Family upset after school tells cheerleader with Down Syndrome she's a liability

The parents of a cheerleader with Down syndrome are upset after they said their daughter was told she was a liability and could no longer help her squad cheer during games.

Brittney Davila has Down syndrome and is a cheerleader at Deer Park High School in Texas. Her family told  ABC that the school said Brittney could no longer cheer during games. Her mother, Buffy, said the school believed Brittney was endangering herself and her teammates by being on the sidelines during games.

"Whenever Brittney is with them, they're concerned about her...which, I appreciate the girls being focused on her safety, but they're more focused on her than what they're supposed to be," Buffy said.

Buffy said she is working with the school officials to create a plan that will keep Brittany safe and still allow her to participate.

Attorney Sarah Frazier told ABC the district has some explaining.

"There's always that possibility -- that somebody who looks a little different or plays a little differently is going to attract attention," said Frazier. "That  sort of stigma is exactly what the ADA was meant to protect against."

Frazier said the Americans With Disabilities Act requires schools to make reasonable accommodations for students like Brittney.

"Reasonable accommodations can get very creative.  There may be another place for all of the cheerleaders to stand to cheer from," Frazier said.

Print this article Back to Top