School Objects To Cheerleaders' Breast-Cancer Shirts
USATODAY.COM - The cheerleading squad at Gilbert High School has been told they cannot wear their pink T-shirts to raise money for breast cancer awareness during the school's football games because the administration finds the shirts display an objectionable slogan.
The shirts, which say "Gilbert cheer" on the front and "Feel for lumps, save your bumps" on the back, were bought for the 56 freshman, junior varsity and varsity cheerleaders for $470, said Gayleen Skowronek, the cheer booster-club president.
The girls planned to wear the shirt at Friday's football game and the next home football game as they cheered and then walk around to collect money from the crowd.
Varsity cheerleader Natalie Skowronek, Gayleen's daughter, said her squad should have the right to wear the shirt and doesn't think the saying is inappropriate.
"We're not saying anything a doctor wouldn't say," said Natalie, 17, a Gilbert High junior.
Gilbert High School Principal J. Charles Santa Cruz said he took exception to the slogan and the shirts were never approved by the administration. He told Gayleen Skowronek last Friday the shirts were not allowed.
"In no way is the school administration against Breast Cancer Awareness Month or initiatives students might take in support of it; we just want to make sure we're in the bounds of appropriate boundaries of a school setting," Santa Cruz said.
The cheerleaders said they wanted to wear a shirt during their fundraising to coincide with the pink tape, gloves, shoelaces and wrist bands the football players are wearing during October, known nationwide as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The football players are also wearing breast-cancer awareness stickers on their helmets.
Varsity cheerleader Ashlee Burnau said she thinks the administration is "blowing this out of proportion."
"All we want to do is support the cause and raise money for breast-cancer research," said Ashlee, 16, a junior.
Santa Cruz said the shirts could be worn if they were modified to remove or cover up the "Save your bumps" slogan. Or, he said, the cheerleaders could wear plain pink shirts with no slogans.
Skowronek said the administration approved the fundraising, and she
didn't think she needed to get the shirt approved as well, she said. Click here to read more
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