Seek justice for LGBT+ cheerleaders against discrimination from coach

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In January 2020, two Florida Atlantic University students, Evana Bogle and Alyssa Ferraioli, were excluded from the FAU Club Cheer Team because they identify as lesbians and are in a relationship. This was told explicitly to Evana by Coach Ricky and the coaching staff’s disdain for the couple was noticeable and unexplainable. Soon after, an investigation was done through FAU’s office of Equity, Inclusion, and Compliance that lasted nearly four painful months for these minority students. During this time, there was little communication from administration, besides an official email that stated there was “insufficient facts” to prove that Regulation 5.010 was violated.

Under Regulation 5.010, Unlawful discrimination or harassment based upon an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or other protected status is prohibited. “Unlawful discrimination” is defined as a difference in treatment based on a person’s status in a protected class. EIC failed to recognize:

1.  Disparity of treatment - Disparate treatment occurs when an individual suffers less favorable treatment than others because of the protected status.
Evanas story can be read at https://twitter.com/cherryboge/status/1275184708184309762?s=21
Alyssas story can be read at https://twitter.com/aly1235/status/1275190716935868416?s=21

FAU has a reputation for being a diverse school, with president John Kelly recently tweeting about being “the most diverse university in Florida”. You cannot brag about diversity if your institution does not provide inclusion for those students. It is vital that FAU makes an example out of this behavior and show its student body that intolerance is always unacceptable. A gay student’s right to participate in any campus activity is just as important as that of a heterosexual student’s, and nobody should ever have to hide who they are in fear of being treated differently by an authority figure.

We are demanding that Coach Ricky is fired for displaying blatant homophobia and not permitted to participate in any FAU on or off campus activities, as to prevent him from ever harming another student again. This should have been the outcome of FAU’s investigation, but they failed to protect their LGBT+ students, earning a great loss of respect from their campus community. Florida Atlantic University must acknowledge their lack of action, and only then can these students and FAU’s LGBT+ population begin to heal.