A Furious Dad Takes Action as School Forces Deaf Daughter to Leave Cheerleading Team, Despite Outperforming Everyone Else

A father recently found himself in a challenging situation when his deaf daughter was placed on the abilities team instead of the regular cheerleading squad at her school. Here’s what he had to say.

All his kids are cheerleaders

Wearing Their Cheerleading Outfit At 40
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The dad has three kids, and they’re all cheerleaders. He’s got two boys, 15 and 16, and an 11-year-old girl.

The daughter is deaf

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“My boys are hearing, and my daughter is deaf. She can’t speak at all or lipread. She communicates solely through ASL. However, she is neurotypical and has no mental or developmental delays,” the man said.

She is a great cheerleader

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The daughter has been cheerleading since she was three and is very talented. She was on the level 5 junior team at their old cheer gym, and they even said she should be moved up to level 6. But they moved over the summer, and now there’s only one cheer gym within an hour of them.

They moved to a new place

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When his daughter tried out at the new gym, she was just as good, if not better, than the other girls her age. The dad thought she’d make one of the higher teams since they kept using her as an example for the other girls.

The new gym wants her on another team

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But then the coaches pulled him aside and told him they thought it was best for her to be on the abilities team, which is cheerleading for kids with disabilities. He agreed, but now he realizes that this team is for kids who are neurodiverse or unable to participate in normal cheer.

The daughter does well on the regular teams

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 Since his daughter is fine other than her lack of hearing, she usually ends up helping the other kids on the team.

This new team is lower level

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The dad is upset about this because the difficulty level is way lower than what she was doing at the old gym, and she didn’t sign up to be a teacher or aide for disabled kids.

She’s losing her skills

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“And being on this team has made her worse, not better. My boys have to work with her in the backyard every day to ensure she’s not losing any of the skills she used to have,” he said.

The gym thinks it will be hard for everyone

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His son interprets for her at practices, and the dad even offered to pay for a real interpreter.  But the gym says they fear her being on a regular team would make it harder for the other kids.

Dad strongly disagrees

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 The dad thinks this is ridiculous because she’s become good friends with the girls her age on the normal team, and they’ve been very accepting, even learning some signs for her and inviting her to their team hangouts and sleepovers.

He wants to move the kids

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The season is mostly over, so there’s not much to do now. But the dad told the head coach that if his daughter isn’t on the level 6 team next year, he’s taking all three of his kids to a new gym. The gym needs his boys because it’s hard to find boys of their skill level in cheer.

The gym called him ableist

When They Dominate Every Conversation and Interrupt Me When I Try To Talk
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“They accused me of being ableist and thinking of the abilities team as lower. They think I’m in denial that I have a disabled kid. And I should be grateful they let her on any team.”

He just wants her to succeed

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The man doesn’t want to be mean or ableist, but he feels the team she’s on is way below her skill level, and he doesn’t want her disability holding her back when it doesn’t have to. 

Is he right about this?

Uncomfortable truths
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The man reached out to the Reddit community and asked if he was wrong for wanting his daughter to be on the normal cheer team.

People responded

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One user said, “NTA. If anyone is being ableist, it’s the gym. They don’t think your daughter can be on the high-skills team because of her deafness.”

Another wrote, “I think she should just pull them all out of that gym and take the kids somewhere else. Tell the new gym exactly why you are moving and set the expectations from the start. The old gym doesn’t deserve a second chance.”

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Source: Reddit