Wisconsin school ends awards that objectified cheerleaders’ body parts – National


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A Wisconsin highschool is ending cheerleading awards given yearly to ladies with the most important breasts or buttocks — dubbed “Large Booty” and “Large Boobie” — after the American Civil Liberties Union demanded motion following repeated complaints from mother and father and a former coach to high school and district officers.

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Coaches at Tremper Excessive Faculty within the Kenosha Unified Faculty District give out awards annually recognizing probably the most improved or hardest-working cheerleaders. In no less than the previous two years, they’ve additionally given what they referred to as gag awards, in line with the ACLU of Wisconsin. These awards additionally included one in 2018 for “String Bean” — the thinnest workforce member.

The ACLU, which despatched a letter Tuesday demanding that the district self-discipline workers concerned with the awards, stated emails and different paperwork it obtained throughout a yearlong investigation confirmed the awards have been handed out at a banquet attended by about 100 individuals, together with coaches, members of the family and buddies of scholars.

Particulars concerning the awards banquet have been first reported by the New York Occasions.

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Amongst those that complained was former monitor coach Patti Hupp. She emailed Tremper principal Steve Knecht final 12 months to specific her issues after a dad or mum notified her concerning the awards.

“I don’t suppose it takes a lot to see that that is extraordinarily degrading to girls,” Hupp stated within the e mail to Knecht.

Knecht advised cheerleading coaches in an April 28 e mail that he would launch an investigation into the awards after receiving complaints from 4 completely different individuals. He later advised a dad or mum who adopted up that he had discovered no proof of wrongdoing. When the dad or mum requested for justification, he wrote in a letter that the awards “have been meant to be humorous” and the coaches have been “simply joking round.”

“A transparent expectation has been set that awards of this nature should not acceptable and are to not be given at Tremper cheerleading banquets going ahead,” district spokeswoman Tanya Ruder stated.

Nevertheless, the Occasions reported coach despatched a observe to the workforce on Sunday about this 12 months’s awards banquet that stated solely cheerleaders and coaches are invited.

Hupp additionally emailed a cheerleading coach, Patti Uttech, on April 24 to specific her issues.

“The very last thing these highschool women want is a fellow girl of their lives speaking to them that they’re objects or that their look is one thing to be gawked at, demeaned, laughed at, and even awarded for that matter,” Hupp wrote.

Uttech stated she didn’t see an issue.

“I actually don’t really feel that I would like to clarify myself about how we ran our banquet,” she stated in her e mail response. “Really, now we have run it this manner for years and have by no means had an issue.”

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A human assets official met with Uttech a month after that e mail and directed her to write down letters of apology to college students and to resign by June 14, in line with the paperwork obtained by the ACLU. Nevertheless, Uttech has continued teaching the cheerleading squad, the ACLU stated.

Ruder stated the varsity district couldn’t focus on personnel issues.

Hupp advised the Kenosha Information that she was not simply disillusioned with the varsity district.

“I’m disgusted with the cheer coaches and with the Kenosha mother and father that sat there and stated and did nothing,” Hupp stated.

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