Springbrook High School cheerleaders continue cheer boycott after principal's 'ghetto' comment
SILVER SPRING, Md. - After the principal of Springbrook High School apologized to the school's cheerleading team for calling one of their routines "too ghetto," a meeting was held Wednesday between parents, administrators and the team.
The cheerleaders made a bold statement at the meeting and were completely dressed in black, but the girls said the questions they brought up at the meeting with the administrators remained unanswered.
Springbrook principal Dr. Art Williams made the controversial comment about the cheerleading squad's dance routine performed during a school basketball game held last week. The cheerleaders said their routine is a mix of stomp and shake and influenced from African American culture as well as cheer.
Since the comments were brought up to the squad last week, the girls have boycotted performing at school athletic events.
Despite the principal's apology, the cheerleaders said they are not ready to accept it until their questions are answered.
"We wanted to know why - is our style of cheer threatening to the Springbrook community?" said co-captain Semira Bullock. "Who exactly said the ghetto statement because there is a back and forth of who said it. Do we have to get rid of the cheers that we have been doing four-plus years? And what are the new cheers do we have to do to meet the new standards? Were these things said to us - would they have been said to other teams?"
"We said our style was HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and it is a culture that we are proud of," said co-captain Tyler Bragg. "And he said in rebuttal that the way we were cheering that night is nothing to be proud of, and I said that is our culture and I'm proud of it personally. And he said, 'You shouldn't be.' So after that, we took it as it's not welcome here. He also said that the way our negative cheering towards the other team was not welcome and his new standards of Springbrook High School athletics."
The girls said once they have their questions answered, that is when they will end their cheer boycott. For now, they will not be performing at the upcoming varsity basketball game on Friday.