It’s the end of the school year, and with all the final awards ceremonies for this year come tryouts for next year’s fall sports and activities. At a high school in New Jersey, there’s a black cloud over the cheerleading squad for next year already after one parent complained that her daughter didn’t make the cheer squad. The school board took the woman’s complaints seriously and decided that EVERYONE who tried out gets to be on the cheer squad. EV-ER-Y-ONE.
As you can imagine, this news went over like a turd in a punch bowl with the girls who actually MADE the cheer squad based on merit.
“All my hard work has been thrown out the window,” said cheerleader Stephanie Krueger at a Board of Education meeting last week in East Hanover New Jersey. “I tried my hardest. Now everything is going away because of one child who did not make the team, and their parent complained,” she added.
Of course, there are two sides to every story, and we haven’t heard the specifics on WHY the girl didn’t make the cheer squad, but I have to say that my opinion is generally that most blanket “inclusive” policies like this aren’t good for kids. If the tryout results were truly based on hard work and skill level, then it’s appropriate to include only those who make the cut. Besides, cheerleading is in many cases a competitive sport, and high school teams would lose a LOT of games if they let everyone who tried out play varsity for football, soccer, or basketball. Would they ROTATE their starting players to make sure EVERYONE gets to start the same number of times? Of course not! It’s ridiculous.
Not EVERYONE is good at EVERYTHING, and you’re not going to help your kids discover their talents and abilities by letting them into every single activity they try out for at a high school level. You’re also going to allow kids to feel entitled to be involved in activities just because they exist, when for most high school clubs (even drama, debate, mathletes, etc.) there is a A LOT of hard work involved.
For now, the New Jersey school board is standing by their unpopular decision, saying, “In order to facilitate a more inclusive program, the alignment between the various cheerleading squads would be modified to allow all interested students to be able to participate. This decision was made in the best interest of all students and was made to be as inclusive as possible.”
I guess we will see how that works out for them, but I’m not a fan of this new policy. Are you?