Inclusivity Over Talent or Ability

Inclusivity Over Talent or Ability

Inclusivity Over Talent or Ability

Ah, cheerleaders. The spirit leaders of any school. Girls and boys, young men and women, who get up in front of their schools’ fans to pump up the volume at football games and other events. Those same students who ask their parents to shell out hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars on cheer camps and lessons to help their squads win competitions in the hope of claiming a cheering scholarship to college. Yes, cheering has come a long way over the years and is now considered a sport. Thanks to Hanover Park High School in New Jersey, cheering is in the news for something quite different from the abilities and talents of its squad members. Hanover Park High School (HHPS) has deemed it more important to be inclusive so, for at least the next school year, any student who wants to be on the squad shall be — no matter what.

It seems after tryouts were held and cuts were announced, a mother went to school administrators complaining because her little darling didn’t make the team. The administrators in a perfect example of waffling and rolling over and playing dead decided the best course of action was to tell those students who worked hard to make the team that their efforts meant nothing. If someone wanted to be on the team, they were on it. It was all in the name of inclusivity and not ability.

As cheerleader Stephanie Kreuger told the school board, “All my hard work has been thrown out the window. . . I tried my hardest. Now everything is going away because of one child who did not make the team, and their parent complained.” Kreuger is one of those young women who took her training to be a cheerleader seriously, working toward her dream multiple days a week for ten years. And for what? Now membership in the elite “Black Squad” is no longer determined by who is most qualified, most talented. Any junior or senior at HPHS can be part of it.

Inclusivity over talent and ability for the win loss.

How insidious is this? One parent complained about the results of the tryouts and now, suddenly, anyone who wants to be on the team can be. However, when other parents went to the principal to complain about the change, they were told the new policy would be followed or the squad would be disbanded. Talk about a double-standard.

Worse, the Hanover Park Regional High School District Board of Education (and isn’t that a mouthful?) has issued the following:

http://www.hanoverpark.org/Cheerleading%20letter%20to%20parents%20May%207_%202018%20_1_.pdf

So, a complete upheaval in how things were done came about because of “multiple appeals from several parents.” Not a number of parents and not complaints from the students involved — remember, these are high schoolers and not kids in elementary school — but “several parents”.

Justification #2: the score necessary to be named a member of the Black Squad was lowered because not enough students trying out made it. Of course, reading the letter, this isn’t necessarily the case. Why? Because the board admits it was “our understanding” that the score had to be 85. Not that it had verified by talking with the coaches or checking written standards.

And here’s the kicker: “[T]he Board of Education feels that Principal Callanan made the best decision for our students by having the Hanover Park Cheering Program be more inclusive.”

The letter itself is a perfect example of saying nothing while saying a lot. The only good thing is that the decision is limited to the 2018-2019 school year. However, the precedent has been set and it is not a good one. Students who worked hard are finding their work not valued by the district. As a parent, I’d ben concerned about potential injuries to my child because students who are not as qualified are now allowed on the squad.

What does this statement from the school board tell those students who have put in the effort? “In order to facilitate a more inclusive program, the alignment between the various cheerleading squads would be modified to allow all interested students to be able to participate. This decision was made in the best interest of all students and was made to be as inclusive as possible.”

How is it in the best interest of all students? When are we going to say enough is enough and being inclusive should not be at the risk of injury to our children? When are we going to finally admit that actions such as this do nothing to prepare our kids for what they will find in the real world? This school board has forgotten it is supposed to prepare its students for being responsible and productive adults. Instead, they are working hard to make those students who are special through talent and ability anything but.

Written by

32 Comments
  • Timmy says:

    Cut out all cheerleader positions . From HS to NFL. No camps, scholarships, etc. To much of a risk.

  • Nicki says:

    I can tell you, word will quickly spread around about which child’s parent bitched, and that kid is going to have a very miserable high school cheerleading experience. I base this on my own experience with my daughters on cheerleading squads. It will get ugly for that kid.

    • Amanda Green says:

      Judging from what Krueger said, I have feeling they already know. What I find interesting is the media, the kids, basically everyone except the school board, seems to confirm only one parent complained. But, whether it was one or “several”, when did we decide that the best course of action was to cave to the complaints of a few simply because we didn’t want to upset anyone? (and, in doing so, not realize they will upset eve more by giving in to the few?)

      • Michael Becker says:

        “…that kid is going to have a very miserable high school cheerleading experience.”

        Good. It will prepare her for a miserable life. I would add, a well deserved miserable experience and a well deserved miserable life. She can tell her therapist all about it and blame mommy. And major in feminist studies.

      • Scott says:

        “when did we decide that the best course of action was to cave to the complaints of a few simply because we didn’t want to upset anyone? “… When that one is some protected class…

  • Robin H says:

    This is what’s wrong with parenting today. And when her precious daughter doesn’t get off the cheer bench at the games mom will complain again. And then daughter will get hurt and mom will sue.

    These are the same kids that complain in college that their professors are too hard, the food’s not good, the dorms aren’t pretty enough, etc. I’m on a forum for my daughter’s class. They’re juniors in college. One of the moms was asking us if we could recommend a dentist for her son. When my daughter needed one, I gave her our insurance log on info and told her to find one. Amazingly, she did!

    I’m so sick of these whiny parents.

    • Amanda Green says:

      I totally agree. I was there for my son to help fight battles — when he needed me to. But something like this? I would have asked if he did his best and that there would be next year. Then I’d ask what we could do to help increase his chances at the next tryout. I wouldn’t have gone whining to the admins about how my baby didn’t get picked.

    • vlady says:

      This is why teachers so hate cell phones. Not only because they disturb class, but because if you do something a student doesn’t like, they go into the hall, call mom, and mom ambushes the teacher next period — or sometimes mom AND a couple of administrators.

      And, on the same theme, if a mom complains about an A instead of a B, who do you think the administrators back?

      Sometime, just for fun, put PTSD, teachers, and administrators — and maybe “ambush meetings” all in the search bar. Crazy, heh?

      • Amanda Green says:

        We have a video going around locally — it may have now made the national news — that shows a teacher being verbally and physically assaulted by a student. The teacher handles the situation beautifully, de-escalating the situation. The problem? He had taken the student’s cell phone away from him. The student, after causing the uproar in class, left. He came back later and apologized. It is obvious from what the teacher said later that the student has some sort of issue or problem and the teacher was not only aware of it but had been working with him. I have to wonder if students hadn’t been allowed to have their phones in the classroom if this situation wouldn’t have happened.

  • Stephen Ippolito says:

    With each passing year I appreciate more and more the worldly wisdom of my beloved Gilbert and Sullivan, who wrote, relevantly:
    “When everyone is someone, then no-one’s any body”. (The Mikado, I believe)
    Too true.

  • Keith Glass says:

    I imagine the same parent’s will accompany young Buffy to job interviews, and threaten lawsuits when Buffy is not hired. . .

    • Amanda Green says:

      And colleges that dare not let poor Buffy in or — gasp — expect her to complete her homework on time.

  • Eric R. says:

    Seriously, what is wrong with you folks, you heartless right-wing Nazi KKK Rethuglicans?

    So long as no self-esteem is damaged, and more importantly, all cheerleaders are called by their preferred pronouns, who the f^^k cares if they are competent? What matters is the feelz, not ability!

    Sheesh, you people are living in the ancient past — like um, 1980 or something….

  • Alex Bensky says:

    However, I would guess that the school athletic teams will not be selected on the basis of “inclusivity.” What the hell, when I was in school back before the last Ice Age, I tried out for the ninth grade basketball team. I didn’t make it. The reason was I wasn’t very good. I thanked the coach for the chance to try out and went back to reading science fiction novels in the back of my classes. It wouldn’t have occurred to my parents to do anything.

    • Amanda Green says:

      I bet none of the “teams” or organizations that bring the school and/or district money or glory will be hit with the inclusivity requirement. Funny how that never seems to happen, isn’t it?

    • Wyldkat says:

      *chuckle* let me tell you a story.

      A few years back, a new hs opened in our area. The third year a young girl decided that she wanted to be on the football team. She had never played football before, knew only what she had read in a book or two. She attended practice, camps, everything the boys did. There was no “try outs” for the team, due to the size of the school at that time, so she made the JV team. From her sophomore year to junior year she was on the jv team, but hardly ever saw the field during a game. Most of the guys on the team did not want her there. But being the only girl got her a little attention in the school. Her senior year she was placed on the varsity team – not because she had earned the right, but because all seniors were on the varsity team. The coach let her play just enough to qualify for her letter. He didn’t keep her off the field because she was a girl, but because she was probably his weakest player. All the players got letters by the end of the year. Suffice to say that the football team was not very many winning seasons.

      What did she learn from this? That people will accommodate you, that you will always get a prize.

      10 years, a change in coaching staff, and enough people coming out to hold real try-outs, and the team has had winning seasons and I think a division play-off appearance.

      That girl was my niece.

  • Leigh Goldman says:

    I think all the parents should ask to be included on the school board. No parent should be denied because they failed to win an election, it may hurt their self esteem. They should all be included.

    • Amanda Green says:

      Oooh, and they should be allowed to be coaches for the football, basketball and baseball teams too. Just because they don’t have their teaching credentials shouldn’t matter. They love the sports and they know they can do it better than the coaches. That would work, wouldn’t it? VBEG

  • Dalben says:

    The better solution is to just have a JV team so kids who don’t make varsity can still participate and learn skills and maybe make it next time. As an added bonus you have a pool of people to call in if someone on the varsity team gets sick or otherwise can’t participate and you can have cheerleaders at sports events that dont normally get 5hem.

    • SDN says:

      And what, pray tell, makes you think some parent won’t complain when Trigglypuff doesn’t make the varsity?

    • Amanda Green says:

      That may be their thinking in dividing into two teams — determined by grade level. But what about those kids who are 9th and 10th grades who are good enough to be on the “Black Squad” and, vice versa, those who are juniors and seniors who aren’t good enough but, because of their grade, have to be on the “Black Squad”?

      Any bets on whether or not the school board makes this new rule permanent before the end of the next school year?

  • David Longfellow says:

    Once again, academia leads in the race to the bottom.

  • SomeGuy InOhio says:

    I would like to point out that this is in NO way a new phenomenon. Something similar happened at my high school back in 1987. This is a pretty small school (30 cheerleaders, the majority of which would be freshmen. Did I mention the size of the school?

    Well, naturally the girls that actually qualified – three of which were that years valedictorian and the next year’s valedictorian AND salutorian – complained mightily. The new principal told them they had to accept it or there would be no cheerleading that year. The qualified girls responded by agreeing with him – and dropping off the squad. Not just a few of the girls that didn’t qualify also refused.

    There are some other details, but to sum up it wasn’t a banner year for the school’s athletics.

    The next year, the rule was returned to normal. The year after that, the school had another new principal.

  • Steve S says:

    Why limit this to cheer leading?

    “The emphasis within the Regional High School District shall be upon group involvement rather than featuring the performance of a single or select individual or individuals.” Therefore, for the 2018-2019 school year, the Hanover Park Regional Board of Education supports the structural change as follows:
    ■ Grades 11 and 12 will be awarded a grade of “A” for all of their classes
    ■ Grades 9 and 10 will be awarded a grade of “B” for all of their classes

    What could go wrong?

  • GWB says:

    See, I’m seeing this as a good thing. After all, if I’m a geeky, HS male, I can’t ever make it with a cheerleader. But, if *all* the girls are cheerleaders, then I too can date a cheerleader! Woohoo! Finally, a win for geeks and nerds! A rising tide lifts all boats, you know.

  • SFC D says:

    Parents, teach your children these facts as soon as they start school;
    1- Everybody doesn’t make the team.
    2- Those that make the team, don’t always start.
    3- Sometimes, even though you work hard and do your best, you lose. Hold your head high with the knowledge that you gave your best. The world will still exist and you will survive.
    4- There is life after high school.

  • Thomas Hazlewood says:

    Can’t wait to see how their Math, Chess, and football teams will fare under the new policy….

  • rbj says:

    This mother is actually harming her daughter. Life hands you many disappointments. Maybe the girl did put in the effort, but, say, she’s not coordinated enough to cheer in sync with the other girls. Learn how to handle disappointment and what things you aren’t good at.

    Michael Jordan got cut from his freshman high school basketball team. He learned disappointment and how to work even harder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe
Become a Victory Girl!

Are you interested in writing for Victory Girls? If you’d like to blog about politics and current events from a conservative POV, send us a writing sample here.
Ava Gardner
gisonboat
rovin_readhead
Instagram