letters to the editor

Cheerleaders need consistent place to practice

As you may have heard, the SLVHS Cheer Team has recently been told they can no longer use the cafeteria to practice in. There was no reason given for why they cannot use the space anymore and they were not given any notice or warning. So for now they have been practicing outside. 

This news is a big blow for the team and the coaches who have been practicing and working so hard for most of the summer and into this school year. What they need is a consistent indoor place to practice that meets their criteria, such as high ceilings for practicing stunts, a floor space big enough for their mats and a bathroom.

The Cheerleading program doubled in participants in one year. They are a thriving group and they all take their roles seriously. A lot of heart and soul goes into their performances and cheers and it is a 10-month commitment for them all.

Academics are important for the girls because they must earn a certain GPA to be able to participate. They also must attend school in order to attend practices and games.

It would be a shame if the school district doesn’t ensure this team and Cheer teams in the future have a consistent place to practice.

Kate Hildenbrand
Ben Lomond

Cheer is backbone of school spirit

This weekend I was privileged enough to watch the SLVHS Cheer Team cheer and perform at the Saturday varsity football game. My daughter is one of the cheerleaders and, as I know the time she’s put into it, to see it was a touching experience.

All 22 girls are extremely good and talented. They worked so well in unison with each other. I was so impressed. Cheer is the backbone of spirit for the school, and I am afraid our girls are not being recognized in the manner they should be.

For the last 30 years, the Cheer Team has practiced in our tri-campus cafeteria. They were notified effective immediately they were no longer allowed to practice at that facility, and at this point they don’t have an alternative spot to practice. 

This is a major problem as our gym space is already spoken for for fall and winter sports. I feel that our girls need and deserve a place to practice so they can continue bringing students, staff and community together at the games.

Why can’t they use the cafeteria that sits empty during their practice time?

Erin Nichols
Ben Lomond

Lack of practice space impacts Cheer program

I am writing this letter in support of the SLVHS Cheerleading organization. The adults at the District Office, who are refusing to give an explanation as to why the Cheerleading program is no longer allowed to use the cafeteria as a practice space and would rather a facility sit empty than allow the Cheer program to use the facility, are sending a message that the District does not care about the impact to the team or the importance of the Cheer program’s role at SLVHS.

For 10 months out of the year, these girls dedicate themselves to promoting a positive school environment, to lifting up the community, to supporting all other school programs, not just athletics, and generally improving life at SLV. These girls are held to a high standard of education and personal responsibility. 

This generation of students have been encouraged by Superintendent Scheirmeyer to use their voice, express themselves, to take responsibility for their actions and to listen to others. It is very challenging to teach teenagers how to positively solve conflict when the adults around them are not willing to.

Mark Cahill
Ben Lomond

SLV community shows support for Cheer Team

I am a junior at SLVHS, a captain on the Cheer Team, member of the National Honors Society and one of the Yearbook Editors. We started an online petition asking parents, students and our SLV community for their help in backing us to get our practice space back. 

In one week, we got over 1,000 signatures. The SLV residents showed us they know the importance of supporting kids in their community. Sports hold us accountable and sports make us feel like we’re a part of something.

Per our superintendent’s email to all parents at the start of the school year, he said: “We will continue with the theme RISE UP. We RISE UP day in and day out to make a difference in the lives of YOUR children throughout the SLV Community…. Student VOICE is a goal this year…. We pride ourselves on the PROGRAMS as well as social and emotional growth for our students.” 

Well that’s what Cheer does for those of us who wear our uniform with pride. Cheer is a 10-month, pay-to-play sport. We deserve a safe, consistent indoor practice place.

The Cheer Team and our parents came before the School District Board with our petition signatures, using our “Student VOICE” in hopes that they would hear us. We were kicked out with no reason or notice. It’s sad to us that these adults who try to teach us about conflict resolution, can’t demonstrate the same thing.

Taylor Angiolani
Ben Lomond

Cheerleading abides by same rules as other sports

This is my fourth year on the SLVHS Cheer Team. I am one of the captains and I am the ASB Leadership and Spirit Commissioner. The cafeteria, our practice area for Cheer, was recently taken away from us with no notice or reason given. Now we have no place to practice that is our own.

The cafeteria has been a safe and secure place that the Cheerleading program has used to practice twice a week for 30 years. The reason being is we need high ceilings for throwing stunts and rolling out our safety mats that are 42 by 30 feet. 

Right now we are able to manage because we can practice in the Wrestling Room and outside, but that will be taken away in November when wrestling season starts, and being outside will be unmanageable due to the weather and daylight saving time.

I would like to put into perspective how cheerleading is not only an after-school “club” where us girls go and cheer for sports games, it is so much more. Our coaches have us and our parents sign a contract at the start of the season that we must abide by the same rules as every other sports team.

This includes having grades that stay above a 2.0 GPA with no F’s and not missing school on a game day or practice days. If you do, you will not get to partake in practice or cheer at the game.

Sierra Arnett

We welcome letters to the editor and commentaries on all topics of local interest. Email your submissions to [email protected]. Letters must include the writer’s name and hometown (for publication) and phone number (for verification). Submissions may be edited, and will be published as space permits. Letters are limited to 400 words, commentaries to 600 words.

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