I am writing this letter to voice my opinion regarding the unfair treatment of our Proviso East cheerleaders. I have a daughter who has been on the cheerleading team since freshman year, she is currently a senior. I have witnessed unfair treatment since day one.

In most schools, the cheerleaders are the heart and soul of the school, but not at East. We get virtually no support whatsoever. Cheerleading is one of the most expensive sports in high school, uniforms, shoes, camps, tumbling lessons, etc. The school does not contribute to any of the cost, nor do they allow us to do any fundraising. I am a single parent and coming up with these fees year to year has been hard, especially without the support of the school.

Every year rules and procedures change, this year the cheerleaders are not allowed to participate in the traditional Senior night with the boys basketball team because I was told “it should be all about the boys”. We cheer these boys on all season, but at the end we should step back and let them shine through, that is completely unfair. We traveled with them two years in the row to Peoria on the yellow broke down school bus, while they traveled in style on the chartered bus and we stayed at two star hotels, where the girls were afraid to sleep because of bed bugs.

I am disappointed in the change of Senior night, both my mom and I were planning what to wear and having everyone who has been there supporting her to come out the one last time of her high school cheering career to wish her well, but you have taken away that opportunity. I was told Senior Night for the cheerleaders will be held on Saturday, October 12, with only one week’s notice, we have no time to prepare, and her grandparents cannot attend because they are elderly and cannot sit outside in the elements long.

There are currently six senior cheerleaders on this year’s team and all six are honor roll students, scored at least your required 20 on the ACT, will go on to four year colleges and universities, never been in trouble physically or academically, top ten percent of the school, so they did what they were required to do. It is rare to see any other East sports team, where the entire team is academically eligible to play. Also, these girls hold three First Place NCA Championships, All American at Cheer Camp and several awards and accomplishments, we don’t list this on the school’s website or newsletters.

We cannot get the students’ support at games because they know the school is not behind us, the difference between East and other schools in and out of our conference, they cheer along with the cheerleaders, they support them. It starts at the top and trickles down, if you all at the top start supporting, most will follow suit.

Natasha Palmer
A concerned and dedicated Pirate Cheer Mom

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