Dubuque Board of Education denies cheerleading nationals trip - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque Board of Education denies cheerleading trip

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- A cheerleading squad from Dubuque Hempstead High School will not make it to nationals next month. This coming after the board voted 3-3 in agreement with the superintendent decision to deny their request to travel because it didn't meet school board policy.

The Hempstead cheerleading squad received a bid to the National High School Cheerleading competition in Orlando, FL. That bid came after they competed at a Regional Competition in Des Moines in mid-Decemeber.

Superintendent Dr. Larie Godinez denied the approval of the trip, after what she says is violations in the rules.

Monday night, during a school board meeting, more than 20 people spoke. Members of the Hempstead, Wahlert, and Senior cheerleader squads spoke along with many parents and community members.

The rules require 6 months notification on trips outside the state of Iowa. Many argued that it was impossible to predict a bid to nationals. This is also the first time Hempstead has qualified. They are the only school in Dubuque to do so.

Godinez defended her decision, saying that the trip was never brought to her attention, the field trip policy was not followed, the competition is not state sanctioned event and it's a pay-to-play profit organization known as Varsity.

"A business who sponsors camps, sells uniforms and provides resources to cheerleading groups, they then generate revenue by collecting entry fees from camps and competitions," Dr. Godinez said.

Meantime Hempstead cheerleaders hope this incident helps people understand the policy and maybe even rewrite the policy to make exceptions like this.

"But now the people know about the rule people can follow it better. And it seems like nobody really knew about this rule so there is no way we could follow it which is why we want the exception," team captain Sarah Janes said.

And that rule is fairly new, created in August 2010. Godinez also cited a few confidential reasons for denying the trip.

There are 17 girls on the squad. As of right now they cannot attend nationals because they must have school approval to compete.

The group already paid $100 non-refundable each to secure a spot. The school is expected to refund that money but it's not clear where it will come from.

At about 10 p.m. Monday night, board member George Davis called for a vote to allow the cheerleaders to go to nationals. The measure failed on a 3-3 vote, with board member Larry Loeppke absent.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

 

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