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Players Stand Up For Bullied Cheerleader

March 17th, 2015

Desiree Andrews gets hug from fellow cheerleaders. Photo credit: AP/Kenosha News/Kevin Poirier

A group of middle school boys in Kenosha, Wisconsin were in the middle of a basketball game last year when they heard one of the team’s cheerleaders being bullied from the stands.

The cheerleader, Desiree Andrews, has Down Syndrome. She didn’t look like the other cheerleaders and she often danced her own choreography.

Down Syndrome is a genetic condition that comes with low muscle tone, a smaller stature, and learning challenges.

Desiree wanted to become a cheerleader when she saw a cheerleader with Down Syndrome on the TV show Glee. Desiree thought, “If she can be a cheerleader, I can be a cheerleader.”

Desiree’s father, Cliff Andrews, was upset when he saw what was happening during the game. Desiree hugged her father saying,   “Papa, it’s OK. I still love them even if they don’t like me,”  NPR.org  reported.

One of the players walked over to the hecklers during the game and said, “Don’t mess with her.” Then other players in the team came to show their support.

“We walked off the court and went to the bullies and told them to stop because that’s not right to be mean to another person,” said Miles Rodriguez, one of the players, in an interview with Fox & Friends .

Since then, the players and Desiree have become friends. The boys are now in 8th grade and they played their last middle school basketball home game this week.

But the incident and the spirit of that evening hasn’t been forgotten.

The gym was recently renamed “D’s House” in honor of Desiree. And the players received a youth citizenship award last night from the town’s city council.

They’re also up for the mayor’s Youth Award in their town.

And they all learned a valuable lesson that day that will go with them far beyond the school’s walls and into life.  Player Scooter Terrien summed it up: “Always stand up for your friends and protect one another.”

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12 Comments on “Players Stand Up For Bullied Cheerleader”

  • Hannah says:

    I am a cheerleader and I get bullied a lot… what should i do about it?

    • Claudia says:

      Hi, I am sorry to hear that. This is not my area of expertise but perhaps there is an adult family member or an adult/teacher/coach at school you trust who you could speak with to help you. In the news story, the basketball players also went to their coach to help them. They didn’t do it alone. This resource may also help: https://www.graciekids.com/ I really hope you are able to get the help with this you need.

  • Karilyn says:

    I have a sister that has Down syndrome she also has disabilities including reading and writing, my Family loves her and I love her as well, the things is, is that if someone you know or care about is being picked on, put a stop to it, make them feel the same pain they made someone else feel.

  • Sebastian says:

    Aww so cute (:

  • Jaxson says:

    Good article to teach people not to be rude. Especially to people with Down syndrome. Or other disabilities.

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