Jul 26, 2014
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Parents Speak Out Against Cheerleader Prank Punishment

Several parents of the 11 cheerleaders kicked off the Monrovia High School cheer squad for pulling a senior prank told the school board Wednesday that the punishment for their daughters was excessive.

Parents Speak Out Against Cheerleader Prank Punishment

Insisting that their teenagers had already learned their lesson after pulling a senior prank that , several parents pleaded with the school board Wednesday to reinstate their daughters to the team.

The district removed 11 senior cheerleaders from the MHS cheer squad earlier this month after they pulled mattresses out of the rooms of underclassmen as a senior prank at cheer camp, according to parents of the girls. The parents claim the girls didn't damage any property other than inadvertently breaking a makeup compact.

The cheerleaders' parents also claimed that the school's newly hired cheer coach was fully aware of the girls' prank when they did it and gave them permission. Several parents called for the coach to be fired.

"To teach them that this is how you are going to be punished for something you were granted permission to do I think is completely unreasonable," said parent David Hokanson.

Monrovia Unified School District Superintendent briefly addressed the parents after they were finished speaking.

"We will continue to look into this issue and we thank you very much," she said.

In addition to being kicked off the team, the cheerleaders had their senior privileges taken away and they were suspended for the first two days of school. They will not be allowed to attend the school's homecoming dance.

Some parents said their kids were so upset by the punishment that they didn't want to return to cheerleading. All of them told the board that they found the punishment excessive.

Parent Tamika Hubbard said her daughter and most of the girls had never gotten in trouble at the school before.

"What lesson are they learning by taking away all of their privileges?," she said. "That’s a bit extreme for a first offense."

Parents said they were told by MHS Principal Darvin Jackson that the incident was considered hazing. But the girls had actually been victims of cyber-bullying themselves after the incident, according to parent Tracy Sheffer who said a Facebook page set up to garner support for the girls became littered with offensive messages.

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