Utah cheer squad omits member with Down syndrome from yearbook photo

Utah cheer squad omits member with Down syndrome from yearbook photo

6/16/2021 11:50:00 PM

Utah cheer squad omits member with Down syndrome from yearbook photo

Shoreline Junior High School took two photos — one with Morgyn Arnold, and one without.

"Morgyn is the sweetest," Poll, 25, toldTODAY Parents."She is so kind and so forgiving and pure as they come."So the family was shocked to learn that Morgyn, who is on the cheer squad at Shoreline Junior High School in Utah, had been excluded from the 2020-2021 yearbook.

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"Think back to your school days — yearbook day was so fun and exciting," Poll told TODAY."Morgyn was so excited to go to school and get her yearbook."But the excitement didn't last long. Morgyn realized right away she had been cut from the photo.

The photo that was used in Shoreline Junior High School's 2020-2021 yearbook excluded member Morgyn Arnold.Courtesy Jordyn Poll"She came home from school and was showing us her yearbook," Poll explained."She said 'There’s my team and there’s my friends and I’m not included.' She was devastated." headtopics.com

Poll said the family was disappointed and wanted to know why Morgyn had been left out.In anow-viral social media post, Poll posted side-by-side photos of the cheer squad alongside a lengthy caption detailing the family's pain."The first picture you see is a cute junior high cheer team. The second, although similar, includes all members of the team. It’s the SAME cheer team–SAME girls, SAME photo shoot, SAME poses, but one included all team members and one did not.

"Unfortunately, the first one was posted on the school’s social accounts and in the school yearbook. Additionally, Morgyn’s name wasn’t even mentioned as a part of the team. She wasn’t included. She spent hours learning dances, showing up to games, and cheering on her school and friends but was left out."

In a statement posted to the school's Facebook page, which has now been deleted, and emailed to TODAY,Shoreline Junior High Schoolexpressed their remorse."We are deeply saddened by the mistake that was made," the statement read."We are continuing to look at what has occurred and why it occurred. Apologies have been made to the family and we sincerely apologize to others impacted by this error. We will continue to address it with the parents of the student. We will continue to look at our processes to ensure this does not happen again."

Both Shoreline Junior High School and the cheerleading squad have since suspended all their social accounts.Poll said the family hopes to learn where the breakdown occured."I'm grateful that we raised the awareness so that the school took it seriously," Poll said."They didn’t have any immediate answers, but I’m excited that they are taking the time to now look into it. I hope the answers will continue to come." headtopics.com

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Poll's post, which has garnered over 8,000 likes and nearly 7,000 shares, has sparked outrage nationwide, including backlash for other members of the cheer squad."I think this is probably one of the saddest pieces," Poll shared."There’s been so much hate directed to these other girls and it’s so unnecessary. They are kind and did their very best to include Morgyn and make her feel like she belongs and they continue to do so and continue to reach out and let her know that she is loved. If it was up to them, they would have included her in the photos."

The family hopes the online attention sparks change, not more anger."My hope is that we can learn from this situation and learn from the mistakes that happened and we can just try a little harder to be a little better," Poll said."Being better isn’t about turning around and pointing fingers and causing blame. They’re just as important as Morgyn. We don’t need to forget that in this process. We should be able to raise awareness and fight for what's right without getting cruel."

Poll said Morgyn is handling the situation with her trademark kindness."I think a lot we can learn from her example," Poll said."She’s forgiven them and moved on. She’s sad, when she looks at the pictures. Her example speaks a lot, and she’s excited to continue to find memories and continue cheering."


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There will always be discrimination against those who are different. I don't believe for one minute that someone either on the team or connected to the team made the decision not to include her in the picture or add her name as being a member. Sad. Very, very sad. Disgusting!!! Shameful Shame Shame on them why are they protected? Yet this poor girl was put out there to feel sad and embarrassed and not worthy? Those '''' don't deserve to be in the same room let alone a picture with this beautiful young lady!

Discussing This is a fine example of “token” inclusion. As a parent of an IDD daughter, I’d rather have her left out altogether than included for show. Shame on them Simply terrible ! I was never real involved in extracurricular activities back when I was in high school; who chooses what goes to print in yearbooks? There has to be someone to oversee for quality control right? It can’t just be students who have control over what’s printed. Right?

That's sad. Lets just pretend that didn't happen. 🤬Absolutely sickening and what’s wrong in this world! Teach our nation it’s not okay to discriminate she needs to sue all those girls for discrimination under the civil rights act. Them those entitled pigs a lesson they will never forget

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I feel bad for all the kids. I feel bad that Morgyn was excluded in the yearbook. Whoever made the decision is a horrible person. I also feel bad for the rest of the cheer squad who are getting death threats from people on social media. That is so mean Why would they be so cruel? School ran by HATERS Bigots 😂😂😂 pathetic 😂😂🤣 forever on media as a pathetic HATER HUMAN ✅💯

ARE there new photos..how pathetic you teaching hate in school. Wow 😳 This isn’t there first time leaving Morgan out of the pictures. This is abhorrent. What are they teaching these students by allowing this to happen? Shameful. How disgusting. Mighty white thing to do This makes me sick. Whoever made that decision and whoever made it happen need to be held accountable.

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What are we teaching our youth? If you are different we will pretend to include you … but not really. And I bet these folks will all claim to be “Christians”. Utterly disgusting Being American is embarrassing. We are selfish assholes. So sad..looks like these teens learned how to DISCRIMINATE by NOT USING RACE.. IT HURTS...

Are you freaking kidding me?!?!?! SHAME ON THEM!!!🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬 Not right For every action there is an equal opposite reaction. The trend of the omission of marginalized individuals, groups and clubs in high school student run yearbooks keeps increasing. Educators, you need to step in. BS like this will keep on happening if the adults in the room do not show up.

They’ll be sorry some day, after life hands them something painful.

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Horrible. So so wrong Was she digitally remove from the photo or did they all take another photo leaving her out? Utah is the absolute worst. The same thing was done to my daughter after she left the drill squad because the school would do nothing about the parents of other girls bullying her. I am so glad we left.

Very sad. Shame on the coach and yearbook staff. Bad headline. It was NOT the middle schoolers that excluded her. It was whomever edited the yearbook. dobetter 😡 Would LOVE if someone could provide a PO Box or email address so that the public could send this sweet girl messages / cards - she deserves it!!!!!!!

Typical Lilly White LDS. Excuse me while I try and look surprised A “mistake” is something done unintentionally. This was intentionally done by a group of people. Doesn’t send a good message to our youth and certainly doesn’t come across as good or decent. Shoreline should be ashamed.

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😡 Why Shame on that Utah cheer squad!!! Appalling! That’s just rude and mean and they don’t need to look into it… they know someone said cut her out… only question is who is the asshole!? Did they really? You have to ask first these days. This is UNACCEPTABLE! There’s no reason not to include her! Wow plus it said this wasn’t the first time they did this to her.!

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It was no mistake. That cheerleading coach should be reprimanded, the picture taken again, and the yearbook page reprinted. Utah cheer squad is 👇🏽👇🏽 Wow! Sickening! What the hell is wrong with those girls AAANNND the coach? Not cool, not at all Mean Girls, life is a balancing act. You will eventually feel that pain, too. Except: you’ll deserve it!

They’ll say it was a mistake or an error and cover it up … that is really sad they did something so despicable and hurtful to someone it would mean so much to see themselves in the photo with you he rest of the squad That’s just pathetic. Garrisons quite fine he’s more sensory! Donate to the autism research fund

Autism my sister has a son with autism What the f? Why would the sponsors even take 2 pictures? Is this a scene from “mean girls” or “gossip girl”? A point of reference I never really socialized with the cheerleaders despite being respected by them.

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While I was 'training' for the National Cerebral Palsy/Les Autres Games in 1983 my year book dedicated a couple pages to me. Remember I was competing not going on trail rides socializing with others in my age group. Sounds like a discrimination against a cheerleader with Down syndrome. I can just imagine all the minority (race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.) girls that were never given a chance to make this squad.

HATER HUMANS die HATER HUMAN 🤣🤣🤣⚡⚡⚡ pathetic A group of elitists who should be ashamed of themselves, but will instead rationalize their bad behavior. Despicable Looks like they omitted all the melanin, too... The district is “deeply saddened” by the “mistake.” MISTAKE? That was no mistake, that took a lot of effort-and gall.

So sad that in 2021, we as a society can't be more open and inclusive. Despicable

Mistake and error? I don't think so... They said it was a 'mistake' I'm no, that took effort to not include her and I would be so pissed if I was her mom, and I'm sure she is, But this is what they fight for and you guys think it's just okay to not include people that you don't like PLEASE DO ANOTHER ONE 🙏🙏🙏🙏❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️

Is this whites only club😳 Wasted oppportunity ❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️ Reprint the yearbook. This is deplorable. D.e.p.l.o.r.a.b.l.e. Messed up.