The Odessa Record -

Letter to the Editor: Response to Boss letter from athletic director


October 5, 2017

To the Editor:

I am writing this in response to the “Letter to the Editor” written by Briette Boss in last week’s Odessa Record. I will begin by saying everyone is certainly entitled to their own opinion, but not their own set of facts. Miss Boss neglected to ask/interview any of the administration at the Odessa School District as to why the cheer squad does not currently ride the bus to games. Perhaps the information provided below will shed light on any continued concerns.

In years past, the cheer squad has ridden the bus with the team(s). As a district, we made the decision to not have the cheer squad ride the bus based on a few simple reasons from time to time. Prior to this year, our cheer advisor was a teacher and/or district employee. We chose to send the cheer squad in a separate vehicle to limit the amount of time out of class for both staff and students as the educational process is our priority.

Most teams arrive to away games one to one-and-a-half hours prior to games to get dressed for competition and to have ample time to warm-up (i.e. football). For basketball, the cheer squad does not cheer during JV games, and we felt it was not necessary for them to miss class time to go and sit for up to four hours while the JV team games were being played. Cheer advisors have often requested to drive a separate school vehicle enabling the cheer squad and advisor to leave for home as soon as the game ended and not have to wait for the team to shower and load up.

Additionally, there have been times in recent years where the decision was made to have the cheer squad ride the bus based on weather and road conditions. This was often dependent upon whether or not the cheer advisor felt comfortable and confident driving in winter conditions. Having the cheer squad take a separate school vehicle has also been based on the number of participants for a sport and having ample room on the bus for teams and gear.

Miss Boss states, “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.” I can assure you, no such statement or innuendo has been made in my presence as transportation meetings and decisions have taken place.

Since the dissolution of the Odessa-Harrington cooperative, we (the administration and school board) had to make some tough decisions on which sports to offer based on number of participants and finances. We are offering cheer this year thanks to volunteer cheer coach Kellie Luiten. The five girls expressing an interest in cheering have formed a squad and done a great job supporting the Tigers.

Bruce Todd

Odessa Tigers Athletic Director


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