As I was sitting down and watching television on Saturday evening, I happened to stumble upon a movie on Lifetime entitled The Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleading Scandal. The movie was based upon a true story that occurred at McKinney North High School in Mckinney, Texas where five cheerleaders (dubbed themselves the Fab Five) were able to get away with all sorts of bullying of their teachers and fellow students. The Principal, Linda Theret, was the mother of one of the girls on the squad. This problem kept occurring until a new Cheerleading Coach, Michaela Ward, came and stood up to the school and the school district. She tried to discipline these girls but to no avail. These girls not only terrorized the school, they also committed such acts as making a sexually explicit video and posted it on My Space while in uniform in a condom store and holding bottles of alcohol. When the story broke and made national news, Ms. Ward was told she was “emotional” and “in need of meds” and was fired from her job as a result of her trying to do the right thing and discipline these girls. However, the investigators also faulted Ms. Theret and other school officials for not enforcing discipline and allowing these girls to get away with so much. The Principal was eventually dismissed from her job and the girls were dismissed from the school. I have no idea what ever happened to these girls but being removed from school was a step in the right direction.
This is a serious problem in our nation. Daily I hear from angry parents who have children being bullied in school by their peers and nothing is ever done to remedy the problem. Many cases are swept under the rug and the bully has carte blanche on everyone and everything around them without consequences. It may not always be a Mckinney North High School situation but the problem is all in the same. Peer Abuse, bullying, misuse of power and its all there. They are quite the little charmers too. They know who to be sweet to and who to walk all over. They fool authority or walk all over them depending on how they can best manipulate the situation. Overall, they make life a living hell for everyone around them.
It is high time these schools get educated. Stop burring their heads in the sand and allow this problem to fester. Ms. Ward laid blame on the adults in the situation but I also blame the students. These girls were seniors in high school and a few short months heading into the real world. They were most certainly old enough to know right from wrong. However, as someone said “kids will be kids”. No, kids need discipline and need to abide by the rules and learn that consequences exist for a reason. That excuse is played out far too much if you ask me. Schools need to enforce these anti-bullying policies and stop the misuse of power not only in adults but in students as well. They need to take things more seriously and have programs on peer abuse and bullying on a regular basis. Incorporate bullying into the curriculum. I know a science teacher who finds a way to incorporate this into his daily lessons. Folks, it can be done.
Hopefully, someone out there learned something from this movie. Again, I have no idea what ever happened to all of the players involved but I do hope McKinney North cleared up its policies and enforced discipline on all without the favoritism and exceptions in anyone.
Elizabeth Bennett is the Author of Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From A Psychological Perspective and resides in Los Angeles, California. To learn more, visit http://www.peerabuse.info