Trigger warning for sexual assault.
A teenaged cheerleader who was sexually assaulted refused to cheer for her rapist, who was on her school’s basketball team; as a result, she was kicked off the squad, lost a legal appeal, and has been ordered to pay $45,000 to her school. From Business Insider:
The girl, known only as MS, accused a fellow student of raping her at a party. He plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge to avoid jail time and was allowed to return to school and the basketball team.
She continued to cheer for the team during games, but refused to shout the boy’s name or clap for him when he shot free throws. When the superintendent discovered what she was doing, she was kicked off the team.
She sued the Texas school, arguing that her free speech rights had been violated, but two courts ruled that as a cheerleader she speaks for the school, not herself, and did not have the right to refuse.
It is utterly contemptible that her school didn’t kick her rapist off the basketball team, and that MS was still expected to cheer for him. I can’t adequately express my anger at this; my heart goes out to this young woman.