Living in a society where everyone has to be a winner and no one is made to feel less competent than their peers has become routine. Every child receives a participation trophy, no matter how well they performed on the team. Top performers aren’t highlighted, as that might hurt someone other person’s self-esteem. Trying out to make the team seems to be unnecessary these days.
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Perhaps the perfect example of this new reality comes from Hanover Park High School in New Jersey, where the school accepts any cheerleader who tries out. It doesn’t matter if they have the necessary talents or abilities for the position; they just need to show up.
According to the Daily Mail, the school implemented this questionable policy change last month after a parent complained because her daughter didn’t make the team during the annual tryouts. So the athletic director for the school changed the policy to make sure that any student who tried out would be a part of the team.
After extensive backlash, school officials had to release a statement defending the new policy, which they claimed helped “facilitate a more inclusive program.” Parents of students who were already on the cheerleading team took issue with the new policy.
“Why go for excellence when you can just let a little snowflake whine and cry to get the position?” one parent wrote. To make matters worse, the principal had threatened to disband the entire cheerleading team because he said, “it’s not a sport,” according to News 12 New Jersey.
During a school board meeting, cheerleaders who were already on the team before the new policy took place explained how they made the team through hard work and dedication.
“I tried my hardest, and now everything’s going away, all because of one child who did not make the team, and a parent complained, so now all my hard work has been thrown out the window,” Stephanie Krueger, a student on the cheer team said.
People from all across the U.S. commented on the absurdity of the school’s policy on the school’s Facebook page. One person wrote: “I’m 52 and live in Georgia. I want to be on your cheer squad. And I can still do a cartwheel. Well, not without a lot of back pain and limping afterwards. But that’s OK, right?”
The school board plans to determine in the coming weeks if the new policy will take effect.