Cheerleader with Down syndrome once restricted, now allowed to cheer from sidelines

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by Drew Karedes / KHOU 11 News

kvue.com

Posted on September 30, 2013 at 9:42 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 1 at 8:31 AM

DEER PARK, Texas—An honorary cheerleader with disabilities will now be able to cheer on the sidelines with other cheerleaders at all Deer Park High School sporting events.

Brittany Davila’s family met with Deer Park I.S.D. officials Monday to request that the 16-year-old with Down syndrome join her squad on the sidelines.

Deer Park I.S.D. had cited liability and safety issues, when telling the 16-year-old to stay in the stands at a volleyball game. She had arrived in her uniform, ready to cheer.

The family received hundreds of Facebook comments from people who were upset that Brittany wasn’t allowed to cheer this year as she did in Jr. High.

“Shame on Deer Park High School,” Betty Butler said.

“We have a real soft spot in our heart for children with Down syndrome,” Glen Butler said.

Brittany would be happy just doing the cheers, according to her father Ruben Davila. The Davilas said she could keep her distance from the more athletic routines.

Brittany’s family said they understand she and others could get hurt if she’s too close to some of the gymnastics. Her junior high school squad didn’t do any physical stunts.

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