It's reminiscent of movies, such as Mean Girls and Heathers; popular girls taking over their high school and tormenting those in the "out crowd."
High school officials in McKinney, Texas are under scrutiny for allowing five cheerleaders to get severely out of control, terrorizing teachers and fellow students.
The mean girls were ousted into the public limelight after scandalous pictures on the social networking site MySpace were brought to the attention of school officials — including one cheerleader's mother, the principal of the high school.
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Who's to blame for the cheerleaders' rowdy behavior — the girls themselves or school officials who allowed the bad behavior to go on for so long?
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"The actions of the cheerleaders are the fault of both themselves and the school administrators. Every individual is capable of self control when someone has established a standard of behavior with the individual. Every school board sets the rules for behavior and it is left up for the teachers and principals to enforce them. I think this is another case of young adults "gone wild" simply because they can. — Gerald (Sugar Land, TX)
“I am a 54 year old mother of four daughters, ages 32, 31, 25 and 20. I am also a middle school teacher in a suburb of Kansas City, Mo. I believe the No. 1 blame should be awarded to the media and the amount of time spent and attention given to celebrities such as Paris Hilton and company. Shows like, 'The Simple Life,' are undermining our value system. Also, as an educator, I am sick and tired of schools taking the blame for all the problems of today's youth (academic or behavioral). Teachers try to take control of bad situations and truely want to help students, but our authority is often undermined by parents who refuse to allow their child to accept the consequences of bad behavior. ” — A concerned mother and middle school teacher (Kearney, MI)
“I live in McKinney, TX and my gut feeling is that the principal has the most responsibility here. Her daughter is one of the cheerleaders in trouble and this has been going on for years. As proof, they have gone through three or four coaches in three years and forced at least one student to change schools. As an administrator, she has the responsibility of addressing the concerns of the faculty/coaches and keeping parents informed of their children's' behavior when warranted. I think this would not have been an issue if she did not have a conflict of interest. She sided with the cheerleaders, rather than the coaches, and bullied students because she is a parent of one of the troublemakers.” — Kevin (McKinney, TX)
“It's obviously it's both the fault of the parents — who allowed their daughters to become undisciplined and unruly tarts — and the school officials who knowingly allowed such behavior to go on. The officials should be fired, but the parents deserve a kick in the butt. Parents do their children no favors by overlooking or excusing bad behavior. When they don't provide the parental discipline necessary to instill self-discipline in their children, it is the children who will suffer the end consequences of their self-destructive behavior, or eventually run afoul of an unforgiving adult criminal justice system.” — Ed (Redmond, WA)
“This is a situation where there was a total lack of school and parental supervision. My daughter was a cheerleader for six years, and there was a strict code of conduct that had to be adhered to, on and off campus. The cheerleaders in question should be dismissed immediately from squad and additional punishment administered by school and home.” — Darlyne (Chocowinity, NC)
“First of all, the girls are responsible for their own actions. Nobody forced them to act that way against other people. Secondly, the parents are to blame for not teaching their children the proper way to behave in school, or the proper way to treat other people. The parents are also to blame for not checking on their children to make sure they are behaving appropriately. Thirdly, the school administration is to blame for not immediately cracking down on these girls and any other students who behave in this manner.” — Gregg
“This is yet another situation where it is both the parents and childrens' fault for this horrible behavior. For once, can we please make these girls accountable for their actions and behavior? I was a varsity cheerleader myself, and I never allowed my cheerleading status to determine how I treated people. We were in a time (early 90's) that we actually feared the administration. Maybe not always respected them — but we feared them. How did this completely flip/flop?” — Janell
“It is not only cheerleaders ... there's many stories of mean teenagers picking on those who are not as popular. They should be punished. It is very sad that our law enforcement officials cannot find a legal way to show the kids that bullies will not be tolerated, girls, boys, cheerleaders, athletes … whatever. There should be some form of punishment.” — Kenna
“As a teacher, I do see some behavior like the aforementioned from cheerleaders, athletes, etc. However, many are to blame for this. First, the students. They should know better than to behave so inappropriately for the sake of their own reputation. Secondly, the parents for allowing such behavior in their children. This type of behavior does not happen out of the blue. Lastly, the teachers are to blame. No self-respecting teacher would allow a student to walk all over them like this.” — T.M.
“Kids today are allowed way too much freedom by both the schools and their parents. It's a combination of the two. The schools aren't allowed to punish them, as the parents won't let them.” — Mickey (Yukon, OK)
“I believe my opinion represents what a vast majority of students at McKinney North High School are feeling, about the recent incident involving five cheerleaders and a portion of the administrative staff. We've had enough. The coverage of this matter is excessive. Some of us are concerned that the fallout from this 'scandal' will affect the views of college admission offices and potentially harm our abilities to be accepted. I am concerned that the nation is getting the wrong image of McKinney North High School — that the school was 'run' by a group of cheerleaders, that they had real effects on the vast majority of the student body, or that this group represents the student body as a whole, in terms of behavior. As a senior of McKinney North High School, I have never, under any circumstances, heard of the five girls referred to as the "Fab' Five," outside of the nine pages released to the public of the McKinney Independent School District's attorney's report. Yes, the story gets the attention of the nation, but what are the future repercussions? All I'm asking for is that you consider what may happen to the rest of us.” — Steve, senior at McKinney North High School (McKinney, TX)
“Blame their parents! Even though I have no idea what their family is/was like — whoever raised them, allowed them to show no respect to other people — thus, turning them into selfish, ignorant, spoiled little brats. It boils down to our youth idolizing youth in the media — example: Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton who are forming the young minds of today. It's sickening.” — Dan (Newport Beach, CA)
“I was a cheerleader once and I never in my life acted like that. I just wanted those girls to know that cheerleaders are suppose to be role models for the younger ones who want to become cheerleaders. They need to set an example to all cheerleaders, instead of acting immature. I feel like if they can't act right and if they keep the outrageous behavior up, then the school should kick those five girls off of the squad, even if one of their mothers is the principal of the high school. The more they keep acting like this, and getting away with it, the more they will continue acting like this and making it worse. The school should have not let this situation get this out of hand.” — Astarrisha
“Everyone is to blame in the situation. The girls for being so jerky and all the adults involved for not stepping in to teach them the right way, including the community for not recognizing the problem.” — Shelly (Waxhaw, NC)
“As a mother of a cheerleader in high school, I believe it is everyone's fault, but mostly the parents! As a mother, my daughter knows the rules, inside or outside of my home. I monitor her Myspace account, etc. Our school has specific guidelines for kids that are participating in sports. Our school would not have tolerated this behavior, nor would I as a mother. Shame on the principal and one of the mothers of these girls! How dare they allow this to go on. These girls are 15 and 16, they also should have known better. Being in sports does not make you better than the next person!” — Terri