Cheerleading squad quits after alleged racial discrimination
The cheerleading squad and coaches at Portland, Oregon’s Lincoln High School have resigned.
Principal Peyton Chapman confirmed that coaches Tori Cotton and Cher Fuller quit over a disciplinary decision involving a cheerleader who the coaches had demoted.
Alonza Vance was demoted from varsity to junior varsity cheerleading squads. According to a press release from the Lincoln HS Cardinal Cheerleading Club, the demotion was a disciplinary measure for allegedly violating a Portland Public Schools code of conduct.
Vance told reporters the coaches complained of her attitude, but she said that she felt singled out for racially-motivated reasons.
Principal Chapman overruled the demotion decision and reinstated Vance to the varsity squad.
Fuller and Cotton disagreed with their boss’s decision and resigned. Their resignation prompted the entire cheerleading squad to quit in what parents called a show of support.
The cheer club, made up of Lincoln High cheerleaders’ parents, said they supported the coaches decision to resign.
Principal Chapman offered little other than to say the school was investigating Vance’s claims and that Portland Public Schools had “zero tolerance” for harassment or discrimination.
The mother of Alonza Vance is an employee of KGW Newschannel 8, Portland’s NBC affiliate.