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Video: Cheerleader given the boot for refusing ‘booty’ cheer

  1. Transcript of: Cheerleader given the boot for refusing ‘booty’ cheer

    TAMRON HALL, anchor: And now to a shake-up in Nebraska where an 11-year-old cheerleader was kicked off her squad because she says she didn't want to shake her booty. We'll talk to her live in just a moment, but first, more on this story from NBC 's Kevin Tibbles . Miss FAYLENE FRAMPTON (11-Year- Old Cheerleader Removed from Squad for Refusing to Say " Shake Your Booty "): Be aggressive, B-E aggressive.

    KEVIN TIBBLES reporting: Sixth grader Faylene Frampton is finding little reason to cheer these days.

    Miss FRAMPTON: It made me feel really sad and I didn't know why I was suspended if I was just standing up for my beliefs.

    TIBBLES: She's no longer a member of the Ashland , Nebraska , Junior Jay cheerleading squad she says because she wouldn't shake her booty.

    Miss FRAMPTON: Words go, 'Jump, shake your booty . Jump, jump, shake your booty .' I don't like that people are just staring at my butt, and it has nothing to do with cheerleading or football.

    TIBBLES: Faylene 's mom agrees with her.

    Ms. SABRINA BOBZIEN (Faylene's Mom): It's got underlining sexual tones that little girls really shouldn't be doing.

    Unidentified Girls: Jump, shake your booty .

    TIBBLES: Toni Harris has been the cheer coach for six years and says the booty cheer is in clean taste. So she suspended Faylene .

    Ms. TONI HARRIS: When we started the cheer , I looked over and all the girls are doing it and they're happy and she's standing like this. And having to explain to five- and six-year-olds, you know, why is this happening, I just thought it was in their best interest to just ask her not to participate.

    TIBBLES: In Michigan , six-year-old Kennedy Tesch was kicked off her squad when her parents objected to the wording of a cheer . Kennedy 's mom told the story to Meredith on TODAY.

    Ms. JENNIFER TESCH (Kennedy's Mom): The lyrics are 'our backs ache, our skirts are too tight, we shake our booties from left to right.' And at that point, I was just kind of in shock.

    TIBBLES: Back in Ashland , the rest of the squad will carry on...

    Girls: Aggressive, B-E aggressive.

    TIBBLES: ...apparently not too shaken by this controversy.

    Girls: Jump, shake your booty .

    TIBBLES: For TODAY, Kevin Tibbles, NBC News, Chicago.

    HALL: Faylene Frampton joins us with her mom, Sabrina Bobzien . Good morning to both of you. Thanks for joining us.

    Ms. BOBZIEN: Good morning.

    HALL: So, Faylene , everyone's talking about you, you're the talk of the town . How does it feel, and do you regret taking a stand?

    Miss FRAMPTON: Not really. I don't much regret it because I think what I did was right.

    HALL: You're 11, and to show this kind of courage, I mean, the other girls are still going on and they're still cheering. Were you worried about being left out, or did that matter at all?

    Miss FRAMPTON: I was kind of worried because all -- when I first joined up, it was kind of scary because I was the older one and they were all younger and friends with each other, and my friends left the squad because -- well, one of their -- back on and the other ones just quit.

    HALL: But you weren't worried. You said, 'I'm going to say what I feel and if this means I have to leave, that's OK.'

    Miss FRAMPTON: Mm-hmm.

    HALL: And Sabrina , when did Faylene first tell you that, 'Mom, I'm not comfortable with this cheer '?

    Ms. BOBZIEN: Well, I personally have never liked the cheer , but I don't...

    HALL: She's been in the squad for four years.

    Ms. BOBZIEN: Yeah. And I don't push my beliefs on Fay . If she wanted to do it, then that was -- that was fine. But last year, she had mentioned that she was starting to be uncomfortable, and there was complaints and they had pulled the cheer .

    HALL: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. BOBZIEN: And then this year it was brought back, and Faylene said that she had mentioned it to Toni , and all year long she has not really done the cheer . She'll turn forward, backward, but by no way was she shaking her rump.

    HALL: Toni is the coach we heard from in that piece there.

    Ms. BOBZIEN: Yeah.

    HALL: But, Faylene , how did it make your feel when you did say, you know, 'shake my booty' or 'shake your' -- how did that make you feel?

    Miss FRAMPTON: It just felt wrong. And I don't know why, it just didn't feel like it was a cheer that was appropriate for my age of kids or younger.

    HALL: And whatever the opinions are out there, Sabrina , I think it's every parent's desire to raise a strong, confident young lady, and she's speaking up. You have to be proud of her for that.

    Ms. BOBZIEN: My -- I am. I'm proud that Faylene has a voice and she used it. You know, Toni gave her an opportunity that she otherwise would not have had because she volunteers in countless hours, and out of her own pocket expenses sometimes, but I feel that she didn't listen to Faylene as a role model...

    HALL: Mm-hmm.

    Ms. BOBZIEN: ...and didn't give Faylene 's opinion much thought.

    HALL: Did you appeal as a parent and say, listen, can we just get rid of this cheer ?

    Ms. BOBZIEN: She had sent Faylene home that game and said we would discuss it the next day, and she had sent an e-mail prior to our phone conversation that Faylene -- or that she had had with Faylene 's dad and told him that she was no longer on the squad . I hadn't even received the e-mail, and that was an hour prior to her supposing to go to cheer practice to apologize to Toni and the cheer squad for disrespecting them at the game.

    HALL: Wow. Would you take your spot back if they offered it?

    Miss FRAMPTON: I probably would, but yet I'm not sure because I wasn't -- I want to be sure of what would happen to me.

    HALL: So you would come back, but you're not doing that cheer .

    Miss FRAMPTON: Yeah.

    HALL: There's no compromise there.

    Miss FRAMPTON: Mm-hmm.

    HALL: All right. Well, you know what, good for you for sticking up for what you believe to be right. And I was a lousy cheerleader. There are other things you can do . Faylene , thank you very much . Sabrina , thank you, as well. We greatly appreciate it. Coming up, holding onto your house in tough times. Plus life after bankruptcy, our experts have some advice in TODAY'S MONEY 911. And later, do away with your no-fat, no-alcohol diet. We've got five counterintuitive weight loss tips that really work. First, these messages.

TODAY contributor
updated 10/20/2010 11:01:35 AM ET 2010-10-20T15:01:35

An 11-year-old girl who was thrown off a Nebraska elementary school’s junior cheerleading squad because she refused to “shake her booty” says that while the gyrations may be a crowd-pleaser, she doesn’t think young girls should be moving their bodies like that.

“It just felt wrong. I don’t know why,” Faylene Frampton said Wednesday during an interview on TODAY with Tamron Hall. “It just didn’t feel it was a cheer that was appropriate for kids of my age or younger.”

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The sixth-grader from Ashland, Neb., says she complained to cheerleading coach Tina Harris in the past that she did not feel comfortable with the cheer, which is number 33 in the squad’s 44-cheer routine.

The cheer calls upon Faylene and younger members of the squad — including some in the second grade — to turn their backs to the bleachers, bend over, and move their pelvises from side to side.

Faylene, at 11 the oldest cheerleader on her junior squad, was sent home after declining to perform the booty-shaking cheer.

Taking a stand
The cheer had been used in the past, but Faylene says never liked doing it and told the coach so. So when Harris gave the signal for “shake your booty” on Oct. 10, the third-to-last game of the season, she decided it was time to put her foot down — both of them, actually — and take a stand.

Vote: Should 11-year-old have been thrown off cheerleading squad?

Faylene, the oldest and most senior of the junior cheerleaders, refused to do the cheer and was sent home. Later, her father was informed by the coach during a phone call that Faylene was being benched for the last two games for disrespecting the coach.

But for her mother, Sabrina Bobzien, Faylene’s act of defiance was a moment to be proud of. Her adolescent daughter did not feel comfortable doing something she felt was wrong, and took a firm stand despite the consequences, the mother said.

Video: Kathie Lee and Hoda address ‘booty’ cheer controversy

“I’m proud she had a voice and she used it,” Bobzien said.

Coach Harris told the local NBC affiliate that she didn’t find the cheer sexually suggestive or objectionable, but nonetheless dropped it from the last two games.

Video: Tot cheerleader off squad over ‘booty’ cheer? (on this page)

She added that no one had complained about the cheer before, and that explaining the controversy, and her decision to bench Faylene for the remainder of the season, was difficult.

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As for Faylene, she said she would make the same decision again.

“I don't much regret it. I feel like what I did was right,” the 11-year-old told Hall.

Related: Girl, 6, thrown off squad over ‘booty’ cheer

The removal of a cheerleader for refusing to perform a cheer they didn’t feel comfortable about is not unprecedented. In September, 6-year-old Kennedy Tesch was removed from her cheerleading squad in Michigan because she didn’t like the wording of a cheer — which also included the term “booty.”


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