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Male Cheerleader in Texas Kicked Off Squad, Suspended for Gay Kiss Seen on Surveillance Camera: VIDEO

Cheerleader

A male cheerleader in Alice, Texas outside of Corpus Christi says he was kicked off the cheerleading squad and suspended after Alice High School officials observed him kissing another male student on a surveillance camera, KRIS reports.

Alice"They never check cameras for anything unless something is stolen," the young man said, asking not be indentified. "We would be the ones getting caught because I'm sure we were the only ones, sexual orientation wise, being caught like that."

The boy said public displays of affection are a relatively common occurrence at Alice HS, and he believes that the principal would not have targeted him had he been caught kissing a female student.

"In this school [kissing] is everywhere, if that were the case, suspending everyone for that, half the school would be suspended," he said.

The student says he worked for years to make the varsity cheer squad. His family is prepared to pursue legal action.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. What a crock. Are ALL the cheerleaders subject to a no kissing clause? This is just plain pathetic. Also sad in this day and age he didn't want his face shown.

    Posted by: Geoff M | Oct 14, 2011 11:15:27 AM


  2. And exactly what kind of boys do they think are most likely going to be on their cheerleading squad?

    That utterly disgusting principal is about to get a big wake-up call to the 21st Century. You don't witch-hunt our gay teens and you don't expect them or their families to take it without a fight if you do.

    Posted by: justme | Oct 14, 2011 11:19:19 AM


  3. Shouldn't your headline read, "Student...kicked off...for kiss"?

    Isn't a "gay-kiss" pretty much the same thing as "gay-marriage"

    Using their language only validates that there's actually something different to consider & there isn't. A kiss is a kiss, as they will soon find out.

    Food for thought.

    Posted by: Pete n SFO | Oct 14, 2011 11:28:29 AM


  4. I was a cheerleader for almost six years (including two in college in Texas) and know that when this guy says he worked hard to make the varsity squad, he ain't joking. In Texas, anything surrounding sports, particularly football, is serious business, and their co-ed squads, far from being an exception to the norm as they are in the north and east, are not unusual and among the most competitive in the country. This kid put in the hard work and earned his place on the squad after years of hard work. To single him out in this way pisses me off on all the obvious levels, but also because I know how many of the other male and female cheerleaders in high school and college were doing much "worse" things than kissing, and I'm sure that's still (if not more) true now.

    It wouldn't surprise me, though, if they had an anti-PDA rule there (perfect to be used as a selective weapon for leverage against students, right?). When I was a freshman in H.S., I lived in Louisiana, where if you had EVER been pregnant, you were permanently ineligible to represent the school as a cheerleader, dance team member, or flag team member. At one point a girl was "outed" as having had a child two years before in another state and giving it up for adoption. She was never pregnant at the school, even, and she was pulled off the field during a game adn told to turn in her uniform and had to pay back everything the school had spent on her bus travel, etc. to and from games. It was crazy and insane. (Never mind that school activities are what raise your self esteem and keep you OUT of future trouble, quite often.) So, remembering that, I could totally see a strict NO PDA clause at the school that would be easy to use against this young man.

    Which of course begs the question "is it enforced selectively?" which, based on this article it clearly is. I'd be willing to say the rule was stupid, imho, but still the rule, if it was well-known and enforced, but when it's selectively enforced against guys (and no doubt "the wrong kind of girls" and "hoodlums," too)because they're doing something the principal and/or community finds objectionable then we have a problem. And I hope he gets some strong legal representation. Hey, a case in Texas (Lawrence v. Texas) is how sodomy laws and others criminalizing homosxuality were finally declared unconstitutional.

    While I think a school has a right to regulate PDA (I do, actually, just as a school has a right to say no hats in class or no profanity in class discussions) to an extent, they don't have a right to selectively enforce it in a discriminatory way. And they certainly shouldn't impose completely ridiculous, outsized, punishments (kicking someone off a team or activity) for simple infractions.

    Posted by: AnonymousJack | Oct 14, 2011 11:36:59 AM


  5. Here are the email addresses to the school and school district administration... I've already emailed them my comments and I've communicated to them my intent to donate to the student's legal team if neccessary.

    lmunoz1@aliceisd.net,
    ddelgado@aliceisd.net,
    wruiz@aliceisd.net,
    tterrell@aliceisd.net,
    drscavazos@aliceisd.net,
    mday@aliceisd.net,
    jhuerta@aliceisd.net

    Posted by: Landon | Oct 14, 2011 12:17:10 PM


  6. "And exactly what kind of boys do they think are most likely going to be on their cheerleading squad?"

    Future US Presidents.

    Posted by: Alan E. | Oct 14, 2011 12:26:23 PM


  7. According to the student handbook (available on the school's website), sexual orientation is not covered in its anti-discrimination policy.

    Quick search didn't show anything about PDAs, altho' definitely would exempt my child from their useless "human sexuality" classes. They also seem to believe that they can force students to say the pledge of allegiance (require written parental consent to abstain).

    Just on the quick glance at their student handbook, ACLU is going to have a field day with this one.

    Posted by: AggieCowboy | Oct 14, 2011 12:38:49 PM


  8. Thank you ALAN E. when I was a cheerleader in hs and college, I was one of only 2 bi/gay guys out of six in high school (though the straight guys were mostly progressive and supportive, they were straight...and still were at the last reunion and/or on FB with their wives and kids) and in college that number was never higher than 1/3. I love that cheerleading has been a safe go-to place for gay and bi men over the years, but the myth that male cheerleaders, at least at competitive schools and squads where winning is king, is all gay. It's much more about talent, athleticism, and school pride and the insane time commitment required at the college level. I think cheerleading is more gay friendly than many activities and more theatrical and expressive than most other competitive sports and both of those mean higher participation by gays, but the myth that it "is" gay is more about the fact that its associated with women in many parts of the country and our inherent biases toward men doing "girl" things than actual majority gays in cheerleading. There just arent enough of us to begin with.

    And, yes, more presidents, senators, and generals have been cheerleaders than I can count. Those are always fun factoids.

    Posted by: BreckRoy | Oct 14, 2011 12:41:40 PM


  9. Seriously... this school is actually saying they kicked him off for just kissing? If so, they're idiots - this would just be inviting a lawsuit which I can't imagine they would win.

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 14, 2011 1:02:01 PM


  10. This is EXACTLY what needs to happen. This young man is setting an example by SPEAKING out against discrimination.

    Send your thoughts to the district's administration using the following email addresses:

    lmunoz1@aliceisd.net; ddelgado@aliceisd.net; wruiz@aliceisd.net; tterrell@aliceisd.net; drscavazos@aliceisd.net; mday@aliceisd.net; jhuerta@aliceisd.net; mcochran@endyn.com; wolfrobin2@yahoo.com; jenmarellano@yahoo.com; rdavidguerrero@sbcglobal.net; leeramon@sbcglobal.net; "fire medic Fd"

    Posted by: Tom | Oct 14, 2011 1:09:08 PM


  11. 1) Son, if the school administrators are stalking you via security camera, it's a big deal. If lawyers are involved, it's a big deal. If you have gone on camera to give a news interview, it's a big deal. You seem pretty courageous--the time will soon come when you feel you can show your face. You'll have plenty of support.

    2) While times may have changed, back in my day, in the history of my high school, every single male cheerleader EVER was gay (or more appropriately, later came out as gay). By contrast, only a couple of varsity QBs (to my knowledge) ever did the same. I don't have a problem with it either way. Just sayin'.

    The problem in Texas, is that social mores sexualized young women via 'institutions' (for lack of a better word) such as cheerleading and twirling or as the late Molly Ivins referred to them "open-air hoochie girls". It's kind of like a protracted white-trash debutante ball signalling that these young women are entering their period of general sexual availablity--sort of a sexual Initial Public Offering, if you will.

    Even as cheerleading has evolved over the last years, at least in urban areas, to be more of an athletic competition, in rural backwaters (and yes, Alice, TX qualifies), it really disrupts the wet dreams of the men (fathers, male teachers, principals, pastors, etc.) in the bleachers if they see a male presence in the cheerleading line. The reaction is primal.

    I feel sorry for this kid--sorry that he is facing this kind of oppression and social backwardness; sorry that he has invested so much time and energy in such a shallow teenage activity that will provide such a little return in terms of socially relevant adult life skills. Get through high school, son, and get the hell out of Alice. Clearly, you have enough guts and balls to do something out in the world bigger than insipid chants. Good luck, son.

    Posted by: Former Yell Leader | Oct 14, 2011 2:24:29 PM


  12. Equality Texas has pulled existing Alice High School policies that would seem to govern the situation involving a male cheerleader who was suspended and discharged from the squad for being seen kissing another boy on a recorded surveillance tape.

    It appears that the punishment applied to this particular student exceeds that called for, even if a surveillance tape qualifies as public display of affection (is it public if no one was actually there?).

    Public displays of affection are not mentioned in the conduct section of the Student Handbook.

    Cheerleaders are subject to a three-strike rule, and PDA would count as one strike.

    Cheerleader Handbook: http://ahs.aliceisd.net/www/AliceISD_AHS/site/hosting/AHS%20Cheerleading_Handbook_2010-2011[1].pdf

    Cheerleader Constitution: http://ahs.aliceisd.net/www/AliceISD_AHS/site/hosting/2009-2010_Cheer_Constitution.pdf

    Student Handbook: http://www.aliceisd.net/download.axd?file=0ba0c473-9432-4f6b-8424-965b8d6ced27&dnldType=Resource

    Hopefully, the local on-campus review will result in reinstatement to the squad, as the current disciplinary action does not appear to conform to school policy.

    Chuck Smith
    Deputy Executive Director
    Equality Texas

    Posted by: Chuck Smith | Oct 14, 2011 2:26:26 PM


  13. In a perfect world, no gay person should have to hide their face. However, this is rural Texas we're talking about, here. Anyone who isn't absolutely terrified for this child's safety is completely out of touch with reality.

    Posted by: Southern Comfort | Oct 14, 2011 3:14:16 PM


  14. So, rather than be known for their great cheerleaders and other great students, Alice ISD would rather be known for bigotry. Got it.

    I do think the boy should show his face. Wouldn't the squad know who this is? And wouldn't they tell their friends in the school and community? Best to meet this head on. This would also eliminate the use of "privacy" as a tactic by the school, to avoid comment and responsibility.

    Posted by: Randy | Oct 14, 2011 3:26:48 PM


  15. I'm a teacher. When I was doing my student teaching Practicum, the principal and teachers routinely punished the gay couples for PDA while ignoring the straight couples. This was in eastern KY in 2007-2008.

    I'm teaching at a community college now, thank God. We have a gay-straight alliance.

    Posted by: Josh | Oct 14, 2011 3:47:47 PM


  16. I agree that he might as well show his face now, but not that he has to. At this point, and moving forward (especially since there will likely be arbitration and potentially a lawsuit--and he's already not suiting up for games) everyone even tangentially related to the school and community knows he's the gay kid. Not everyone comes out on their own timetable, and effectively he *is* out now. I would never force anyone to come out sooner than they are ready but now that it has happened, it's all in how he and his family choose to do with it.

    I'd also like to back BreckRoy up as a former cheerleader (in Lousiana, Washington DC, and Texas--military brat) less than 1/2 of the male cheerleaders I've ever known (and I cheered, as I mentioned, for six years in those three places, high school and college) were gay or have turned out to be gay. I think a lot of it is regional, though. In Louisiana (where I first cheered), there were six guys and eight girls on every squad (JV, Varsity, etc.) and, besides me, there was only one who has since turned out to be gay in all the time I was there. Plenty of other students have, just not the cheerleaders. I actually think it would not have been a very welcoming environment for a gay kid. They were kind of the manwhores of that school of about 1200 kids, lol, and I'm not sure having an out gay or gay-seeming teammate would have been welcomed, since it would lead to questions (this was high school, after all) about the whole group--or at least they would have feared it would.

    In DC, however, I was one of only two guys on my squad and he was straight, and I was out. There I met more gay guys because it was much more of a statement and a novelty to be a male cheerleader. So you had to WANT to do it over other things and you had to choose to endure the ridicule and BS related to it. And there were easily twice as many sports (school and neighborhood) for kids to play. Cheering was something you identified with and you put your neck out to do, so yeah, there were more gay guys around in that region.

    When I got back to college in Texas, I can count the number of gay guys I cheered on one hand. I'm still close with most of them and I am fairly confident they're all straight--though I will say they were much more fun to play things like gay chicken or kissing games with when we were all drunk and the straight guys who were the majority at all times in college were the most gay friendly in the bunch. Believe me, I used to pray that any of them were closeted. But alas, they were just awesome people...and nearly all from Texas, and not just from Austin, lol.

    So it definitely depends on where you are, and the traditions in your community or region. In fact there are key differences even in the cheer community, when I was younger UCA cheerleaders (the southeast, midwest) never let their guys dance, whereas the NCA cheerleaders (the coasts and Texas, at the time) did. UCA was much more about the pretty frills and dance team stuff and NCA (founded by a guy all those years ago) was serious about the athletics and competition.

    I wouldn't say that cheerleading has only recently become something guys can do without the traditional biases. I'd say instead that it more lost its way in the 70s and 80s and became like shoulder pads and DYNASTY a product of the times. It came out of all-male yell leader and gymnastic traditions. The military academies had all male cheerleading squads, people like Trent Lott, George W. Bush, and Rick Perry (I chose "values" Republicans for a reason to make my point) were all cheerleaders. Then it changed and now it's shifting back to the dream of L.R. Herkimeyer (founder of NCA) and the athletic/competition aspect of it. But the pageant stuff is still there, for sure, but to say that the straight guy as the majority is new is probably not the case. It's actually what I've known my whole cheering experience and definitely key to the roots of the sport. Perhaps it's both regional AND age related. Almost two differnet kinds of cheerleading out there.

    Posted by: AnonymousJack | Oct 14, 2011 4:38:49 PM


  17. Normally, before he can proceed with a lawsuit he must go through all administrative channels/appeals first. So the superintendent of the district and the school board would be the next level of appeal. Hopefully the press coverage will persuade them to change their minds. A civil lawsuit would not see its day in court for a few years at best, by which time he'd be out of school. Also, the cost/monetary award ratio would be prohibitive. If the school settles the suit it would still be too late.

    Posted by: anon | Oct 14, 2011 5:32:30 PM


  18. Homophobia in Texas? A gay male cheerleader? I'm having trouble wrapping my head around this story.

    Sorry, I'm not trying to sound like a jerk. It seems clear that someone saw them kissing and reported them. Otherwise why would they have reviewed the tapes?

    Posted by: Paul R | Oct 14, 2011 7:46:42 PM


  19. Gay is wrong, and no amount of crying is gonna change that. It sick and you are all sick and most of you have a one sided outlook on this you want respect .....respect those who don't like it, they are kids what rights do they have your treating this like it's a job,...wake up the bible says it's wrong end of story because I and everyone else knows that when you meet the maker I don't think you left wing crying is gonna help, I do think he will say you knew my word and you didn't follow it it's free will just because he doesn't strike you down doesn't mean he's okay with it ,as the saying goes god sees the truth but waits...

    Posted by: Sgt.chris | Oct 14, 2011 9:36:33 PM


  20. Sorry Chris, but this isn't free republic, and you're not really welcome here. You can leave now.

    I agree that this young man has been effectively outed already so at this point, he really needs to fight back and not allow this homophobic school system take away his freedoms and discriminate. At the same time, as has been said, this *is* Texas. We've heard several similar stories such as this coming out of Texas recently. I can totally understand he not coming out for fear of his safety.

    The best action to be done is simply suing the pants off the school system. That's the only real way these bigoted school districts will learn. Hit them where it hurts, which is in their pockets.

    Posted by: Francis | Oct 14, 2011 10:10:07 PM


  21. Oh so now the tune changes and it's not a free republic , how did I know u would say that....

    Posted by: Sgt.chris | Oct 14, 2011 10:20:12 PM


  22. All right, Sgt. Chris, let's dance!
    You said: "Gay is wrong, and no amount of crying is gonna change that."
    OK, I am ready to believe you. What proof do you have for that comment? What do you have to show to me that your opinion is, indeed, the correct one? And show your work.

    (Unfortunately, that was your first, and probably last, coherent sentence, but I digress)

    " It sick and you are all sick and most of you have a one sided outlook on this you want respect .....respect those who don't like it, they are kids what rights do they have your treating this like it's a job,...wake up the bible says it's wrong end of story because I and everyone else knows that when you meet the maker I don't think you left wing crying is gonna help, I do think he will say you knew my word and you didn't follow it it's free will just because he doesn't strike you down doesn't mean he's okay with it ,as the saying goes god sees the truth but waits..."

    OooohhhhKaaaayyy....

    So, your stance on this, from what I, or anyone else for that matter, can tell, is:
    1. It's sick. (Although you don't explain why or give evidence.)
    2. We want respect, although we don't give it. (Y'know, you might want to look into your behavior for that. We are actually more than willing to listen to differing points of view. It's called discussion. We have a point of disagreement, and we can argue about it, yet not get personal. The first step in this process, however, is to have an actual RATIONAL point to make. SO far, you fail at this. Epically.)
    3. they are kids what rights do they have (Oh, I don’t know, maybe the right to grow up to be the person they feel they have the right to be? To choose their own destiny? To love the person they fall in love with? To follow their own dreams? Yeah, yeah, I know. What were they thinking!)
    4. your treating this like it's a job (For this kid, it is! He has been working his butt off to get where he is! And for someone to completely deny him his goal for something that has absolutely nothing to do with the performance of his duties is wrong! And you could use some spelling classes. ‘your’? I think you mean ‘you’re’. Just sayin’.)
    5. wake up the bible says it's wrong end of story (Really. And your proof resides..where? In a fantasy book about a magical sky grandpa from how many centuries ago? Written by a bunch of illiterate nomads in a pre-bronze age society? Can I have some of what you are smoking?)
    6. I don't think you left wing crying is gonna help, (Grammar. For the Love of GOD, GRAMMAR!!!! And beside the point, how do YOU know? Jesus hung out with radicals and prostitutes. REMEMBER?!?!?!?)
    7. I do think he will say you knew my word and you didn't follow it it's free will just because he doesn't strike you down doesn't mean he's okay with it (You are, of course, free to your opinion. But here is my question to you, and it’s based off of your own statement: “just because he doesn't strike you down doesn't mean he's okay with it” But what if he is? What if the reason we haven’t been ‘struck down’ is because he really doesn’t have any issue with it? What proof do you have to show one way or another? And show your work. Again.)
    8. as the saying goes god sees the truth but waits..." (And another saying goes ‘It is better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.’ Thanks for removing our doubt.)

    Posted by: MirrorMan | Oct 15, 2011 12:45:55 AM


  23. OK, Sgt. Chris, I am going to give you a bit of a pass on this one, but not much of one. The comment was that this isn't 'free republic', which should have been written 'Free Republic', the ridiculous, rabid, right wing hater website that I am pretty sure you are a member of. That being said, your following comment: 'Oh so now the tune changes and it's not a free republic , how did I know u would say that....' merely emphasizes your lack of reading comprehension skills. I am not surprised, and not disappointed. Just dismayed. As Shrub said: "Is our children learning?"

    Posted by: MirrorMan | Oct 15, 2011 12:53:00 AM


  24. Welcome to planet texas!

    Posted by: billmiller | Oct 15, 2011 6:47:56 AM


  25. There was a day when black kids weren't allowed in certain schools and when there were separate drinking fountains for them, and when they couldn't marry white people. Change came slowly, but through constant legal and legislative challenge. (The biggest step was when Texan LBJ fought for the Civil Rights Act.)

    This school will learn what that other school learned recently for forbidding a kid from wearing a T-shirt that said "Gay? Fine by me." The howling tempest (I hope) of our collective response will make them crave their former anonymity. Hopefully there will be a shakeup on the administration. We know how this will play out. I'm sorry for the kid, but I hope other schools are paying attention.

    Posted by: Rob | Oct 15, 2011 9:03:55 AM


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