Cheerleading “debacle”

By Jared Kraham | The Warrior Report

In Friday’s Press & Sun Bulletin, I was reading the Opinion page and found that Chenango Valley Senior Seth Mohney had written a letter to the editor about the Civil Rights Office’s cheerleading decision:

“When are people at the Civil Rights Office going to realize that some things are the way they are for a reason?

As a member of the Chenango Valley boys’ basketball team, I have been able to hear the opinions of all the parties involved in this cheerleading debacle. The cheerleaders, girls’ basketball players, and boys’ basketball players all feel that things were fine the way they were before the decision.

It’s truly a shame when the opinion of an overwhelming majority goes unheard because one woman makes a complaint. The way things are going, a male athlete could complain that having separate teams for males and females is a form of inequality, and we’d have to go co-ed.

Like the New York Lotto says, “Hey, you never know.”

Seth answers the question that everyone in the school is discussing – Who wants this change? It is clear to a large majority of people that the “infringement” that the decision speaks of is on the basis of one woman (Rosie Pudish) making a complaint. In her guest viewpoint article in the Press & Sun-Bulletin on November 19, she explains her reasons for feeling the way she does:

“In the Press & Sun-Bulletin editorial of Nov. 7 entitled “Forced Cheer,” the Press asks if my complaint to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights was a consensus of girl athletes in STAC. It is interesting to note that neither the schools, nor the Press, ask for consensus from the male athletes as to whether they want cheerleaders. It is simply assumed that male athletes deserve the attention, encouragement and atmosphere of school spirit and sportsmanship.”

The question at hand is not what was asked of Rosie Pudish by the media, it was what her answer was. She didn’t have one. I have heard personally from JV and Varsity cheerleaders, boys’ and girls’ basketball players, and parents of these athletes who consider this mess another situation where one person has wrongly represented the feelings of many. This decision downgrades the importance of cheerleaders at our basketball games and is backed by one woman, one woman that also believes that:

“Many school districts in the Southern Tier send a negative and sexist message by charging admission only to boys sporting events, but not charging admission for girls events.”

(Link available here for entire article)

If anyone in support of the decision can find say, ten cheerleaders or basketball players who agree with Rosie Pudish, let their voices be heard because I have not heard them yet.

If I had to come up with a solution, I would give a vote to the basketball and cheerleading teams. If STAC could recognize these votes and every year let them be the deciding factor for the cheerleading schedule, the majority would rule in the favor that best fits the Southern Tier Athletic Conference. Right? I believe that Rosie Pudish would have a hard time arguing with a unanimous vote against her, and cheerleading could return to normal just as the sneakers start to squeak on the basketball court.


1 Comment

  1. Well said.

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