Principal: Accusations of misjudged tryouts, character attacks force change in cheerleading policy

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ODESSA -- Permian High now has one of the largest cheerleading squads in the Ector County Independent School District, but it’s not by choice.

Permian High cheerleaders yell in support of the boys basketball team during its district game against Amarillo Tascosa Saturday afternoon at the Permian Field house.

Everyone who recently tried out for the varsity team, 38 in all, will be placed on the team after school officials deemed the tryout process invalid.

According to Permian High Principal James Ramage, immediately following the tryout, several cheer parents realized that there may have been mistakes in determining who made each team. As a result, some parents pushed for administrators to have all of the scores reevaluated.

“We had already announced the varsity and junior varsity teams and it caused some hurt feelings and some confusion,” Ramage said. “So, at that point I asked for an internal investigation.”

After the investigation into the tryouts, Ramage said the administration found that there were errors and even some scores missing.

A total of 36 girls and two boys competed for spots on the varsity team, but initially only 18 made varsity and 22 were assigned to jv.

“There’s been some upset parents and rightfully so and we get that, but this is not the kids fault by any means.” Ramage said. “The judges are adults and there were mistakes made.”

The administrators then came up with a solution to address the problem, deciding to place every candidate to one team.

“There have been a few parents who had character assassinations on some of the students, questioning their character on whether they should be there or not,” Ramage said. “We asked them to stop because that serves no purpose.”

The administration plans to reevaluate the current cheer team tryout process. One new suggestion includes delaying the reveal of final results by at least a day in order to have them reviewed.