Motivational speaker offers controversial dating tips for teens

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by STEVE STOLER and JOBIN PANICKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on November 13, 2013 at 11:43 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 13 at 11:59 PM

RICHARDSON — His speech was supposed to be thought-provoking, but it has turned some parents and students to anger.

Justin Lookadoo was the guest at a student assembly at Richardson High School. But the Christian motivational speaker, hired by the PTA, instead faced harsh criticism from students after the event.

Students circled around the speaker and hurled questions about his philosophies.

"Why did you tell girls to get out of abusive relationships instead of telling guys not to be abusive in the first place?" one student asked.

"I've done about 4,000 programs. That's never happened," Lookadoo confessed.

Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles, mother of a RHS student and a professor at Southern Methodist University, said Lookadoo "lacks the qualifications to speak on the subject."

Clark-Soles questions his credentials, and — more importantly — the messages found on his website.

This is an excerpt from Lookadoo's list of rules for being a "dateable" girl:

Dateable girls know how to shut up. They don’t monopolize the conversation. They don’t tell everyone everything about themselves. They save some for later. They listen more than they gab.

And from his rules for being a "dateable" boy:

Dateable guys know they aren’t as sensitive as girls, and that’s okay. They know they are stronger, more dangerous, and more adventurous, and that’s okay. Dateable guys are real men who aren’t afraid to be guys.

"I think it's promoting gender stereotypes that are dangerous and problematic in numerous ways," Clark-Soles said.

On Wednesday night, Richardson High School Principal Charles Bruner sent out a voicemail recording to all parents. He said some people were appreciative of the message delivered by Lookadoo, but he understands not everyone felt that way.

"Some others were offended by his choice of non-religious terminology used to illustrate his topics. I deeply regret this," Bruner said in the recording. "It was not the intent to offend anyone, and I apologize to those who were."

The high school said Lookadoo was carefully vetted, and had visited the school for an assembly several years ago. The district said Lookadoo was told in the morning not to discuss religion or mention rules outlined on his website, and he complied.

Lookadoo stands by his message, and says it was tailored to his audience.

"Whenever you go into a school versus a church versus a business, you got to play the game you're in," he said.

The school said the assembly was optional for students, but Clark-Soles said that option was not presented to students or parents in a timely manner.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com and jpanicker@wfaa.com

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