TEXAS CHEERLEADER BOOTED OFF SQUAD - HER CRIME? SHE DIDN'T CHEER FOR JOCK ACCUSED OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING HER
Saw a fascinanting article in the November 8, 2010 Sports Illustrated, written by Selena Roberts. Ms. Roberts details how a Silsbee, Texas high school cheerleader was kicked off the cheerleading squad. Her crime? She didn’t cheer for an athlete that she claimed had sexually assaulted her.
In October, 2008, the cheerleader, who is simply identified as H.S. in the article, was at a high school party. Beer was flowing, as it normally does at such parties. H.S. found herself in a room with three young men. Rakheem Bolton, age 17, Christian Rountree, age 18 and another boy, aged 16. The bedroom door was locked and H.S. was sexually assaulted. She screamed, the police were called and charges were filed. A therapist urged H.S. to continue her high school routine. The accused were barred from the campus, so she did so.
Unfortunately, in January, 2009 a grand jury decided there was not enough evidence to pursue criminal charges. So Bolton, a two sport star at the high school, was soon playing basketball again. And at Silsbee High School, whenever a Silsbee player is shooting free throws, the Silsbee cheerleaders shout his name. Bolton was fouled twice in the first half, and when her cheerleadering cohorts shouted his name, H.S. simply stepped back, folded her arms, and remained silent. H.S. was reprimanded at half-time.
The following Monday, H.S. was kicked off the Cheerleading squad. Her father protested the decision and was told H.S. either cheered for her attacker or she was off the squad. H.S. later filed a civil suit but the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that her protest was not protected speech. H.S. graduated and plans on attending college.
Bolton ultimately pled to a lesser offense and is on probation and in anger management. He plans on starting college soon as well.