TODAY   |  September 17, 2010

Tot cheerleader off squad over ‘booty’ cheer?

The parents of 6-year-old Kennedy Tesch say complaining about a raunchy “booty” cheer led to their daughter’s dismissal from her cheering squad. They speak to TODAY’s Meredith Vieira.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> now to a cheerleading controversy in michigan where a 6-year-old girl has been thrown off her team after her parents complained that one of the cheers was too risque for young girls. good morning to all of you.

>> good morning.

>> jennifer, remind our audience again of the lyrics to this cheer that you found so offensive and the first time that you heard it.

>> the first time i heard it was a few weeks ago after my daughter came home from practice and she told me one of the cheers and the lyrics are, our back's fake, we shake our booties from left to right. at that point i was just kind of in shock and right away, the next day i addressed it with the coach and the general manager of the wolverines.

>> what did they say to you.

>> at that time the general manager was kind of like, well, we have been doing it they way for years. the coach said she really doesn't have any power, she would take it to the general manager, she would like me to address it with the general manager, but since she doesn't have any of the power, we'll see what they say. they came back the following day and at that time, she said, you know, they have been doing it that way for 20 years t board is aware, so you can either have your daughter sit out or that's it. now, she also told me that the cheers were mandated at that time by the association and they were given a list. so i said i'll take it up with your association since you're mandated by them.

>> and so you did that?

>> i did. i went to the association and the association, the director of cheerleading at that point told me that they're not mon dated, they don't mandate cheers at all and that she would talk to the general manager of the cheerleader for the wolverines.

>> sounds like you're going around in circles here, jennifer.

>> yes.

>> did you ever call another parent of a child on the cheerleading squad who said we think they're okay?

>> the last talk before i had with the general manager of cheerleading we talked to a few of the parents and they didn't like the cheer as well. so i had gone back to the general manager after i had talked to the association and i told -- you know, we told her that some of the parents don't like it and her response was at that time the board was aware, they have been doing this cheer for about 20 years and that was it. and after insinuating that, you know, me and my husband were thinking were kind of perverse in thinking it was incorrect or inappropriate, that's when we got mad.

>> so that's when you went to the media?

>> after a couple of weeks yes.

>> and that's when people got really crazy and you were notified that your daughter was being thrown off the team, out of the league and couldn't reapply next year if she wanted to or try out for another league?

>> the result was they were going to keep the cheer, the coach could decide whether she does it or not because she does have that power, but ultimately because of the drama that we have created about this, she was going to remove the family from the organization for the year.

>> kennedy, honey, do you understand why you're not being allowed to cheer anymore? do you like cheerleading?

>> yeah.

>> you like it? mom, let me ask you, are you going to continue to fight this or at this point is the story over for you?

>> at this point, you know, i don't even think that i could continue to fight it. they removed us from the organization, i don't think i have any way to fight that. and at that point, i don't know that i would ever want to go back anyway, because if they think it's okay to remove a 6-year-old from the team, i wouldn't want my daughter in that organization anyway. you know, a lot of people have reached out, a couple of teams have also reached out as well which is great. and we're talking gymnastics, so i wish they would acknowledge what they did to her was incorrect.

>> thank you so much. we'll be right back after this.