The Odessa Record -

Letter to the Editor: Letter writer objects to second-class treatment

 

September 28, 2017



To the Editor:

I was a cheerleader all throughout high school here in Odessa. When I was a freshman, we cheerleaders were allowed to ride the bus with the football players to all the out-of-town games. Over the years since my freshman year of high school in 2013, the girls of the Odessa cheer team have been unable to ride the bus due to excuses from football coaches, players and the school. After learning that this is still going on and that the 2017-2018 cheerleaders cannot ride the bus to attend out-of-town games, I thought it was important to address this issue now head on.

Several times I overheard that we cheerleaders were not allowed to ride with the boys on the bus because we were distracting, and because we were not wanted. Now how do you think that makes the cheer-leading team feel? A team dedicated to cheering, supporting and celebrating the boys football team. Not only that, but how do you think that makes the girls on the cheer-leading team feel about their importance here at Odessa High School? If the reason the girls aren’t allowed to ride the bus with the boys is because the cheerleaders are distracting, then I believe that the coaches’ and school’s reasoning is not only an excuse for boys in our school to be disrespectful but also is an example to our students that it’s okay for people to be excluded because of their team, gender and/or uniform. Young women should not be taught at a young age and especially by Odessa High School that because they are girls and wear skirts (which is part of the cheer uniform and is no worse than the spandex worn at volleyball games), they are provoking the football players and/or others in a way that should get them excluded from school sports and/or other activities.

It’s upsetting that the cheer team isn’t taken seriously. These students dedicate their time to celebrating school spirit, trying to support the sports teams that have no respect for them in return. The most troubling aspect of this issue is that this attitude is accepted by the school at all. To not allow the cheerleaders to participate in away games because they’re “not wanted” is to show that some students have more privileges than others. That isn’t the type of lesson students should be taking away from Odessa High School. As a school and community, we should support all students and give them an equal opportunity to participate in school activities. We can’t leave any student behind.

Briette Boss

Odessa

 

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