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Carroll student will get second shot at cheerleading squad

A Carroll Senior High School student will get an individual tryout for the varsity cheerleading squad after school trustees agreed that a rule regarding the procedure was not clear, officials said.

The student's mother filed a grievance requesting a tryout because her daughter was not allowed to try out after the mother missed a mandatory meeting for cheerleading candidates and their parents, disrict spokeswoman Julie Thannum said Tuesday.

Parents and students interested in cheerleading are required to attend the tryout information meeting to learn about the activity, rules and to sign documents, according to the cheerleader constitution. The constitution governs the cheerleading squad, including behavioral guidelines and the selection procedure.

If either the parent or student misses the meeting because of an emergency, they must contact the coach within 24 hours of the meeting, the constitution says.

The student attended the Feb. 26 meeting, but her mother did not, Thannum said. The issue in the mother's grievance was what reasons constitute an emergency, Thannum said.

At a meeting Monday, the school board voted 4-1 that the constitution does not give a clear definition of an emergency.

At the tryout on March 10, 21 students were selected for the 2008-09 varsity squad. School officials are arranging a second tryout for the girl. The rest of the squad won't have to try out a second time, Thannum said.

Carroll superintendent David Faltys said Monday that the district will review the district's cheerleading rules and the cheerleader constitution.

"We want to make sure our policies protect each individual child and give access to the programs our school has to offer," Faltys said.

Carroll has had problems with the cheerleader selection process before.

In September 2006, district administrators revised the cheerleader constitution after trustees found inconsistencies in the results of the December 2005 tryout and judges changed some students' scores. Trustees resolved the situation by letting all 33 girls who tried out join the squad.