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The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online

The student news site of Londonderry High School

Lancer Spirit Online

Superintendent sends out press release regarding cheerleading program suspension

Superintendent of Schools Daniel Black sent out a press release to all Londonderry families today announcing the suspension of the high school cheerleading program until Sept. 25, 2023, at which point, according to the press release, the Board will “re-evaluate the program’s standing for the remainder of the season.”

According to the release, school officials have recently been made aware of “extremely concerning allegations” having to do with a “toxic and pervasive culture of bullying, harassment, and discrimination” among the cheer squad members. The allegations involve the coaching staff, student athletes and parents of team members.

After being made aware of the issue, admin consulted the school board in a private meeting on Thursday, Sept. 7. Considering all the evidence that was brought to their attention, the board unanimously voted to induct a 17-day program suspension effective immediately, of which the LHS administration was in full support. This means the cheerleaders will not be able to participate in the Mack Plaque football game on Friday, Sept. 22. 

Considering the program was suspended based on allegations, the School Board is seeking an “independent investigator” to look into the case. The release makes a point to recognize that there has been “no finding of any wrongdoing in the cheerleading program,” but if the investigator finds that “misconduct” has taken place, “administration will address that misconduct through typical disciplinary channels.”

While all the squad’s planned events will be canceled until Sept. 25, the coaching staff will be on paid administrative leave until the investigation has concluded. 

The release also highlights the concept of extracurricular activities being a “privilege” at Londonderry High School. 

“We hold student-athletes in Londonderry to high standards,” Black wrote in the release. “Extra-curricular activities are an extension of a rigorous program of academic instruction in Londonderry, and the educational component of these extra-curriculars cannot be put aside. When we receive allegations that a program’s overall culture is perpetuating mistreatment of students, we must act swiftly.”

Black encourages the student body and the rest of the Londonderry community to not participate or initiate any “gossip, rumors, or speculation” regarding the decision. They want to allow the investigator to do their job to the best of their ability so the case can come to a clear conclusion. 

The release concludes with a final statement showing how much the administration and school board members value the importance of “helping students succeed in a caring, supportive learning environment.” Since this case compromises this goal, all members are “determined” to fix the situation. 

“[The School Board and administration] look forward to resolving this matter as quickly as possible,” Black said. “We thank you all for your commitment to making LHS a safe and respectful environment for all students.”

More information to come as updates are released regarding the case.

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About the Contributor
Kelly Egan, Editor-in-Chief
This is Kelly's second year on the editorial board. As well as being Editor-in-Chief, she is heavily involved in the music department here at LHS. She is in the chamber choir and the drama club. She also does theatre year-round outside of school. She loves being on staff and has been writing since elementary school.

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  • J

    Jason
    Sep 13, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    Great article. Thanks for taking the time to write this.

    Reply
  • R

    Robin Martin
    Sep 10, 2023 at 8:01 am

    I am very grateful that the board took such swift and decisive action. We need to place the mental health and welfare of our kids as our top priority.

    Reply