Morgyn Arnold Utah Down syndrome teen edited out of school cheerleading yearbook photo as Shoreline Junior High School insists it was a mistake.
Morgyn Arnold, 14, an eighth grade student, posed for photos with the squad at Shoreline Junior High School in Layton, Utah, only to later learn that the school selected an image without her in it for publication in the yearbook.
Arnold’s older sister, Jordyn Poll, took to Facebook to call out the school, posting (content since removed): ‘I hope that no one ever has to experience the heartbreak that comes when the person they love comes home from school devastated and shows them that they’re not in the picture with their team.’
Poll explained that her younger sibling served as the cheer squad’s manager and ‘spent hours learning dances, showing up to games, and cheering on her school and friends’ only to be left out of the official yearbook snap.
While Jordyn says the administrators lacked compassion, the school insists on a since-deleted Facebook post, ‘We are continuing to look at what has occurred and why it occurred… We will continue to look at our processes to ensure this does not happen again,’ according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Just a mistake?
‘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,’ the since deleted post stated.
However, Poll claims it is not the first time her sister has been excluded.
‘This is the second time in three years that sweet Morgyn has been left out of the yearbook. Two years ago they didn’t even include her in the class list,’ Poll stated on Facebook.
‘We contacted the school administration this year, and the answer we got was as ignorant as the photo. To the Shoreline Junior administrator who blatantly said they didn’t know what we were expecting of them & there was nothing they could do, I hope you can take this away – you can be better and I expect you to be better.’
Poll added that her Facebook post was in no way a critique of the other cheer squad members. She later marked her post private after some of the cheerleaders depicted in the photo received death threats.
‘It’s not OK to point fingers and to tell these girls that they need to be crucified,’ she told Fox 13.
‘Please listen and hear me clearly – these girls are not the problem. Please stop shaming them!! They were kind, inclusive, and they are Morgyn’s friends,’ she added.
‘One person can absolutely make a difference…’
Fellow students have since rallied behind Arnold, demanding more be done than school administrators simply issuing an apology, including reprinting the yearbook. Others meanwhile advocate disciplinary action.
‘I would like to see a photo of all the administrators with RESIGNED next to each name. Shameful behaviour. Repugnant,’ one student insisted according to SLTB.
Disability Law Center of Utah attorney Nate Crippes said Wednesday that this type of exclusion happens often in schools across the state, and that the center receives about 4,000 annual complaints. Crippes said all districts can work to improve by adding more accommodations and being more inclusive according to AP.
Arnold will be in ninth grade at Shoreline Junior High next year, Poll said, adding that her sister has not yet decided if she will continue being the cheer manager.
And then there was this observation….
A regard of Shoreline Junior High’s yearbook states the following on its front page, ‘I don’t care how insignificant you think you are, one person can absolutely make a difference’.
Except if their handicap can be perceived to be making too much of a difference …