Letter: Cheerleading safety

Published: Sunday, July 21 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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My granddaughter was dropped while practicing a stunt for cheerleading at a local high school and sustained a brain injury. The seriousness and long lasting nature of the injury came to light a year after it happened.

In my opinion, the girls who dropped her, her coaches and the school principal didn't handle her fall the way it should have. I believe that there was a lack of concern and follow through which may have caused permanent brain damage. Because my granddaughter wanted to continue participating in cheerleading, her parents didn't want to cause trouble by placing blame.

At this time, I am concerned about the status quo being allowed to continue. Apparently, there are no rules regarding what stunts can be safely carried out. I think there is a lack of knowledge and concern among teens, parents, coaches and school officials about brain injuries sustained during cheerleading. Girls are thrown and tossed at heights double or triple their own height while wearing no protective gear. How many more teens will be injured before the Utah High School Association or society in general steps in to require a safe environment for school cheerleaders?

Geraldine Coombs

Salt Lake City

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