Parents of students who participated in cheerleader tryouts this spring expressed concern Monday night to school trustees regarding the fairness of the system, and indicated not only a desire to see an improved selection process before next year’s selection, but also fairness for all this year.
The matter was first addressed to the cheer instructor and school principal after an error in scoring in selection of the squads was discovered. The matter was then referred to district administrators.
The girl who placed 13th, upon reevaluation of the score sheets, should have actually been the 12th cheerleader on the squad. However, since the other girl had been notified already of selection the squad was expanded to include 13 girls for the 2009-2010 school year instead of just the originally-named 12 girls.
Brian and Robin Vaughn expressed displeasure that while the regulations given to each girl prior to tryouts specifically noted that tumbling was not required, but the girls were scored on tumbling for the freshman squad. They argued that the “entire process is flawed.” They also said that changes to the regulations regarding the scoring system for the squad — not effective until next year’s tryouts — would not be an appropriate resolution.
Another father said that he and his wife, with their daughters, had been involved in cheerleader tryouts through the college level for the last 10 years, in various cities in two states. He questioned judges bias, noting that last year, some of the girls received training at the academy at least one of the judges represented.
The father also questioned the need for a dress code, if all girls weren’t required to adhere to it. He also questioned why the students had to learn all portions of the routine if it wasn’t required, or “I’m asking for fairness for our daughter and the other girls who tried out and sponsors,” the father said.
School officials indicated to the three parents that they “can’t comment on that here” during the open forum section of Monday night’s board meeting. However, trustees did note that they were listening and making note of the parents’ concerns and would take that into consideration.
As the school board was getting ready for executive session, Superintendent Patsy Bolton did take a few minutes to discuss the matter. She noted that after the squad was notified of selection, the scoring error was discovered. The girl who just missed the squad by one place, after the score was recalculated, should have been ranked 12th instead of 13th. Instead of requiring the other girl to step down, administrators decided to have 13 instead of 12 girls on the squad.
Bolton said in an effort to get impartial judges, school officials do try to fill the panel with out-of-town people. This time, the panel included someone “from the same place some of our girls trained.” However, the panel is required to sign a contract stating they have had no prior contact with nor can they identify the girls during tryouts who may have trained at their facility.
“We have talked about different possibilities to settle this a different way. There’s no good way once its done. There were 24 girls picked. Six freshmen, six J.V. and 12 varsity, plus the extra one. These girls have to work together all year. We can’t just throw out the process. It’s not fair to the ones who tried out. It’s easier to evaluate and make changes next year. There’s just not a good way to change it,” said Bolton, noting that while points were awarded for tumbling, they were considered bonus points which added to but did not detract for the base score.
|< Prev||Next >|