Missed this one from 2011, with Judge Jerry Smith writing for a Fifth Circuit panel: “Reduced to its essentials, this is nothing more than a dispute, fueled by a disgruntled cheerleader mom, over whether her daughter should have made the squad. It is a petty squabble, masquerading as a civil rights matter, that has no place in federal court or any other court. We find no error and affirm.” [Sanches v. Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District]
Reduced to its essentials, this is nothing more than a dispute, fueled by a disgruntled cheerleader mom, over whether her daughter should have made the squad. It is a petty squabble, masquerading as a civil rights matter, that has no place in federal court or any other court. We find no error and affirm.
“A former Indianapolis Colts cheerleader is suing the organization, claiming they discriminated against her when they fired her for posing in risqué photographs.” [Indianapolis Star]
It would certainly make Title IX compliance easier for colleges.
Making a federal case out of petty politics in high school cheerleading: Where else but Texas?
The mother of a former Creekview High School cheerleader has filed a federal lawsuit against Carrollton-Farmers Branch schools, arguing the district did not sufficiently discipline cheerleaders who she says bullied her daughter.
The lawsuit, brought by Liz Laningham, argues that the district discriminated against her daughter and “turned a blind eye” to the harassment. The lawsuit could result in a jury trial.
So far as I can tell from the linked story, the main element of damages appears to be that Liz Laningham’s daughter did not make the cheerleading squad in her senior year, after being a member in her junior year. And there are the usual allegations of Facebook frippery, rumors and innuendos within the team, biased judging during senior year tryouts, etc. etc.
What I can’t tell from this Dallas Morning News story is what possible basis Liz Laningham’s lawyer could have for bringing this action in federal court. While various civil rights acts prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, religion, disability, etc., none of those are named as putative grounds for the suit. As for sex and age discrimination, presumably the victim and her harassers are all young women. Does Title IX prohibit girls from being girls?
And does any girl, no matter how spoiled and entitled her mother has made her, have a right to lead cheers?
Just trying to dispose of all the nude cellphone pic lawsuit stories in one weekend, so that we can get back to more seemly litigation topics. (The other one was the case of the couple suing an Arkansas McDonald’s, saying the husband left his cellphone in the restaurant and the nude photos of his wife that were on it wound up on the internet.) In Bothell, Washington, parents of two cheerleaders “have sued the Northshore School District, alleging school officials erred when they suspended the girls from the team this year after nude photos of them circulated throughout the student body via text message.” Cellphone pictures of the two were separately and, it is said, accidentally circulated among fellow students; the lawsuit charges, inter alia, that the school was arbitrary to suspend the two girls while not disciplining students that had seen the pictures. (Jessica Blanchard, “Cheerleaders’ parents sue in nude photos incident”, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Nov. 21).
Medford, Mass.: 14-year-old Ashley Burns was performing an airborne role in a cheerleading routine when she fell and fatally ruptured her spleen. Now her mother is suing the gym where it happened, two accrediting organizations (the U.S. All Star Federation for Cheer and Dance Teams, and the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators) and other defendants. (Donna Goodison, “Mom files lawsuit in cheerleader’s ’05 death”, Boston Herald, Oct. 21).