DEMAND FOR INCLUSIVITY: Help Tia cheer at Cox High School!!!!!

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DEMAND FOR INCLUSIVITY: Help Tia cheer at Cox High School!!!!!

This petition made change with 5,036 supporters!
Ellie Berrett started this petition to Virginia Beach Public Schools and

This beautiful girl wants to cheer but Cox HS won’t let her because she has Down Syndrome. Sign this petition to stop the discrimination; details below.
 

Tia is a freshman at Cox High School. She is fun, full of school spirit, easy to get along with, and loves cheerleading. She doesn’t let the stigma around Down Syndrome hold her back from living life to the fullest.
 
Sadly, Tia’s family has been told by the Cox athletic director and cheer coach that Tia “Must score the same qualifying numbers as her non-disabled peers to make the team because [they] do competition cheer.” By holding Tia to the same standards as her non-disabled peers without any realistic accommodations being made for her inclusion is just wrong. Although there are local, state, and federal laws put in place to prohibit disability discrimination, it is ultimately up to the school to decide how to manage their inclusion policies for extracurricular activities, and the Cox athletic director and cheer coach have found endless reasons to prevent Tia from joining the cheerleading team.
 
Before attending Cox, Tia attended Great Neck Middle School and she was a member of the cheerleading team, a team that participates in cheerleading competitions. Tia started as a manager and participated full time in practice, dressed for games, and rooted for the other girls from the sidelines when competitions came. With time and opportunity to model the behavior, movements, words, and routines of the other cheerleaders, Tia made co-captain by her final year in middle school and was awarded the School Spirit Award. 
 
Tia’s family has been fighting for her inclusion for well over a year (yes, even before COVID), and remain heartbroken that the very people who should be her advocates (bringing down walls and helping to pave the way for her participation) appear to be committed to keeping her and others like her out of school-sponsored athletics. 
 
Let’s join together as a community to fight for inclusivity and against discrimination.
 
Tell COX HS to let Tia cheer!  Sign below!!

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