excerpt: Cheer Her Rapist? Let's Make Noise Over This Wendy Murphy WeNews contributing editor
Thursday, May 12, 2011
"A Texas teen was expelled from her cheerleading squad for refusing to cheer for a guy accused of raping her. The courts have let her down, so about a dozen of us who are former NFL cheerleaders are standing up. We want to hear some noise about this.
(WOMENSENEWS)--On May 2 the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of a Texas high school cheerleader who was kicked off her squad for refusing to cheer for a basketball player accused of raping her weeks earlier...
The victim's family has been ordered to pay $45,000 in costs to reimburse the school for having to defend against the lawsuit....
She calls the incident an outrage. "How hard would it have been for school officials to just let her stay silent? Ideally they should have forbidden the guy to play sports, but insisting that a young woman literally cheer for a man who abused her is its own form of abuse."
She was willing to cheer for the team, but when her assailant was at the free-throw line, and the squad was cheering for him in particular, she stepped back from the others and crossed her arms in defiance.
Watts described the cheer they wanted her to say. He said, "It went something like this: 'Two, four, six-eight-10, come on [player] put it in.' Think about that. How does a school official make a rape victim say something like that to a man who did something so horrible?"
The accused was charged with rape and pleaded guilty to assault in 2010, but while the matter was still being resolved he continued to play sports.
In February 2009, when the victim refused to cheer for him, she was sent home by school officials and later dismissed from the squad for the remainder of her high school career. The accused student continued to enjoy the cheers and adulation of other students, parents and school officials.