The Stephenville ISD board of trustees met Monday to tackle a lengthy agenda, which included the approval of a 2017-18 cheerleading constitution.
Although the constitution was approved, it was not unanimous with two board members - Scott Osman and Cole Gilliam Parks - voting against the measure.
Stephenville High School Principal Stephanie Traweek gave a presentation over the major changes the committee of 10 came up with.
There will now be a freshman, 8 members; a junior varsity, 8 members; and varsity cheer squad, 20 members, with three sponsors - one for each squad.
There will no longer be teacher evaluations and cheerleaders will be selected strictly based on three judges scores.
The committee will also implement a competition squad, which will consist of up to 20 students that include cheerleaders (grades 9-12), mascots and flag runners and a pep squad to which any student can partake in.
“At the end of the day we want this to be as fair as possible for all of our students,” Traweek said. “I think we have to stand behind something, support it, and see if it works.”
The 12-page constitution breaks down everything from the scoring system, eligibility and tryouts to expectations
At the junior high level there are currently 10 seventh grade cheer members and 12 eighth grade cheerleaders.
“We are basically promoting anti-growth with this. From eighth to ninth grade we’re going to be cutting one-third of the squad,” Osman said. “How are we as a district promoting growth when you’re cutting the numbers? This makes no sense.”
Parks expressed concern in reference to the demerits outlined in the constitution.
“For me it comes down to that we’re holding these girls to a higher standard than others,” Parks said. “It’s a different standard than the rest of the students.”
In response to Osman’s concern with the number of cheerleaders on the squad, SHS librarian and committee member Rachel Kammerer said, “When you have 10 kids or 28 kids it becomes a safety issue for the squad. I don’t think we’re limiting the kids, we’re telling them like any other team, there are this many spots available and anybody can try out. It was a realistic number suggested by the sponsors as far as managing a group of girls at an event.”
After more back and forth discussion about the constitution the time came to vote on approving it.
“At some point we’ve got to say, ‘OK, this is what we’ve got going,’ and give it a chance and see if it works,” board member Gary Sult said. “Maybe it takes a couple of years, but personally I get frustrated because we’re just chasing this thing around. We’re not going to have perfection because we have multiple people involved who have their own idea of what perfection is.”
The full constitution with specific dates will not be shared until January 2017.