Cheerleading Coaches React To Proposed Law - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/04/05 - Lufkin

Cheerleading Coaches React To Proposed Law

by Stuart Burson

A bill that is designed to curb what some call sexually suggestive cheerleader routines has made it's way through the Texas House and is now in the hands of the Senate.

The bill would ban sexually suggestive routines at school sponsored events. It covers not only cheerleaders, but drill teams and any other school group that performs.

"I think Congress needs something else to keep their minds occupied if they've got time to worry about dance moves by cheerleaders and drill teams." says Lufkin High School cheerleader coach T.J. Patterson.

She says her cheerleaders already go by a constitution and a code of conduct. Plus, she ultimately decides what routine her kids will do. But, that's not the case for all school districts.

"Sometimes coaches and sponsors are tough to find, and there are teachers delegated to that position that don't know enough about cheerleading and drill teams, so they just let the squads do what they want to without any type of regulations."

A cheerleading instructor we spoke with says she has seen suggestive performances at many competitions. She believes parents need to raise questions.

"I think that parents should do their homework and make sure the instructors do not allow those types of moves. That they do not allow uniforms that are showing midriffs and skirts that are too short, and you can't release liability from society." says Darlene Atkinson.

The bill must still pass the Senate and then be signed by Governor Perry before it becomes a law.

In the meantime, there's no doubt the debate over whether these guidelines are necessary will continue. If the bill does make it into the lawbooks, it will be up to the Texas Education Agency to determine when a routine goes over the line.

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