Spirit gifts and goody bags are a time-honored tradition at many high schools, with football teams receiving the take homes on game days as a sign of their student body's support. The bags are typically put together by spirit squads or cheerleading squads, with plenty of good will and, in many cases, sugar. Yet one unexpected addition to the free-be bags at a Houston-area high school led to the one-game suspension of a school's entire cheerleading squad, and it wasn't until fans arrived at the game that many realized their school would be without its customary cheerleading support.
As reported by Houston TV network KHOU, and brought to Prep Rally's attention by USA Today, Wharton High (Wharton, Texas) faced off against Bellville High (Bellville, Texas) on Friday night without any cheerleaders thanks to a goody bag fiasco in which the Wharton cheerleaders handed off spirit bags that included condoms to the school's football players.
Word of the goody bags' condom inclusion eventually reached school officials, who in turn reported the "incident" to district officials. Those officials then determined that the condoms constituted a violation of the student code of conduct, which mandates one full day of in school suspension and bars students from participating in extracurricular activities while serving the suspension.
The day which the students were forced to sit in suspension? Friday, which ruled out the squad's participation at the Bellville game as a result.
Needless to say, Wharton parents were less than thrilled with the cheerleaders' enforced absence.
"If they did that, it was just a joke," Wharton parent Teresa Holmes told KHOU. "They need to go on with that and let children be children."
In this case, the joke was clearly on the cheerleaders themselves, who can now turn a page and focus on Friday's game Royal High (Brookshire, Texas), when the squad will make its triumphant return ... provided there are no prophylactics in this week's spirit bags.
- Sports & Recreation