A Texas mother claims her tween’s curly locks got her kicked off a cheering squad in their town.
According to ABC 13, Woodlands Elite Cheer removed 11-year-old Makayla Fallaw from their roster for refusing to straighten her hair. Jenny Fallaw said her daughter joined the team in April and was never told until recently to straighten her hair for competitions.
During a meeting with the program’s cheer director Kevin Tonner, he allegedly told Fallaw to use relaxer on her daughter’s hair. The middle schooler is Hispanic and biracial. Fallaw explained that chemicals would damage her child’s natural curl pattern. She also said she was open to her daughter wearing ponytails like she used to on past cheer squads.
Woodlands Elite’s general manager Allen Shearer spoke with Fallaw and two other parents who refused to straighten their children’s hair last week. After telling them the children wouldn’t compete if they didn’t comply with the requirement, one parent decided to straighten her child’s hair. However, Fallaw and another parent declined and their daughters were removed from the team last Tuesday.
The Houston Chronicle reports:
“Makayla is very sad,” Fallaw said. “She misses her team. She missed a huge show today. She was really, really upset. She’s been practicing since April with this team. She just told me she misses gym her tumbling coach, her cheerleading coach. It makes me sad she was kicked off for such a silly reason,” Fallaw added. “She’s such a good athlete. She showed so much dedication, and it makes me so sad for her.”
Tonner says Fallaw’s hair didn’t keep her off the team, but rather her “negativity.”
ABC 13 reports:
“When you come into the sport, you understand there is make up to it. There’s hair to it,” said Tonner. “We were trying to make the exception. We were trying to find a compromise and a happy medium. And she wasn’t willing to have a compromise. She was very defensive. It wasn’t about hair. It was about we don’t want this negativity on our team,” Tonner said.
Fallaw said Makayla is still upset about the decision.
SOURCE: ABC 13, The Houston Chronicle | PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook, Twitter
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