To Cheerlead or Not to Cheerlead

May 6, 2011 by admncc

First off, let me take a minute to apologize to my loyal readers for being MIA for the past few weeks.  My family was in the process of moving and I was up to my ears with boxes.  And things with my day job have been very busy as well.  Blogging is a just a hobby, so unfortunately, sometimes it comes in second.

But today’s topic is a great one to get back into the swing with.  It’s surely one that everyone will have an opinion on.  It involves the story of an 18-year-old student at Silsbee High School in Texas.  The female student was raped at a house party.  “One of the men involved pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of assault and was allowed to continue playing on Silsbee’s basketball team.  When it came time to cheer this player during a game, HS (this is how she is identified in court documents) refused to cheer, and simply remained silent.”

That’s when the school got involved.  “Richard Bain, the school’s superintendent, ordered HS, then 16, to cheer or be expelled from the squad.  She refused and was expelled, and she and her family filed suit in Texas courts on free speech grounds.”

Not only did two state courts rule against her, but a federal appeals court decided that her suit was “frivolous” and ordered her to pay $45,000 in legal fees to the school district.  “The U. S. Supreme Court on Monday, refused to hear the case, letting the appeals court ruling stand…leaving HS and her family on the hook for $45,000.”  You can read the rest of the story here.

I think this story leads to any number of discussions.  First, why was a rapist (or even a convicted felon) allowed to continue playing for the high school’s basketball team?  Second, could it be argued that the school’s officials should have anticipated something like this would happen, considering they’re the ones that allowed the student to continue playing basketball and knew that HS was a cheerleader?  Third, why would the superintendent take the “cheer or be expelled” stance?  So you tell me…should freedom of speech reign true here or should the family now have to cough up $45k even though their daughter was one who was victimized?

All Posts / Family/Lifestyle / Law and Order / Parenting / Relationships / Schools / Sports Cheerleaders / Cheerleading / Convicted Rapists / High School Basketball / Law and Order / Rape / Richard Bain / School Superintendent / Silsbee High School / Texas / Texas Courts / The U.S Supreme Court /


  1. Ugh. It’s disgusting that schools now have to deal with kids being convicted of crimes. I’m not sure they really know how.

    I would think the school should have expelled him but I don’t know what their policy is. On the other hand, the girl chose to continue to be part of the cheering squad and their job is to cheer. At the worst, her punishment should be removal from the cheer squad.

    It’s an unfortunate situation for all involved.

    As for dumping the legal fees on her family, that’s ridiculous.

  2. Jane says:

    I say shame on the superintendent and the school district.The rapist should have been expelled.

  3. kittycat says:

    In my opinion which doesnt mean shit.
    I think that the young man should not have been allowed to play. he should of been kicked out of school.

    The whole thing is total bullshit.

  4. NeoConDon says:

    There simply is a lot going on here. First, behavior outside of school doesn’t warrant a school suspension, so the boy shouln’t be prevented from playing and attending school. Unfortunatley, that’s the law. The gov’t schools are required to provide an education. Second, this boy did not rape this girl according to the courts. Perhaps this is an example of how oppressive and unfair our judicial system can be, but it is what it is…Finally, it looks like the girl acted appropriatly here. I don’t believe much that comes out of the Daily Kos and they don’t describe the manner in which she refused to cheer, but I’m assuming she was as reasonable as anyone could expect her to be in her refusal to cheer considering the bizarre circumstances she was facing.

    The expulsion from the cheer team is unacceptable, and the courts decision to call the suit frivolous is unacceptable as well. The U.S. Supreme Court has no authority to take up this case, so they did the right thing.

    All in all, this is a sad situation, but coming from the Daily Kos, it’s difficult to believe any of it.

  5. Jen says:

    I would love to know what he pleaded it down to. Because as a parent in the school, I cannot even step one foot inside our school to volunteer unless I have all my clearances (a sexual crime would keep me out). I can’t believe a student with this background crime could attend school at all.

    Aside from that, I can’t believe that the superintendent would ever get involved in the “cheer or you’re out” controversy when there are so many more pressing issues like budget and education…

    Makes me wonder if there is some sort of background between he and the accused student and he’s trying to make a point.

    Oh, and I’m glad to know I can stop scanning the obituaries for your name now that I know you are alive!

  6. elle marie says:

    There was a time when I believed in the system, living abroad allowed me to see things objectively, I think the school should have handled this much better, like temp suspended the player based on the rule that anyone who is charged with a criminal offense be temp suspended until they have the hearing within the school, this would have been the perfect time to listen to her fear and come up with a fair conclusion. I think there is too much bias and corruption in the courts, so I no longer believe the the U.S. legal system for both the victims and the criminals.

  7. Extreme John says:

    This entire story is disgusting from start to finish. “Hey, suffer through this horrible crime while a$$hole X enjoys himself playing basketball. Oh wait, do us a favor and make sure you cheer for the a$$hole. thanks.”

    Unreal what a wreck this country truly is, yet we continue to try and push a pathetic system on to others. It’s time for an upgrade.

  8. Rachel says:

    I so wish this was a joke. Cause my only thoughts are “SERIOUSLY!?” Why would they expel her? Seems a bit extreme, considering he didn’t get expelled for rape. It’s hard to get expelled from any school when conditions are dangerous; yet she gets expelled for refusing to cheer. Incredible. Wow.

  9. zig says:


  10. Hal says:

    Good attorney = lesser charge unfortunately.

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