16-year-old Brittany Davila has not let the fact that she has Down syndrome stop her from her love of cheerleading, but her high school in Deerfield, Texas, kept her on the sidelines for a recent game, referencing liability issues.
“If it’s a liability for her why wouldn't it be for anyone else?” Brittany’s father, Ruben Davila, asked in an interview with KHOU 11 News.
The family found out about the change when they showed up to a recent volleyball game with Brittany in full uniform, and were informed that she would have to sit in the stands.
“She didn't understand what changed from last week to this week,” Davila said. “She was cheering along with them in the stands. She was excited, waving at them and blowing kisses.”
Davila said the whole family was thrilled at the thought of seeing Brittany cheer, and that he and his wife had told all of their co-workers about the big event. Brittany has been cheering since junior high and had hoped to cheer all through high school as well.
“It was heartbreaking to hear that she is a cheerleader, but yet she won’t cheer with any of the other girls.”
The school was being fairly tight-lipped on the whole matter, saying they can’t comment on a specific student due to federal law. However, spokesman Matt Lucas issued the following statement this past Wednesday:
“There are apparently rumors going around that she was cut from the squad, but this is not true. She’s STILL an honorary member of the squad, and we are honored to have her involved in the program. Several of our high school team members met with the child’s parents this afternoon. Again, while I can’t comment on the specifics of that meeting, I can say that our principal indicated that both sides left with a better understanding of the other’s concerns and position. There was also an agreement to work together to resolve whatever issues might remain.”
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