Fox News reports that Kennedy Tesch, a 6-year-old girl in Michigan, was booted off her flag football cheerleader team after her parents objected to the lyrics of a cheer.
Poor Kennedy was voted off the Madison Heights Wolverines flag football cheerleading team during a team meeting to discuss her parents’ objections to one of the team’s cheers. So what exactly got them so riled up?
Here are the words to the offending cheer:
“Our backs ache, our skirts are too tight, we shake our booties from left to right.”
In print, it sounds pretty awful. I’m appalled by anything that sexualizes children. Commenters on Fox News’ web site are saying this is a sign of the times. But, the truth is, I remember my friends and I (back in the 70s) singing a similar tune (although we used “butts” instead of “booties”).
So I’m torn. On the one hand, it’s inappropriate for kids to be saying these words. On the other hand, I wonder if we are becoming overly sensitized to the issue. Fox News commenters are saying that it’s lyrics like these that encourage pedophiles. That sounds just a bit alarmist to me.
Understandably, the little girl’s family is upset and I would be too. Who ever heard of voting a kid off a team? How cruel.
“I don’t even have the words,” Jennifer Tesch told FoxNews.com. “I can’t believe their solution to this was to remove my daughter from the team. She’s going to be devastated.”
The Tesches will be getting a refund for Kennedy’s $125 team uniform. They were told that Kennedy would be allowed to try out again next year, but why would she want to?
“We’re probably going to look to get her into gymnastics,” Duane Tesch, the little girl’s father, told Fox News.
In the age of blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, a smalltown story like this can be picked up easily by major news outlets and misrepresented. I’m not saying that this incident didn’t happen, but it’s likely that there’s more to the story than we’re getting in these reports.
Obviously, I feel for this poor kid that she’s at the center of this controversy and that she can’t participate in cheerleading with her team. But, quite honestly, I wonder why a six-year-old is cheerleading in the first place? Maybe, as her parents suggest, she’d be better off doing gymnastics.
What do you think?
photo: wjklos (NOTE: girl in photo is not Kennedy Tesch)