Cheerleader threatens lawsuit after not making squad

July 20, 2016 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
A Florida high school student has threatened to sue the district after learning she didn’t make the cheerleading squad — and the district may overturn the coach’s decision.

cheerleadingAccording to the Tallahassee Democrat, Leon County Schools is “investigating” to determine whether the senior high school student should be placed on the team. Cheerleading squad coach Caylen Berry said the girl fell twice during tryouts and, consequently, did not make the cut. The newspaper reported that the parents filed a complaint with the school district, and the student is threatening to sue.

From the Tallahassee Democrat:

“They should not put an athlete on the team that doesn’t deserve to be on the team,” Berry said. “A decision like this would question my integrity as a professional. It also questions the entire legitimacy of tryouts and cheerleading as a sport.”

Berry has coached for eight years; this will be her second year at Leon. She said she refuses to have “something like this” stain her career.

“This is just a thing the district does and thinks is okay,” Berry added. “I don’t know why the district feels the need to go behind the back of the coaches and the school.”

It’s not uncommon for parents or students to complain in situations like this, but what is unusual is that a district would entertain overturning the coaching staff’s decision and placing the student on the team. At least, it sounds strange until you learn that the school district has done this before.

The article notes that the district has overturned coaches’ decisions in the past, and that sends the message that these types of complaints lead to action. Most districts leave the decisions in the coaches’ hands, but when the district gets involved, it sets a precedent.

The coaches and some of the cheerleaders have said they will quit the team if the district intervenes and bypasses the tryouts process, according to the article.

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