Cheer Coaches Banned From Competition Over Gag Awards

Wisconsin coaches gave out 'Big Booty,' 'Big Boobie' awards at banquet
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 27, 2019 12:02 PM CST
Cheer Coaches Banned From Competition Over Gag Awards
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/IPGGutenbergUKLtd)

The coaches of a Wisconsin cheerleading squad have been banned from a competition following complaints about a banquet that included gag awards for team members' breasts and buttocks, per the AP. The Kenosha News reports that Kenosha Unified School District's superintendent says the Wisconsin Association of Cheer/Pom Coaches is allowing the Tremper High School cheerleaders to compete this weekend to defend their state title—but the association has barred three coaches from accompanying them. In addition to recognizing the most improved or hardest-working cheerleaders, the ACLU says so-called gag awards at the annual banquets were called "Big Booty" and "Big Boobie."

A "String Bean" award was also given to the thinnest member of the squad. The American Civil Liberties Union last week demanded action following repeated complaints about the awards from parents and a former coach to school and district officials. Superintendent Sue Savaglio-Jarvis says the district's biggest concern was making sure the girls could still compete. "We actually worked in collaboration to have another coach from another school district that has the proper certification to be on the floor with the girls," she says. (When handing out the gag awards, here's what the coaches allegedly said.)

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