High school cheerleading team suspended for 'inappropriate' behavior

ATLANTA — The Grady High School varsity basketball cheerleading team has been suspended for the rest of the season for "inappropriate" and "unprofessional" behavior.

Channel 2's Christian Jennings is at Grady High School, where  Principal Betsy Bockman suspended the team Jan. 16.

In a message to parents, Bockman said she made the decision after several incidents at basketball games, including cheerleaders using profanity and taunting rival teams.

“Over the basketball season, I have witnessed (and also had to intervene in) serious situations of behavior and actions on the part of our cheer team that reflect poorly on Grady,” Bockman wrote in the Jan. 18 message.

The principal listed numerous concerns with the team and said the most “serious and distressing” occurred Jan. 15, the night of a girls’ basketball game at Maynard Holbrook Jackson High School.

“When the team went to the bus, members of the team recorded themselves using very profane language directed toward adults including Jackson administrators, school resource officers, and Jackson parents as well as Jackson students. This recording was then posted on social media where it was shared multiple times,” Bockman wrote.


Jennings spoke with the parent of one of the cheerleaders, who said her daughter missed out on several basketball games because of this.

The mom, who did not want to be identified, talked to Jennings on the phone. She said it is a shame that the actions of a few of the girls had an effect on the entire team, but ultimately she supports Bockman's decision.

Many Grady High School parents didn't know the team had been benched until Jennings told them.

"I don't know both sides to be able to give an opinion on it, but I can say that even as adults, we have to be diligent and teach our kids about what they are putting out into the world," Brigitte Killings said. "When we say something on social media, I teach my kids all the time, it's something that is forever."

Bockman ended the letter by saying her decision was not made lightly, but she hopes it can be something everyone learns from.

The school will resume the program in the fall.

Jennings reached out for permission to interview Brokman, but her request was denied.