A group of Black Florida high schoolers are crying racism after being rejected in an attempt to make their school’s cheerleading squad.
The eight teenagers, who call themselves the “Park Vista 8,” say out of 60 girls who tried out for the squad at Park Vista High School in Palm Beach, Fla. in May, 36 were chosen, none of them Black.
“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 Park Vista parent Derrick Wells.
“Some of the other girls, Caucasian girls, … come out crying because they stopped during their performance,” Maya Jean-Charles, a Black Park Vista cheerleader hopeful, told WPTV News Channel 5. “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.”
The girls say they have faced racial discrimination at the school before.
The school board is investigating discriminatory practices at the school, and in a statement, Palm Beach County School Superintendent Bill Malone said he met with the school’s principal and athletic director who said they were not aware of the “magnitude of the concerns.”
School administrators say they will schedule another tryout in August exclusively for the “Park Vista 8” and sixteen other rejected students, according to theGrio.com. The cheerleading squad will also create four additional spots on the team.