After catching hell from the ACLU and basically everyone else, a Wisconsin high school will end a series of objectifying awards that were handed out to its cheerleading squad, according to the AP. The New York Times reported Tuesday on the “Big Boobie” and “Big Booty” honorifics that were handed out at a banquet for Tremper High School’s squad. Those titles are for exactly what they sound like.
Again, these awards were for high school girls, in front of a room that included fellow students, parents, and coaches. Despite initial protestations from school principal Steve Knecht and cheerleading coach Patti Uttech, who responded with a shrug when contacted by a former track coach after the 2018 banquet, the Kenosha Unified School District decided to retire the practice.
The publicity from the Times and the ACLU’s strongly worded letter probably helped to push them in the right direction:
For the aforementioned reasons, the ACLU has serious concerns that KUSD is enabling sexual harassment in its schools in violation of Title IX, Wisconsin’s Pupil Nondiscrimination Law, and the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution. The incidents described all reveal a culture in which female students are objectified and sexualized, rather than valued for their intellect or athleticism.
The ACLU’s yearlong investigation found that objectification and body-focused “harassing language” wasn’t just constrained to the banquets, but also prevalent in practices. Lest anyone think this is just a case of the “politically correct” police, as Uttech claimed, the Times report included a quote from one of the squad’s current cheerleaders:
When the girl went up to accept the Big Boobie award, what do you think everyone in the room was looking at? I would’ve died.