Recently the school board members in Corpus Christi, Texas became concerned about the racial and ethnic makeup of their school's Cheerleading squads. Of utmost interest to them was the Cheerleading selection process and whether it was fair to all students.
Before 1999 the Cheerleaders in CCISD were voted on by the student body. Then amid rumors of ballot stuffing, the school board moved to a panel of independent judges provided from either the Universal Cheerleading Association or the National Cheerleading Association.
Like at most schools, the cheerleaders are now judged on their cheers, jumps, presentation, voice, and spirit. It is no longer a popularity contest, it has definitely become a competition of skill and ability.
Over the years, as Cheerleading has grown into a competitive sport, it has also become more of an economic issue. Now a days, the majority of Cheerleaders start at an early age with lessons in gymnastics/tumbling, dance and Cheerleading. These lessons can end up costing thousands of dollars and that's not including the uniforms and other equipment they may have to purchase. Do these factors somehow rule out students in a lower income bracket?
Is there a way to select Cheerleaders that would be fair to everyone? Should schools be required to provide classes or the basics of Cheerleading at an early age? How does your school select its Cheerleaders and do you think it's fair?