AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — More than a third of a Round Rock ISD high school’s cheerleading team got kicked off the team, following what the district describes as “code of conduct” violations.
Seven of Westwood High School’s 20 team members were removed, and two others quit.
A statement from Round Rock ISD said, “The violations relate to activities in the “zero tolerance” category. Parents have the option of asking for a grievance hearing if they believe the decision should be reviewed and at least four have done so at this point.”
Several former team members said most of the violations had to do with photos on social media of the girls vaping.
“Me holding a vape, and that was it, and that was enough… to be kicked off the team,” said Senior Lily Baizer.
However, the former cheerleaders said there’s a double standard.
Over summer they signed a zero-tolerance policy.
The policy reads in part: “Zero Tolerance The use, possession of, or association with tobacco, drugs, and/or alcohol at any time while being a member of the cheerleading team is prohibited. This includes weekends, holidays, and during the summer… Violation of these will result in your removal from the squad.”
The former cheerleaders said other athletes are not required to agree to the same standards.
“It just [left] no room for error for us, whereas if they make a mistake it’s okay,” Baizer said.
A Round Rock ISD spokesperson responded and said, “Different programs have varying levels of requirements and consequences. While cheerleaders are certainly athletes, the program is also considered a student leadership organization.”
According to a report published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine, one in four high school seniors reported vaping in the last 30 days.
At least three of the girls’ parents are appealing the decision to the principal and area superintendent.