The cheer leading squad at Gilbert High School had a really neat idea to help raise money during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. At Friday night's football game and the next home football game, 56 freshman, junior varsity and varsity cheerleaders planned to wear pink shirts that they had purchased for $470.
But a very prudish puritanical principal has nixed their plans. Gilbert High School Principal J. Charles Santa Cruz took exception to the slogan.
"In no way is the school administration against Breast Cancer Awareness Month or initiatives students might take in support of it; we just want to make sure we're in the bounds of appropriate boundaries of a school setting," Santa Cruz said.The shirts say "Gilbert Cheer" on the front and "Feel for lumps, save your bumps" on the back.
Santa Cruz said the shirts could be worn if they were modified to remove or cover up the "Save your bumps" slogan. Or, he said, the cheerleaders could wear plain pink shirts with no slogans.Wow! What a brilliant idea.
Gayleen Skowronek, the cheer booster-club president said the administration approved the fundraising, and she didn't think she needed to get the shirt approved as well. Well, maybe if this was 1957, but it's now the year 2011 and I have a hunch these young ladies and gents know a hell of a lot more about bumps than this principal does.
"We thought the shirt was age-appropriate," said Skowronek, who plans to wear the shirt to Friday's football game. "I think it's hypocritical they would approve a fundraiser for breast-cancer research but they won't approve a shirt to bring awareness to breast cancer."
The cheerleaders say their slogan pales in comparison to some of the other sayings allowed on other shirts and some of the attire allowed at football games. Some students wear sports bras and paint their stomachs to support the team.
Other students wear "I (heart) boobies" rubber bracelets in support of breast-cancer awareness. The items are sold by the Keep A Breast Foundation, a nonprofit organization, who said on their website their mission is to "help eradicate breast cancer by exposing young people to methods of prevention, early detection and support."
The "boobies" saying has caused a stir at many schools nationwide; they have banned the bracelets because administrators believe the language is inappropriate.
The girls also said they have seen Gilbert High choir shirts with the words, "I'd hit that," referring to a note. Santa Cruz said the shirts were worn last year and he advised the choir teacher the shirts were inappropriate and shouldn't be worn.
The cheerleaders also said they've seen Gilbert High American sign-language club shirts said, "I'm good with my hands." Another breast-cancer awareness shirt they've seen is "Save second base."
"What's the difference?" said Natalie, referring to their shirt. "This (the saying) isn't even sexual."No, but apparently the principal has a hang-up.