Current Cheer Policy Has Sophomores on Sidelines, Parents Want Change 12/17/13
CBS 7 News Reporter
December 17, 2013
Odessa - A local high school has cheerleading hopefuls sitting in the bleachers. Now parents are demanding that their kids have the same opportunities as other athletes.
The school district calls it tradition, however parents call it discrimination. Either way, if you're a sophomore, you'll be cheering on the Panther football team from the stands.
Friday Night Lights is a long standing tradition in west Texas, it's an experience Heather Hutson wants her daughter to be part of. However a policy is standing in her way.
"Right now the policy at Permian is they do not allow incoming sophomores to tryout for cheerleading," Hutson said.
Roy Garcia, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Campuses at Ector County ISD, says it's a policy that has been in place for years and has never had a problem with it.
"They cheer their entire 9th grade year. When they come to Permian they don’t cheer Sept, Oct, Nov, but after that they can cheer," he said.
But Hutson claims although this policy is tradition, she sees it as unfair and is working to change it. Ideally, she would like to see more than just a Varsity squad.
"I want equality. I don't see where my daughter is any different from my two boys. I've had one where he went through the system and played football and basketball," she said.
But change isn't easy. Unlike other teams, cheerleading’s season starts in November with basketball and ends with football.
"The other things we try to make happen. We want kids to participate and that’s part of why we're going to have to revisit how we're doing things," Garcia said.
Until the school board makes a revision to the constitution, the sidelines are where sophomores will stay.
Garcia says they will have to consider changing the constitution when they move the freshman over to the high schools.