Samson Cheerleader Controversy

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Emotions ran high about a cheerleader controversy in Western Geneva County.

On two separate occasions in recent weeks, several children in Samson have been told they've made the squad. Then, they were told by school officials they were not on the team.

The Geneva County School Board has voted not to allow the girls in question to be part of the team.

There are a number of angry parents and grandparents in Samson and several feel this entire matter could have easily been avoided.

At the Geneva County School Board meeting, Board Member Marcia Hatcher took exception with a decision by Superintendent David Snell. Snell allowed a one-year exception to allow several girls to remain on both the Samson J.V. and varsity cheerleader squads.

Initially, the girls were told they could be on the squad and then were told no.

"That was a great mis-service to the children, but policy is what it is until it is changed," Hatcher said.

By a three-to-two vote, the board passed Hatcher's motion to follow board policy on the number of cheerleaders allowed on the squad. That means that Coribeth Reynolds will not be on the team next year, which has been an emotional rollercoaster.

Reynolds says the incident is, "Not really embarrassing for the whole school; [they] think you are a cheerleader, and next they tell you that you are not. It’s like you are telling a lie, but you are not"

Roy Rodgers, a concerned grandparent says, "We go through life and tell our children to do the right thing and they stand in front of the school board and get this treatment."

Hatcher had few words for News 4 following the board meeting. "I thought you attend the meeting when I did discuss board policy, but, how about the policy Mr. Gurspan? You have a good evening."

The parents that News 4 spoke to say putting their children through the process of learning they made the team and then not make the team on two separate occasions, has been very tough.

News 4 will continue to follow this story and let you know if any legal action is filed against the Geneva County school district concerning the cheerleader issue.

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