Trouble sparked recently when a Maryland high school principal openly criticized his school’s cheerleaders’ performance, calling it “too ghetto.”
Springbrook Cheerleaders (PHOTO CREDIT: website of the Springbrook High School’s Athletics Department)
According to news reports, Art Williams, principal at Springbrook High School in Silver Spring, Md., allegedly described the cheerleaders’ routine at a basketball game on Jan. 17 as being “too ghetto” and said that the team needed to “tone it down.”
The Blueprint, the school’s newspaper, reported that cheerleaders and their parents were offended by the principal’s remarks.
On Jan. 23, William’s tweeted an apology letter to the cheerleaders, calling his statements “inappropriate.”
Still, at least one former student wants Williams to be removed for his comments, according to WUSA9.
“I’m really upset about it because it was very offensive. It was very racist because they’re basically telling the students that there is no room for Black culture in MCPS ,” said Lauren McLendon, who once cheered for the high school.
According to WTTG/WDCA), the Washington, D.C. Fox affiliate, the cheerleaders explained that their routine was inspired by HBCU culture.
Dan Feher, the school’s athletic director allegedly told the students that their sportsmanship should only be dictated by the guidelines of MCPS athletics and not other colleges or universities, according to The Blueprint.
“I have learned a lot from the situation,” Feher said. “Creating and maintaining positive functional relationships with all students and student-athletes has always been a priority of mine and the cheerleaders at Springbrook are no exception.”
Some of the cheerleaders’ dance routines can be seen on their Twitter page, here.