ACLU takes aim at Wisconsin school over cheerleader ‘awards’

February 20, 2019 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
A Wisconsin high school has been put on notice by the ACLU after the organization learned of inappropriate awards that were given to cheerleaders at the team banquet.

The ACLU received complaints that Tremper High School cheerleaders were given the “Big Boobie Award,” “Big Booty Award” and “String Bean Award” during the 2018 season-ending banquet. At least one parent complained to the school district but, according to the ACLU, little was done to address the issue. Now, the organization is asking that the school discipline the coaches and implement mandatory anti-harassment training for all district employees.

From the ACLU:

A parent reported that the coaches “laughed hysterically” when handing the Big Boobie award to its recipient and made comments on the microphone about “what a feat” it was that this student could maneuver through cheer routines with her “enormous boobs.”

The ACLU received video footage of the coaches handing the Big Booty award to its recipient when doing so, the coaches proclaimed in front of the crowd, “We love her butt. Everybody loves her butt.”

Both the awards ceremony and the selective enforcement of the dress code against female students send the message to girls that their worth lies in their physical appearance not their academic or athletic abilities.

The ACLU discovered through an open records request that at least one other coach at the school emailed the cheer coach to express concern over the awards.

“The last thing these high school girls need is a fellow woman in their lives communicating to them that they are objects or that their appearance is something to be gawked at, demeaned, laughed at, or even awarded for that matter,” the coach wrote.

The cheer coach responded: “I honestly don’t feel that I need to explain myself about how we ran our banquet. Actually we have ran it this way for years and have never had a problem.”

Read the entire letter from the ACLU of Wisconsin.

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