Today I read the story about the New Jersey mother who went into her daughter’s school to complain that her kid didn’t make the cheerleading squad. I don't know much about the girl or why she didn't make the team, although that's an irrelevant and somewhat moot point. As a result of the complaint, every girl at Hanover Park High School is now allowed to be on the team. I imagine this won’t work out too well if the team has to toss a 250-pound chick into the air, but that’s also beside the point. The real problem here is that all of the girls who labored, trained, exercised and struggled to meet the physical standards necessary to even have a chance at being on the coveted 10-member team now feel that their efforts were in vain.
There will be no tryouts. No cuts. The element of competition has been completely eliminated.
Cheerleader Stephanie Krueger was furious, and expressed her opinion last Wednesday during a school board meeting: “All my hard work has been thrown out the window. I tried my hardest. Now everything is going away because of one child who did not make the team, and their parent complained.”
Sophomore Jada Alcontara said, “I came up here to state that I did not put in 18 months of work to lead up to this moment, just to be told it didn’t matter anymore.”
Many parents, students and cheerleaders have asked officials to reverse the ruling, but the school says they are standing by the decision in an attempt to make cheerleading more “inclusive.”
Ok, I really think we’ve all had enough of this crap. This isn’t how things work in the real world. Can you imagine applying the “anyone-can-join-the-team” policy to the Hanover High School football team? How about the Dallas Cowboys while we’re at it? (I don’t think Dak Prescott would take too kindly to that.) Can you imagine if the NFL implemented this sort of policy for its cheerleading squads? Or all of its football teams across the board? There would be chaos in the streets and protests outside of every stadium in the nation.
I honestly don’t have a clue what’s wrong with many liberal administrators in the public education system these days. One minute they’re desperate to protect all these whiny, spoiled, “emotionally-fragile” teens from the harsh realities of defeat, loss and setbacks, but the very next minute they’re willing to expose them to pornographic sex eduction videos that discuss blowjobs, sex toys and the male G-spot. WHAT IN GOD’S NAME IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE? Their priorities are completely reversed. Don’t they know that some of the most important life lessons come from experiencing moments of success, failure, competition and achievement? Don’t they know that some of the best character-building opportunities occur when a young person is told to try harder next time? Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose.
But, I guess these administrators are too busy watching Laci Green videos on YouTube.
My apologies for typing in all-caps. (The written equivalent of screaming, in case you were unaware.) I suppose I expect too much of us as Americans. I thought by now every school would at least be able to agree on the basic Absolute Truth that elementary and high school students desperately need to grapple with the concepts of winning and losing before they’re thrown into the real world where they will face things like job interviews and adult decisions. No retail store manager or restaurant owner wants to deal with a cocky, self-entitled brat who thinks she deserves a job because her parents always told her she was good at everything and deserved to be on every team despite having none of the necessary talent or meeting any of the strictest requirements. Especially if this particular brat was even further appeased by her school administration bending over backwards to write a new policy just for her.
Through situations like this one, we’ve rapidly created an entirely new generation — the “participation trophy” generation — a culture of young people who’ve been taught that everyone is special just because of who they are and that everyone deserves an award or a spot on the team just for trying.
No. That’s not how reality works. The truth is that you only deserve a spot on the team if you have the talent and abilities. You only make the team if you’re qualified. If you suck, you will not make the team. And there are some people who suck at doing certain things. They may need to practice to get better. They may need to come back later and try again.
You only get the trophy if you win. You will not get a trophy — or an award of any kind — if you lose.
Maybe I’m crazy, but I think it’s time to stop rewarding people who merely want to participate and start rewarding the people who actually worked to earn it.