SAN BENITO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — On Tuesday evening students and parents from San Benito High School filled the district’s administration building to voice their concerns on changes made to the cheer team requirements.
“Why did you put us in this position? Why did we try out?” said Anissah Hernandez, captain of the varsity cheer team at San Benito Highs School to the school board.
A petition from Change.org received over 1,300 signatures by Tuesday night which claimed that Interim Superintendent Teresa Servellon, dissolved the high school’s junior varsity team and allowed all who participated in tryouts to be on varsity.
Some current varsity cheerleaders like Lily Marroquin said there are now more than 40 girls on the team.
“Last year we didn’t have enough space…and where we cheer is different, so it could be narrower, so it’s a safety concern and football players are bumping into us already, so adding another 10 or 20 girls on the team isn’t going to make that any better,” said Marroquin.
Space is not the only concern and some said allowing inexperienced teammates in could lead to injury.
“If they were to put me with someone whose not experienced I could be out for the whole season,” said Azeniah Hernandez, a varsity cheerleader.
Elijah Arredondo who was accepted into the cheer team with little experience said he is now having second thoughts.
“A lot of these girls who have tried out are just like me and have no experience at all. And having us all out there along with these really talented girls who have been on varsity doesn’t seem like a fair choice,” said Arredondo.
Parents also said they are unsure how they would get enough cheer sponsors for a team that big.
One parent, Crystal Hernandez, mentioned a cheer contract signed every year by parents and students is being breached.
“We had to sit through an hour-long meeting. This constitution was read to us word for word, all of us that were present agreed to this constitution—students and parents,” said Hernandez.
Anissah Hernandez said there is now a new contract, though she has not seen it yet.
“There has been a new one made, no one has signed that yet—I just want to address that—no one has signed a new constitution with these new rules,” said Hernandez.
The school board did not decide on a plan or comment further on the topic but mentioned San Benito High School should handle the matter at the administration level with support from the interim superintendent.