter, who was all dressed up for a dance she and her friends had been talking about for a while, arrived at the school there was a large crowd already in line. Amy noticed another mother and daughter who were in front of them waiting to sign in. It wasn't until they reached the front of the line and were asked to stand aside, along with the other mother and daughter, that she knew something was wrong.

"They asked us to stand aside until they knew what to do with us," said Amy. "They told us in all the nine years of having the dance they had not been faced with this and weren't sure what to do. I thought, 'Really? What is the problem? My daughter's father can't make it and I just want to go in with her so she can dance with her friends.'"

Amy said she was asked if she had a male family member who could come and take Jessica into the dance - to which Amy said no. Sending her in alone wasn't an option either for Amy.

"I was abused as a child and I did not feel comfortable sending in my seven-year-old daughter without one of her parents," Amy said.

Amy and Jessica left the dance before someone could direct them on what to do. She said the other mom and daughter had left before her.

"Jessica's friends came up to her excited and told her they couldn't wait to see her inside the dance. That's when she began crying. No mother likes to see this especially when it could be prevented," said Amy who told her daughter it would be okay and that they would go and have a fun night anyway. Her mom treated her daughter to dinner and ice cream instead.

"The school resource centers do a wonderful job," said Amy. "They help so many people in our community and I don't want this instance to diminish that fact. It is my hope there will be some policy changes for the future of these events so this doesn't happen again leaving a little girl or boy feeling that something is wrong because they brought the wrong parent. There are a lot of different families with a lot of different circumstances. We can't make our kids feel less than anyone else if they don't fit into a certain category, even if it's not intentional."

The Family Resource and Youth Services Center (FRYSC) provides numerous events and activities throughout the year for students and their families. They are an agency umbrellaed under the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Division who contract with the school systems. The primary goal of these centers is to remove non-academic barriers to learning as a means to enhance student academic success. Each center offers a unique blend of programs and services determined by the needs of the population being served, available resources, location, and other local characteristics.

FRYSCs have established a record of success based on improved student performance in class work, homework and peer relations as reported by teachers. Parents, too, report they experience greater satisfaction and involvement with the schools as a result of assistance through their local FRYSCs.

Logan County schools superintendent Paul Mullins said that the district would be taking a look at the situation.

"We want to make sure all our students and their families are treated fairly and equitably at all of our school events," Mullins said. "We are constantly reviewing all our programs and always looking to improve the student experience. We will take a look at this situation, and make changes if we find that they are necessary."