Picture this; you work extremely hard to achieve a goal only to be stomped on by someone carrying their participation trophy all the way to the top of the ladder. That’s exactly what happened to the girls who practiced for months just to get into their cheerleading squad, only to be told that they would be downgraded a level just so the kid who tried out and didn’t make the team could feel more included.
When one girl tried out for her high school cheerleading squad and didn’t make the cut due to her lack of physical fitness, her mom complained to the school and she ended up getting on the team anyway… along with literally any girl who wanted to be apart of the action.
In Hanover Park High School in East Hanover, NJ, there are three squad levels in which students are separated into with the high-level being the best and the low-level being the worst (kind of like an A team and B team deal.) But because of the new school policy, levels are based on age rather than talent. So the girl who performed so badly that she couldn’t make the team, is now a high-level squad member, while girls who were once considered the best of the best in their school have been forced to demote to the low-level group because of their age.
A few students broke the silence and addressed the school’s board of education meeting last week to voice their frustrations on the whole ordeal. Jada Alcontara, a sophomore at Hanover said,
“I came up here to state that I did not put in 18 months of work to lead up to this moment, just to be told it didn’t matter anymore.”