Parent Accuses Bossier Parish School Of Discrimination
A video posted on social media accusing a Bossier Parish school of discrimination is going viral today. The video features a local mother who accuses Airline High School of discriminating against her son in regards to the school's cheerleading program.
Tiffany Shatto posted a video on the social media site TikTok in which she accuses the school of working to keep her son off the cheerleading team. The mother asserts that the reason her son is not allowed to participate is because he is an LGBTQ student. Shatto has also posted a Change.org petition in the hopes of creating movement within the school. You can see Shatto's video here:
In the text of her Change.org petition, Shatto says:
"...(her son) participates in competitive cheer and had hopes of trying out for his high school cheer team to participate his senior year. Micah has been denied participation. The cheer sponsor has made disparaging remarks concerning boys on her cheer team, specifically "prissy boys."
Often these Change.org petitions are posted with no clear endgame, or realistic solution to the issues they describe. Shatto does specifically list the purpose of her video and petition, and what she believes should be the result:
"The solution to this issue is to raise public awareness to put pressure on the Airline High School Administration and Bossier Parish School Board to advocate for their students, not cover up faculty discriminatory practices and call for equal opportunity for all students to be allowed to try out for cheer and all student extracurricular activities."
We reached out to Bossier Parish Schools for a statement on the accusations made in the video and petition by Shatto. The school said:
"No errors were found regarding the scoring process and there is no validity to the allegations."
Back in 2019, Bossier Parish Schools settled a federal lawsuit with Americans United over Separation of Church and State concerns with the practices in the school system. In the settlement, the school system admitted to violating students' First Amendment rights, and agreed to a structured consent decree. The consent decree remains in place until 2031. There are concerns over whether or not the accused discrimination would violate the terms of this legal agreement. However Bossier Parish Schools addressed that today, telling us:
"As for any violation of the consent decree, that is not applicable."
However, if there is validity to the accusations, and the discrimination was found to be based in religious beliefs, it will be up to a 4 person panel setup inside the consent decree to determine whether or not it is applicable. That 4 person panel answers directly to the federal court, and not to the School Board.
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