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Parent says cheerleaders bullied after drawing penalty

2:40 PM, Nov. 30, 2012 EST

The Chico (Calif.) cheerleading team's performance after the first quarter drew a 10-yard penalty. / PlayOn Sports

The annual Almond Bowl between Chico (Calif.) and Pleasant Valley (Calif.) is a pretty serious rivalry. Just how serious? This year's game, a 42-25 Chico win on Oct. 28, featured a penalty on the Panthers' cheerleaders. OK, so it's probably not what you think.

According to KRCR 7, Chico was assessed a 10-yard penalty after its cheerleaders stayed on the field for longer than their alloted one minute between the first and second quarters. Teresa Tindill, one of the Chico cheerleading team's coaches, later claimed that her team wasn't told about the one-minute rule.

MORE: Watch the offending performance

On Nov. 9, the Chico Enterprise-Record published a letter from Chico principal Jim Hanlon, who apologized to the cheerleaders and absolved them of any wrongdoing. Hanlon's letter read, in part:

I would like to be clear that neither the cheerleaders or the officials were at fault & these two groups were just doing what they were supposed to do for the night. This is an example where a series of miscommunications, which I take responsibility for, failed our students and led to a very embarrassing situation for some of our most spirited and hard-working students.

The story wasn't over, however. One week later, the paper published a letter from Amy Harris-Mayer, the parent of two Chico cheerleaders. In the letter, Harris-Mayer claims that the cheerleading team was subject to bullying and some not-too-kind words from Chico football coach Jason Alvistur.

"...Hanlon has totally missed the point and seems to be ignoring the real issue — bullying.

As a parent of two Chico High School cheerleaders, I've seen firsthand how devastated and embarrassed the girls were when Chico High School varsity football coach Jason Alvistur screamed "get the (expletive) off the field" at the girls. His lack of leadership and professionalism sparked a barrage of insults to be hurled at the girls from players on his team. Players called them "stupid (expletive)" and tried to spit on them as they left the field. I'd like Hanlon to be "ultimately responsibility" for that "embarrassing situation."

Furthermore, I'm disappointed that Hanlon chose to make a public statement via a letter to the editor before he addressed the issue with the many parents who have asked to meet with him both personally and privately to discuss the matter."

Hanlon denied Harris-Mayer's accusations, but told KRCR 7 that there were other incidents of bullying after the game and that one player had been suspended.

In unrelated news, the Chico Press-Enterprise has three sports sections on its website: Prep Sports, College Sports and Aaron Rodgers.



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