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Cheerleading debacle at Atascocita High School

Posted by Texas Education on November 18, 2008

Wow, I was at the board meeting a few months back when a bunch, I do mean a bunch, of parents were a hooping and a hollering about some “injustice” being done on their beloved cheerleaders. Suffice it to say, I’m not a huge cheerleading fan. Cliques, is an understatement, and I will expand upon that later. At the board meeting, which I actually spoke at, giving a thumbs up on our water polo endeavors, though things can change ever so quickly, and they have, and more on that in another post. There is an article in the Tribune about parents up in arms about a student that was allowed back into the squad, though she did not make the tryouts this year. I’m still not clear on the whole issue, one, even why it’s an issue. The big deal (IMHO) is a policy was changed for one girl, who’s parents apparently made a stink, and the rest of the team and their parents were up in arms over that policy change by the board.

The student in question was awarded the position based on her previous membership in the program and her following elimination at tryouts. The ruling changed the policy retroactively, at Principal Donna Rovigno’s discretion, and was upheld by Associate Superintendent Paula Almond.

So, why am I here, why do I even give a rats patootie? Well, some parents have filed a law suit against the school district. OMG!

David and Maria Paulus brought a Level III grievance against the district following the addition of a varsity cheerleader five months into the year. According to the Pauluses, the addition was a violation of the handbook, which states that all members must try out, regardless of previous position on the squad or class level.

Mr. Paulus states in the article, “‘You are virtually crippling this person, because they now believe that they can get whatever they want, despite rules,” said Paulus. “We want to teach our students life lessons,” he said.” Dave Martin, school board president says, “I want inclusion. These aren’t 25-year-old women that need to be taught a lesson. When we went down this path to making smaller learning communities, we gave students the opportunity to be involved.” And Dan Huberty also says, “Our focus as a district is to be inclusive and let children participate. Has there been harm done?” I have to totally agree with both of these board members.

I also like to use the saying, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Based on what our students, teachers, parents, administrators and district have been going through, to bring a law suit to this district, only intensifies and exacerbates our problems. The parent goes on to say, “Harmony of the team has been shaken this year,” said Paulus, and added that cliques had been formed as a result of the controversy. Um? The harmony has been shaken because a student that had previously been on the team didn’t qualify, but was put on the team anyway? I’m sorry, but this sure smells of a bunch of whiny parents. Of course, I don’t know the whole story, but based on what I’ve seen and what I’ve read, these people need to get a life. I may be a bit blunt, but with our economy, schools in crisis, teachers and positions being eliminated, great programs being cut, this seems a bit petty. And even when I was in high school, seems cheerleading and cliques were synonymous, weren’t they, and aren’t they still?

Yeah, many will argue that this was, maybe, not right. Some were hurt and maybe an injustice was done. But to the degree of a LAWSUIT? And unfortunately, the Tribune misspelled Ms. Rovegno’s first name, for the record it is Dania!

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