Wednesday, January 09, 2008

School Pays $3,000 For Gender Discrimination Against Boy Cheerleader

I don't know where to begin with this story, so I'll just give you the tidbits and let you decide for yourself.

Bobby Thorn wanted to be the only boy on his school's cheerleading squad, but that didn't happen.

The 13-year-old attends East Hardin Middle School in Glendale, but the controversial decision to cut him from the team expands beyond the district's boundaries.

Bobby's mother filed a discrimination claim with the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights two years ago, and now a settlement has been reached...

Despite his flips, his tryout was a flop. He didn't make the team.

“I was devastated,” he said.

So was Bobby's mother, Melissa Barner, who said she has sworn statements from other parents stating the coach admitted cutting Bobby because she didn't want a boy on her team.

Here's the part that disturbs me most.

In the settlement agreement, the school admits no wrongdoing but the commission has ordered mandatory training for the principal, teachers and coaches at the school.

Why not the secretaries and custodians, too? They had as much to do with this as the teachers did. And the woman who cut him isn't even the cheerleading coach anymore. Such mandatory "diversity training" (they're not calling it that, but you make the call) has always struck me as excessively punitive, counterproductive, wrong-headed, and sometimes even dangerous.


Donalbain said...

Well, if true that he didn't make the squad because he is a boy, then that is wrong and should be addressed. But, as for a lawsuit? Sheesh!

allen said...

Ah, but mandatory diversity training has one salient characteristic that strongly recommends its use: it has the appearance of substantive action. If there's nothing worthwhile you can do then do something that appears to be worthwhile is an excellent substitute.

Mrs. C said...

Um, they "admit no wrongdoing," so nothing could have been done that would be considered "wrong." But they are ordered to do a bunch of training to correct the wrongs they never did.

Interesting times we live in, no?

Hube said...

This is why I gave up coaching (school sports) five years ago. The gripes from parents were getting beyond petty and ridiculous. My last coaching gig was the softball team, and I dreaded cut time. The parent phone calls poured in. "But my daughter was an all-star last year!" Etc. (Never mind that our school draws from areas that have myriad private softball leagues!)

When administrators began second-guessing coaching decisions, it was time to throw in the towel.

Darren said...

Interesting times we live in, yes.

And if I coached and an administrator got involved in anything other than researching misconduct, I'd quit.

Anonymous said...

This seems to be a cheap attempt to cash in on the latest litigious scheme.

Of course the young man was "devastated" at not making the team!

Perhaps the shattered young man should consider a move to genderless California.

Darren said...

Perhaps he should. Then he could cheer for the girls who play on high school football teams (yes, they do).

Donalbain said...

And why exactly shouldn't girls play on the football teams? If they are good enough, what is the problem?

And as for male cheerleaders, some of them eve go on to lead the "free world"

Darren said...

Who said they shouldn't?

Ellen K said...

Any way you call it, it's punishment and payback. It would be one thing if there was a coed squad, which many schools have. But like it or not, in middle school on an all girl squad, a boy is going to get picked on. And his mother is definitely a classic case of interfering Smothers.