Teenager Threatens Lawsuit Over Not Making Cheerleader, So Does This Mean I Can Still Play Juliet?

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(Via Giphy)

A Florida teenager is threatening to sue her high school after she failed to make the cheerleading team this year, and the entire Internet is collectively shaking their heads and saying, “Kids these days!”

Not making a team sucks, especially in high school when we’re generally too young and hormonal to have much perspective on things. But most people walking around as adults these days experienced that kind of disappointment while they were kids. We weren’t all head cheerleader, after all.

Personally, I auditioned for every single play and skit showcase that ever went on in my high school, and I never even got a call-back. I washed costumes and folded laundry and sewed buttons for four years on the costume crew, hoping the drama teacher would be impressed by my diligence and throw me a spot in the chorus or a non-singing part. Nope! I am currently sitting on an 200-page unpublished young adult novel about how bitter I am about all that, but I don’t quite know how a person goes from “that sucks” to “I’m going to sue.”

I really don’t know how this teenager got her parents to support her in this one. If your teenager comes home upset about not making the cheerleading team, you say, “That sucks!” You don’t say, “Let’s lawyer up!”

The idea of suing the school district for not making the team sounds so off-the-wall bonkers I have trouble believing that is the world we live in now. That said, it seems so far-fetched that something about this news story as it’s being reported feels a bit fishy. The teenager, her parents, and her lawyers were not quoted, so it is unclear on what grounds she is filing a lawsuit, or who reported the story to news stations in the first place. The only person quoted is the head coach of the team, who is the person who made the decision not to include the girl on the team in the first place.

High school athletics are serious business, and there could be college scholarship money on the line, but one still has to have a reason to file a lawsuit, and the grounds of the student’s complaint were not specified.

According to the Courier Post Online, the would-be cheerleader will be a high school senior at Leon High School in Florida this year, and she was trying out for the varsity cheerleading squad. The coach says the girl in question did not make the varsity squad last year, and because of her age she can’t be on the JV squad. The coach also says the girl fell twice during a tumbling routine during try-outs, and that the girl’s score was not high enough to make a place on the squad. The coach also says this girl is not the only senior to have not made the varsity cheerleading squad this year.

Being on the Leon cheerleading squad is a very big deal! The team will be competing at the National High School Cheerleading Championship this year. That would be a big deal for any high school athlete, and make no mistake: cheerleaders are athletes.

The girl and her family could just be threatening the lawsuit to put pressure on the school district, which has reportedly intervened in the past to make cheerleading coaches take girls who otherwise didn’t make the team. The Courier-Post reports that happened at Leon High School just last year, but the new head coach is not happy about it.

“They should not put an athlete on the team that doesn’t deserve to be on the team,” said Caylen Berry, Leon’s head cheerleading coach. “A decision like this would question my integrity as a professional. It also questions the entire legitimacy of tryouts and cheerleading as a sport.”

Failure is a part of growing up. It sucks, but it’s a good thing. Failure means you’re trying, taking risks, and pushing yourself. Don’t sue the school when you fail. Just write some bitter poetry about how much your cheerleading coach sucks and go try for something else.