When his 12-year-old daughter, Ruby, informed Stephen Callaghan that girls in her class had been invited to a makeover party while boys were to tour a local hardware store, he feared there was a serious problem at her school.
“When Ruby left for school yesterday it was 2017 but when she returned home in the afternoon she was from 1968,” Callaghan wrote school officials in New South Wales, Australia, on Wednesday. “Are you able to search the school buildings for a rip in the space-time continuum? Perhaps a faulty Flux Capacitor hidden away in the girls toilet block?”
Callaghan urged the school to deal quickly with the situation. “I look forward to this being rectified and my daughter and other girls at the school being returned to this millennium where school activities are not divided sharply along gender lines,” he wrote in the letter, which he posted to Twitter before mailing.
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By Sunday, his Twitter post had been shared 2,600 times and received 7,900 likes. A few of the people commenting on the post criticized Callaghan for raising a stink about the activities, but many expressed support for his stance.
Callaghan told Metro the invitation also had upset Ruby, who was “indignant” about not being invited to Bunnings, the local hardware store. She plans to become an engineer.
“She did originally want to go to Bunnings and had asked her male teacher if she could go but was told the Bunnings trip was only for the boys,” he told the site. Callaghan said he was not angry with the school, merely disappointed.
The school responded on social media that students would be permitted to attend either activity, reported The Sun.
“A long tradition at Dubbo West Public School has been activities including preparing hair and light make-up with professionals on the day of the Year 6 graduation,” the post read. “Several years ago, the visit to Bunnings replaced the previous boys’ activity. The school is happy to accommodate any student who prefers the alternative activity. No parents or students have approached the school with concerns about the choice of activities.”