US high school accused of body-shaming after ‘Big Boobie’ & ‘Big Booty’ awards given to cheerleaders
Last March, Tremper High School in the Kenosha Unified School District conducted an annual banquet which was attended by more than 100 people to celebrate the achievements of the school’s cheerleading squad.
Along with standard honors awarded to the most talented and most hard-working, cheerleaders there were also given prizes for their other assets - among them 'Big Booty' and 'Big Boobie' honors presented to the girls with the biggest backsides and chests. A 'String Bean' award was also given to the team’s rookie for being “so light and skinny.”
Following the ceremony, several people contacted the school’s principal complaining about the awards, considering them to be inappropriate and promoting body-shaming.Also on rt.com 'It's just not cricket': Pakistan Super League bosses reject 'unhelpful' female cheerleaders idea
“I feel that I need to tell you this for the protection of these girls,” the school’s former track coach, Patti Hupp, wrote, adding that honors based on physical attributes were “extremely degrading to women.”
“I looked around and thought, ‘Did that just happen?’ If my daughter would have won one of those awards, I would’ve absolutely been rushing the stage,” one mother said.
The school’s cheerleading coach, Patti Uttech didn’t find anything disrespectful in the ceremony, instead describing it as “the funniest thing.”Also on rt.com ‘Another reason not to watch’: NFL fans split over Super Bowl debut for male cheerleaders
“We understand that we are in a politically correct world these days, but we do like to have fun and keep things on the lighter side,” she said.
Some parents directed their complaints to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asking to conduct investigation over the cheerleaders treatment in the school.
Following a year-long investigation the ACLU accused the school of “gender discrimination, sexual harassment and body shaming.” It asked the district to take appropriate action against the cheerleading coaches.
“We urge KUSD to release written guidelines prohibiting school officials from commenting on students’ physical appearances or making other remarks about their bodies or sexuality,” ACLU wrote.
“We urge KUSD to institute appropriate discipline against the staff involved with the Tremper High School cheer awards and the Tremper and KUSD administrators who failed to take adequate corrective action after receiving complaints about the incidents.”