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High School Bars Student With Down Syndrome From Cheerleading Squad
life news ^ | Katie McCann

Posted on 06/21/2013 7:10:00 AM PDT by Morgana

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”

This inspirational statement has been taken to heart by many in disabled communities for its uplifting and liberating spirit. Unfortunately, Marion County’s Elgin High School is not taking it to heart.

It is to the school’s great shame that Allison Williams, a fourteen year-old student with Down Syndrome, was barred from its cheerleading squad. Rather than espousing a can-do, positive attitude, Elgin’s non-competitive squad, which doesn’t do tumbling or pyramids, told Alli’s parents that “even with accommodations she would not meet the minimum criteria to be a cheerleader.” Furthermore, even if spots remained open after try-outs were completed, Allison would still be denied a place on the squad.

Yet Allison loves cheerleading, and her mother says that it benefits Alli, allowing her to watch and learn from her peer cheerleaders.

Glee actress Lauren Potter portrays Becky, a cheerleader with Down Syndrome. (right)

In an age when a young woman with Down Syndrome portrays a high school cheerleader on the popular television show Glee (which also takes place in Ohio), it seems rather backwards and sadly ironic for an Ohio high school to deny Alli the opportunity to learn and grow while performing an activity that she loves. To the great credit of Ohio’s young people, Alli is finding plenty of support from other cheer teams.

CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!

If a bad attitude is disabling, a positive attitude is enabling. Love and passion are the things that motivate us to achieve the unthinkable. And if Alli has a passion for cheerleading, denying her the opportunity to live out that passion on a non-competitive cheerleading team would seem to be truly disabling.

But whether Alli is eventually offered a place on the squad or not, she should keep her spirits high, maintaining strength through a positive attitude. Elgin High School needs to readjust its attitude to a positive, enabling one. It only cripples itself in assuming a bad attitude towards Alli.


TOPICS: Education
KEYWORDS: downsyndrome; moralabsolutes; prolife
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1 posted on 06/21/2013 7:10:00 AM PDT by Morgana
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To: Morgana

Just when you think there aren’t some educators out there who can’t get even more stupid, stuff like this happens.


2 posted on 06/21/2013 7:12:29 AM PDT by grania
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To: grania

I blame Bill Maher and Whoopi Goldberg


3 posted on 06/21/2013 7:13:30 AM PDT by babble-on
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To: Morgana

In an age when a young woman with Down Syndrome portrays a high school cheerleader on the popular television show Glee (which also takes place in Ohio), it seems rather backwards and sadly ironic for an Ohio high school to deny Alli the opportunity to learn and grow while performing an activity that she loves.


Fascinating that someone honestly believes that we get our cues of what is the correct action in the real world should be based on the sensibilities of a writer of the script for a kids TV show.

I’m stunned that they can say something like this and think they will not take a hit to their credibility.


4 posted on 06/21/2013 7:13:50 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: Morgana

Yet Allison loves cheerleading...


Yeah, a lot of girls do. It’s why they do it in their bedroom a lot. Not everyone has the qualifications that’s just life...

I think Mick jaggar said it best: You can’t always get what you want.


5 posted on 06/21/2013 7:15:11 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: Morgana
Is Alli a student at this highschool?
6 posted on 06/21/2013 7:15:51 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: Morgana

Sorry, disability Mafia making more demands. Oh, and Glee encourages sex perversion, too. Should we applaud that?


7 posted on 06/21/2013 7:17:41 AM PDT by twister881
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To: Morgana

With all due respect and agreement with Pro-Life, etc. I have a hard time equating this story with something akin to a Pro-Life argument, however loosely it is defined.

Is this story to be taken to mean that because her mother didn’t abort her or something, she should be accorded every opportunity in life to do what she wants?

The school, educator - whoever should have certain standards, physical or otherwise, that set the qualifications for cheerleading. If this girl can meet them, and can fill an opening, then more power to her. It is not one, however, of “Pro-life.”


8 posted on 06/21/2013 7:17:42 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: cuban leaf
I’m stunned that they can say something like this and think they will not take a hit to their credibility

'Hitting their credibility' is akin to someone being able to steal my Cy Young awards away from me....

9 posted on 06/21/2013 7:18:18 AM PDT by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: Morgana

Should they even have tryouts for cheerleading if there are no requirements for ability?


10 posted on 06/21/2013 7:21:05 AM PDT by Pan_Yan (I believe in God. All else is dubious.)
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To: Morgana

If she can do the routines and other aspects well enough to make the team, she earns a place regardless of her disability. If she cannot, then this is all about adults trying to one up each other with how ‘caring’ they are...

If so they could very well harm the child when she discovers all those people treated her like a movie prop for their own benefit.

Which it appears they are.


11 posted on 06/21/2013 7:21:59 AM PDT by Norm Lenhart
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To: cuban leaf

exactly.

So she can’t do it, that;s life , we don’t; get what we want all the time.
There is a girl who went to school with on of my boys and she was in a wheel chair,
This girl never had to write a paper, never did homework, never did math or anything, she had an aide who did the work for her and now she gets all A’s, goes to the front of the line for everything and gets rewards which I have never heard of.

Course say something and you get the reply of “OMG what is wrong with you she;s in a wheel chair” or “how insensitive “

I;m sick of it, there is always the victims out there, just like I heard about the dope called Hannity who had Bill Cunningham on and who told that liberal tamara to shut up and she was a stooge and now people are offended how he could talk to her like that and call her a name and yet they ignore how she first told him to shut up.

Now we’ll let millions of new unskilled uneducated this world immigrant victims in


12 posted on 06/21/2013 7:23:18 AM PDT by manc (Marriage =1 man + 1 woman,when they say marriage equality then they should support polygamy)
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To: Norm Lenhart

that is one of my pet peeves.
Adults trying to one up on another adult, I frigging hate it..

If there is a death of a star, if they hear something on the news, if there is a school shooting what ever it is there is always adults , mostly women though who have t cry more than the other woman, the adult who has to boast that they were there passing the school 6 months ago because they look for a connection


13 posted on 06/21/2013 7:26:06 AM PDT by manc (Marriage =1 man + 1 woman,when they say marriage equality then they should support polygamy)
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To: Norm Lenhart
If she can make the team on merit great. If not, isn’t there usually a pep squad for all the cheerleader want a be’s?
14 posted on 06/21/2013 7:27:55 AM PDT by Average Al
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To: Morgana

Why not? We have a president with the same disability, cheering while America burns...


15 posted on 06/21/2013 7:29:12 AM PDT by mikeus_maximus
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To: Morgana

What’s missing from this discussion and the comments is the definition of the criteria the school used. According to the story there was no tumbling or other physical routines, so the question is ‘what couldn’t she do?’.

In most of the feel good stories of this nature the participant was welcomed by their peers, who would go out of their way to be inclusive BY THEMSELVES. For those of you in this thread who complain about not getting everything you want, just remember that another conservative concept is freedom of choice. If the peers are willing to choose to include the young lady then who are we to take the exclusion approach?

Sounds to me like the school took the legal liability way out instead of really thinking through what could be done. And funny that a disabled young lady, trying to take self-initiatives, are disdained by some on this thread. Sounds like the type of person we conservatives should be cheering on.


16 posted on 06/21/2013 7:33:05 AM PDT by LRoggy (Peter's Son's Business)
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To: manc; cuban leaf; narses; All

Yet we have to “accommodate” toilets for mentally ill ie “transgender” students. So why not Down Syndrome children???


17 posted on 06/21/2013 7:35:57 AM PDT by Morgana (Always a bit of truth in dark humor.)
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To: Morgana

Sigh. More cheerleader wars. Cheerleading is show business—squads discriminate for appearance all the time.


18 posted on 06/21/2013 7:38:46 AM PDT by Mamzelle
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To: Norm Lenhart

Agree. Very well stated.


19 posted on 06/21/2013 7:42:01 AM PDT by CrazyIvan (Obama's birth certificate was found stapled to Soros's receilpt.)
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To: Average Al

Yup. But the leftists have to make everyone equal in all ways.

They don’t care a whit what emotional destruction this girl will experience when she discovers the truth. But even if she never does, she will KNOW she is different when she can’t do all the things the proficient cheerleaders can. And no one stops to think about the anger of the girls cut from the squad will feel. All to push an agends.

But you can best believe when one of those girls voices so much as a complaint, they will toss her into sensitivity training, tag them as a bully and wreck their young life...the results of which will follow them into adulthood.

And if anyone thinks I’m laying it on thick, think the course of events through as things now work in America and see if you still feel that way.

All that said, I want this girl to succeed in what ever ways her disability lets her. And to be happy and proud of what she CAN do, whatever it may be. But cheerleading is not that.


20 posted on 06/21/2013 7:45:10 AM PDT by Norm Lenhart
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To: LRoggy

Do members of the football team vote to see who makes the cut?


21 posted on 06/21/2013 7:48:27 AM PDT by Norm Lenhart
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To: LRoggy

If the school method of choosing a cheerleading squad was to run a cheerleading squad popularity contest (passed down from year to year, I suppose, like a college fraternity?) and there weren’t any liability issues for the school, then I’d say you were right.

I didn’t read anything about that being the usual process that was thwarted here.


22 posted on 06/21/2013 7:52:09 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: cuban leaf

It’s described as a non-competitive squad that doesn’t do the acrobatic and gymnastic routines. With no qualifications, how do they disqualify someone?


23 posted on 06/21/2013 7:54:41 AM PDT by grania
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To: manc

My 16 year old daughter was diagnosed with a movement disorder this past year, writer’s cramp (focal dystonia) and tendonits. It’s affecting her ability to write and type. It may be spreading to her legs. If so, she’ll be in a wheelchair.

It’s been very difficult at school because my daughter is brlliant. How does she show she knows the material? Before this happened , she had a 4.3 in all honors classes.

It makes you change your perspective on things.


24 posted on 06/21/2013 7:57:53 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: Morgana

This is all about looks. Period.


25 posted on 06/21/2013 8:03:08 AM PDT by 4yearlurker (Hurry Jesus!!!!!)
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To: luckystarmom

which Doc are you seeing as tendonitis spreading, never heard of that nor does focal dystonia spread.

there is always different circumstances but the problem is this girl has done nothing and yet gets rewards and why on earth should she always be in line first , get all A’s.

Hope your girl is better


26 posted on 06/21/2013 8:07:02 AM PDT by manc (Marriage =1 man + 1 woman,when they say marriage equality then they should support polygamy)
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To: Morgana

The article stated that this child did not meet the requirements. Other girls didn’t meet them either. The article also claims that open spots would go unfilled. This means that all the other girls who didn’t make the squad will also be left out. This is not an issue, it’s parents being attention whores and demanding special privileges.


27 posted on 06/21/2013 8:08:53 AM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: Norm Lenhart
What about the mentally impaired, wheel chair bound, blind, trans-gender and lesbian girls? Have we no feelings for them as well?
28 posted on 06/21/2013 8:14:20 AM PDT by Average Al
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To: luckystarmom

Your daughter’s issues are quite different from this situation. Creating her own work while having the accommodation of an aide to record her own work is not the same as this girl not having the abilities to make the squad. I’m a big fan of chiropractic and non-medical remedies. If you haven’t looked into this it’s worth a shot. Good luck.


29 posted on 06/21/2013 8:14:20 AM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: Morgana
My wife was the high school and local university cheerleading coach for about ten years.

We received death threats when certain well know people's kids did not make the team or were benched for missing practice.

At the time I was a 240 pound bodybuilder which pretty much eleviated all problems at games when the cheerleaders dads met me at games.

Unlike the high school, The university policy was that if your parents called the coaches, you were off the team. Time to be an adult and address your own issues.

Best day ever was when she call it quits on both squads.

30 posted on 06/21/2013 8:15:59 AM PDT by Newbomb Turk ("All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.")
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To: Norm Lenhart

“Do members of the football team vote to see who makes the cut?”

There might be a few schools that do that. I seem to remember some ESPN features where the players voted to make the disabled kid an honorary member of the team, and include them in much of the team activities. And there are some instances where the ‘player’ got into a game for a play and both teams cooperated to make it a memorable moment for the kid.

And how about those teams where the coach has a no-cut philosophy?

Today’s kids look at this stuff differently than our generation did; they try to be more inclusive while we looked at it solely as an earned accomplishment. Both approaches have their merits. I, for one, like how today’s kids take it upon themselves to make disabled kids feel more welcome.


31 posted on 06/21/2013 8:16:45 AM PDT by LRoggy (Peter's Son's Business)
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To: Morgana

Seesh, what low expectations this student has on him or herself.

Why settle to be a cheerleader, why not demand to be on the team instead?


32 posted on 06/21/2013 8:22:07 AM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Liberals, at their core, are aggressive & dangerous to everyone around them,)
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To: Gaffer
she should be accorded every opportunity in life to do what she wants?

the opportunity to try out like everyone else, yes. but not automatic inclusion if she can't make it.
33 posted on 06/21/2013 8:26:50 AM PDT by absolootezer0 (2x divorced tattooed pierced harley hatin meghan mccain luvin' REAL beer drinkin' smoker ..what?)
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To: absolootezer0

“the opportunity to try out like everyone else, yes. but not automatic inclusion if she can’t make it. “

Oh please!! Let her stand there and hold the megaphone!! Like they made boy cheerleaders do in the 1950’s!!!


34 posted on 06/21/2013 8:35:15 AM PDT by Morgana (Always a bit of truth in dark humor.)
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To: Morgana

I was a Special Olympics coach for quite a few years and we had to be very careful with our Down Syndrome athletes due to the high incidence of a condition called atlantoaxial subluxation...basically a problem of too much flexibility between the first and second cervical vertebrae. Many of our swimmers started races from a position in the water rather than diving off the blocks. The article doesn’t mention if she had been cleared by her physician for this type of activity - even though she might otherwise be strong enough to participate.


35 posted on 06/21/2013 8:42:50 AM PDT by Ol' Sox (Research, Resolve, Remediate, Repeat)
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To: Morgana

I was a Special Olympics coach for quite a few years and we had to be very careful with our Down Syndrome athletes due to the high incidence of a condition called atlantoaxial subluxation...basically a problem of too much flexibility between the first and second cervical vertebrae. Many of our swimmers started races from a position in the water rather than diving off the blocks. The article doesn’t mention if she had been cleared by her physician for this type of activity - even though she might otherwise be strong enough to participate.


36 posted on 06/21/2013 8:42:50 AM PDT by Ol' Sox (Research, Resolve, Remediate, Repeat)
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To: Morgana

“In an age when a young woman with Down Syndrome portrays a high school cheerleader on the popular television show Glee...”

Sorry, when you appeal to “Glee” as justification for anything, you automatically lose my support. Just one of those rules that needs to be in place for the greater good.


37 posted on 06/21/2013 8:46:32 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: LRoggy

I think it’s great many kids today are more accepting of disabled people. But there is limit to killing with kindness.

There is a huge difference between making someone an honorary member at the kids behest and adults using both the disabled kid and manipulating the team. Which is exactly what it is when you have football teams suit up a kid in full pads, put him on the field and the opposing team lets him pretend to make a touchdown.

Especially when his touchdown counts toward the actual record, the kid thinks he really scored and everyone lies to him about.

Personally I think we should make “some” allowances to help kids like this in whatever way will help them. But can you seriously believe the adults in that room are doing it for the kid to begin with? I do not see how this helps them learn anything positive. There are plenty of ways to help build self worth and help develop skills/accomplishment. But lying to someone to benefit the liars ain’t it.

There are pep squads, there are jobs helping the team directly et all. All things disabled kids CAN and DO accomplish, giving them a REAL sense of purpose. And the team aren’t just faking it all. They are really doing it. And the kid KNOWS they really are part of the team.

And not a single person has to lie to make all those good things, real things, happen.

Disappointment is a part of life for the disabled, the differently abled, the non abled and the fully and spectacularly abled. We all need to find our place in the world and make it on the abilities we actually posses.

Or you become a democrat in training.


38 posted on 06/21/2013 8:50:33 AM PDT by Norm Lenhart
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To: manc

We’re afraid it’s not focal dystonia. It could be early-onset generalized dystonia. Most children have tht, and it does spread. It just usually starts in the legs and then spreads to the arms.

What I didn’t like about the artcle is they said she wouldn’t be on the cheerleading team even if there were spots open. I don’t think she should beat anyone to be on the team, but if there are spots they should accomodate her.


39 posted on 06/21/2013 9:04:37 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: Average Al
What about the mentally impaired, wheel chair bound, blind, trans-gender and lesbian girls? Have we no feelings for them as well?

How about girls who are all of those things at the same time?

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/UnTunes:Patty_Duke_Show_theme

Regards,

40 posted on 06/21/2013 9:07:43 AM PDT by alexander_busek (Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.)
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To: luckystarmom

sorry but I still don’t get it.

You said she had tendinitis and focal dystonia which spread but it doesn’t spread but you state she has dystonia right?

So it’s either Hemidystonias or multi right, , anyway I have to get back to work but hope she does alright.


41 posted on 06/21/2013 9:18:20 AM PDT by manc (Marriage =1 man + 1 woman,when they say marriage equality then they should support polygamy)
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To: alexander_busek

What is going to keep the visiting teams for laughing at this impaired cheer-leading group? Are they supposed to be able to tell from across the field that some or all of these girls are disabled or just klutzes?


42 posted on 06/21/2013 9:34:32 AM PDT by Average Al
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To: Morgana
Down’s Syndrome is a condition that features more than just intellectual disability.Heart defects are common as well as other *physical* abnormalities.Although I'm not a physician I wonder if there might be legitimate reasons to bar such an individual for the safety of the one denied and/or the other members of the team.
43 posted on 06/21/2013 9:59:42 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (The Civil Servants Are No Longer Servants...Or Civil.)
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To: manc

Originally diagnosed with focal dystonia. In the past month she has started having symptoms in her foot, so she thinks it is spreading. She is seeing lots of doctors over the next few weeks to determine if it is spreading.

We know she now has tendonitis in both arms. The physical therapist says she has the tendonitis in both arms.

Focal dystonia doesn’t spread, but generalized does.

Not sure what all is going on. It’s a bit scary.


44 posted on 06/21/2013 10:07:07 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: LRoggy

One of the things that kills me about my fellow conservatives is the attitude toward the disabled. Pro-life all over the place, but once the kids is born it’s “tough titties.”

They don’t want to help out the parents with outrageous medical bills, but don’t want to let the kid die.

They don’t want to help out with special education, but want the kid educated.

They don’t understand that much of the despair that parents face at the thought of giving birth to a disabled child is an understanding of the ridicule and cruelty that this child will face throughout their lives.

So, as far as I see it, conservatives insist that the kid is born, then the child and their family is to be abandoned.

Because so many disabled babies are now aborted, there isn’t the support system or the examples for parents of successful parenting of such children. Parents feel completely overwhelmed and alone. You don’t know how many people (including myself) who’ve said, “I can’t do it. I’m not strong enough.”

The life cycle has been changed. Not too long ago children with cancer, T1 diabetes or massive birth defects simply would’ve been loved, then died. Now medicine can prolong their lives (sometimes to a ‘normal’ lifespan) but the resources aren’t there to care for these people for a lifetime.

Some parents can manage financially; but for most, it’s too much.

We should all have compassion and love for the disabled. It betters *all* of *us* as much as it benefits the child.


45 posted on 06/21/2013 10:15:26 AM PDT by Marie ("The last time Democrats gloated this hard after a health care victory, they lost 60 House seats.")
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To: Norm Lenhart

“And no one stops to think about the anger of the girls cut from the squad will feel. All to push an agends.”

That is NOT what has the mother upset. It’s the fact that, if there were open slots after all the non-disabled girls had filled them - meaning not enough girls even tried out - they wouldn’t even allow this girl to sit on the bench, wear a uniform and clap her hands.

This is NOT SPARTA.

I’m sure that this girl is well aware that she can’t do what other girls can. (Downs kids are NOT stupid.) She just wants to participate.

And this cheer squad is more like a pep squad. There’s no tumbling or pyramids.


46 posted on 06/21/2013 10:19:18 AM PDT by Marie ("The last time Democrats gloated this hard after a health care victory, they lost 60 House seats.")
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To: Norm Lenhart

However there are valuable lessons learned by being part of a team. There are a lot of social skills learned.

My other daughter has a brain injury that has caused speech problems.

She loves dong theater, but is frustrated because she can’t show what she can do. She can actually memorize lines. She has a great memory. If she works at what she is saying, you can’t hear the speech deficits. She’s not great at auditions because she hasn’t had the time to practice. She gets upset that other kids will get parts, and then they don’t know their lines during the show.

She wishes there was a something she could do where everyone gets a part, but there isn’t. This year she has been so lonely. She can’t do sports or dance because she isn’t coordinated.

She just wants to have a group to join to make friends.

It’s tough. Don’t know what the solution is.


47 posted on 06/21/2013 10:20:27 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: manc

“this girl has done nothing and yet gets rewards and why on earth should she always be in line first , get all A’s.”

NOBODY said anything about this girl getting anything ‘first’. (And the ‘all A’s’ thing is a complete red herring.)

As a matter of fact, it’s the opposite. The mother asked, if all the girls who want to try out do so, and if they’re all selected, and if there is still an open slot due to lack of interest, can the girl with downs syndrome participate?

The answer was, no.

But since you brought up the ‘first in line’ thing:

There used to be a time when gentlemen put women and children - those weaker than themselves - first. All of us put kids first for meals. A gentleman gave up his seat. A time when the strong defended the weak and took care of them.

I see that we have very few true gentlemen left on FR.


48 posted on 06/21/2013 10:28:02 AM PDT by Marie ("The last time Democrats gloated this hard after a health care victory, they lost 60 House seats.")
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To: luckystarmom

We can’t do all the things we would like for one reason or another. Don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying your daughter or the kid in this story should ball up in a corner and hide from public view. And it upsetting to prents and their children alike...

But humans have failings. Sometimes mental, sometimes physical, sometimes through no fault of their own. But your daughter and this child CAN do many other things. And do them well. Perhaps not their first choice, granted. But at what point do you start doing more harm than good? (not directing this at you personally)

What about the kid with peanut alergies whose parents sue until every piece of school property is off limits to PBJ sandwiches? Should everyone around the child be forced into ‘compliance’ with that childs wants or needs?
They are, but should they be?

I grew up with a kid in my neighborhood who had a physical disability. Many of us have. He was smart, he was funny. And he was not physically capable of playing baseball. So should none of us played so as to spare his feelings? Or should we have put on a farce to have him ‘play’?

No. we shouldn’t and didn’t. But we did a hundred other things with him where he was included because he could be. And we WANTED him to be as he was our friend.

And he understood why he couldn’t be a baseball player because people took the time to be honest with him about why. Not lie to him, fake life and turn the neighborhood upside down.


49 posted on 06/21/2013 10:33:30 AM PDT by Norm Lenhart
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To: luckystarmom

wish you and her all the best from st augustine


50 posted on 06/21/2013 10:35:52 AM PDT by manc (Marriage =1 man + 1 woman,when they say marriage equality then they should support polygamy)
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