One New Jersey high school is making sure no one feels left out after creating a new “inclusive” policy that would essentially allow a spot for every student who tries out for the cheerleading squad, doing away with skill-based selections.
After one parent made a complaint that a child didn’t make the cut after last month’s tryouts, Hanover Park High School officials rolled out the new policy — which triggered backlash of its own.
A letter from the Hanover Park Regional High School District Board of Education claimed that after receiving “multiple appeals from several parents concerning the selection process for the cheerleading try-outs,” the school decided to do away with a skills-based scoring system, and instead implement a system in which students are placed based on their grade-level.
“The high school administration decided to be more inclusive and not penalize any student from making the squad that did not achieve” the desired scored, the letter stated.
According to the board, the “Black Squad,” which normally would be made up of the students with the highest scores during tryouts, now will be made up of students from grades 11 and 12, and the “White Squad,” normally made up of those with scores ranking below the rubric, now will feature students from grades 9 and 10.
The school has defended the policy claiming that the goal is make the team more “inclusive.”
Parents are fighting back but some say that when they confronted the school over the policy, the principal threatened to disband the 10-member squad entirely.
One student told the board of education that all her hard work “has been thrown out the window” because of the new initiative.
Although the board is reviewing the policy, it remains unclear when a final decision will be made, or if the policy will be reversed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.