Cheated, but not defeated. ..

When I was in the 8th grade, I tried out for high school cheerleading. According to my mother, being a cheerleader was everything. I was good and confident. The student council voted at that time, and I knew most of them as well. I wasn’t overly confident or cocky, but I felt good about the try-outs. I didn’t make it. The president of the Student Council immediately responded. She knew something was wrong. She questioned the adults involved, took the ballots out of the trash, and made a case. She called my parents. I had been cheated off of the squad. They refused to make a scene, they did not want to drag our name through the mud.  We weren’t that kind of people. I accepted it. I was thankful for the girl who tried to defend me. The gym coach wanted his daughter to make the squad,  one of the teacher’s daughter was on student council. The two of them conspired and the daughter gave me all 0’s on her ballot. (There was history between the teacher and my mother- we assume this is how I became the chosen one).
The president of the student council discovered that without the zeros, I had one of the top scores. She was livid and passionate this injustice was righted. But without my parents’ support, she was defeated. Many years later my mom revealed to me that was one of her biggest regrets in life, not fighting for me. I made it through high school. That experience definitely crushed my confidence- I didn’t try out for anything else.  I now regret most not being involved in the drama club. Later in my life, that teacher grew to know me as an adult; she would throw her arms around me and ask about my mom when she was dying in the hospital. She just loved my dad, and my children and husband were darling. Did she even remember what she had done to me? I have seldom spoke of this; the reason I do today is because a picture of a young lady popped up on my Facebook. Some parents had gone after her in high school. She survived and flourished. Parents often do not complain to a teacher because they don’t want it taken out on their child. I taught for over 20 years. I did not take a parents’ words or actions toward me out on a child. Ever. I know how vicious people can be. Coaches, administrators,  school board members listen to adults going after other people’s kids on a regular basis. Attacking a child may serve a temporary benefit. The coach’s daughter had her spot on the squad for that one year.  I got over what happened to me. I will never forget it, and it makes me sick when I hear that an adult tries to tear down a good kid to try to get their kid to the top. I guess that’s the world we live in, but in the long run is it worth it? What was really gained? I imagine not enough. ..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *