Group of girls claim discrimination after not making the high school cheerleading team

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - A local high school is being ridiculed after several students claim they were discriminated against because of the color of their skin.

The girls, who are all black, say they tried out for the cheerleading squad at Park Vista High School. They say this isn't the first time racism has been an issue at their school.

The girls feel they were discriminated against because while they did complete their routine, other non-minority students didn't and still made the team.

Standing together as a team of their own, 8 black girls who have now taken on the title of the Park Vista eight, are speaking up about discrimination at their high school.

It was the end of May when all eight of the girls tried out for the cheerleading squad.

Out of 60, 36 girls were picked. Only 8 black girls tried out and none of them made the team.

"Out of a school of almost 3,000 students, you're telling me you can't find one minority to put on that cheerleading team," says parent Derrick Wells.

But for the girls and their parents, it's not that they didn't make the team, it's the fact they don't feel they were given fair chance.

"Some of the other girls, Caucasian girls, that performed come out crying because they stopped during their performance," says Maya Jean-Charles. "Someone told me I stopped. I don't even think I'm going to make the team, but yet they still made J.V. cheerleading squad and I didn't make J.V. or varsity."

Parents say they are outraged the girls were denied an opportunity despite completing the requirements of the judges while they say others didn't.

"It's bad for these kids to walk away and feel like wow I didn't make it because of the color of my skin," says parent Carol German.

The girls took their claims to the school board, who is now looking into whether there were any unfair practices.

Superintendent Bill Malone released a statement saying, "I met with the Park Vista High School principal and athletic director today regarding concerns raised by student the principal and athletic were unaware of the magnitude of the concerns."

But these girls say they put together a petition signed by students and were given the cold shoulder by school administrators.

The group says they are planning to try out again and hope their efforts to raise awareness to a hidden issue will forward them an equal opportunity.

The superintendent says the principal and athletic director will meet with the students to address their concerns and develop a plan that allows them to move forward.

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