Everybody makes the team: Students, parents angry about school’s ‘inclusive’ cheerleading policy
EAST HANOVER, N.J. – Everybody makes the team.
A New Jersey high school drew heat from students and parents for a new policy that says everyone makes the cheerleading squad or no one does.
According to WCBS, the change came after a mother complained that her child didn’t make the cut. To make the cheerleading squad at Hanover Park High School, prospective members go through a tryout in which coaches score them on things like jumps and choreography before making their final picks for the team.
But after the mother whose daughter didn’t make the squad complained after last month’s tryout, the school decided to try the new policy, which administrators said was intended to make cheerleading more inclusive.
In a letter to parents, the superintendent wrote that the tryout process was “invalid” and that the school’s elite cheering team—the “Black Squad”—would no longer be determined by skill level.
The cheerleader whose mother complained about the process made one of the lower-tier squads.
The superintendent told WCBS in an email that the new policy is “in the best interest of our students and was made to be as inclusive as possible.”
The change upset several parents and cheerleaders, including sophomore Stephanie Krueger, who said she’s spent years training to make the team.
“All the time I’ve spent in my cheer gym practicing, constantly flipping, practicing my jumps, all was just like gone,” Krueger told WCBS. “I can’t believe, like, my hard work just dropped. It’s like telling a football player — your star varsity football player — they can’t play anymore because we want to make it all inclusive.”
The school board is reviewing the matter.