April 15th, 2004

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04:13 pm - 1KWFFH: on the right to engage in extracurricular sporting activity.

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1KWFFH: on the right to engage in extracurricular sporting activity. - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

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[User Picture]From: katieboyd Date: April 15th, 2004 - 04:00 pm (Link)
In my high school, we had a girl in a wheelchair on the cheerleading squad. I had several rants similar to yours above regarding this situation.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 07:28 pm (Link)
see, I'm slightly more torn on that. Did your cheerleading squad goto cheer competitions? Did they cut anyone? See, if there were a competitive cheer squad and a pep squad/spirit club, I'd be all for the wheelchair girl joining the the pep squad, but if there are actual physical, acrobatic and atheltic requirements for the cheerleading team, and said team competes in cheer competitions, then people who can't make the cut... well shouldn't make the cut...
[User Picture]From: katieboyd Date: April 15th, 2004 - 08:42 pm (Link)
I'm not sure how involved they were in competitions. I just wasn't something I paid close attention to in high school. However, there were acrobatic and athletic requirements that everyone else had to perform in order to get on the squad. I don't know if it was a situation of being on, then being 'cut'. I think it was more of a simple situation of going to the try-outs and only a certain few, those who performed the best, would make it on the team.
My rants were slightly different than your particular rant, but in a similar spirit. It is sad that the girl is handicaped. It is sad that there are many things that we can do that she cannot, due to her situation, such as walk. But I think being a cheerleader, is, unfortunately for her, one of those things. It's too bad, but it's just not something she can do.
Also, since most of the requirements for getting on the team, for everyone else, included being able to successfully perform backflips and other acrobatics, how could they possibly 'fairly' judge whether she should be on the team?

She was also very active in choir, which I think is a fine organization for her. Though we did also do dances and such at certain concerts, that is not essential to the purpose of the group. I think it is essential to cheerleading, and so shouldn't be ignored.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: April 15th, 2004 - 09:25 pm (Link)
I'm not really differentiating being cut from not making the team. But yes, I would think that being a cheerleader should require a certain amount of acrobatic ability and athletic skill. The fact that she can't do it because she can't walk does not make her more qualified to be on the team than the girl who can't do it because she's too clumsy or whatever. So yeah, I am inclined to agree. Its sad that she can't walk, but that shouldn't give her a token free pass. This isn't the same as discriminating against a black student who might be just as capable of doing the routines as the white student. Similarly, I think its reasonable to cut an overweght student on the grounds that the other squad members can't reasonably throw her up in the air, if such was a requirement of cheerleading.

In college, there was a student in one of my creative writing classes. He spoke english as a second language, and not very well. Not horribly, but clearly with some problems. Several members of the class got upset with me for criticizing the grammar in his stories since it was "very good, considering he didn't speak the language very well" but I felt that, though it sucks that he doesn't speak english well, that shouldn't relax our judgement of his english in an english class. I would have felt the same way about a student who had a severe learning disability, or one that simply sucked at writing. I think this is the same issue.

Yeah, I think we're more or less on the same page.

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