The annual Almond Bowl between Chico (California) high school and Pleasant Valley (California) high school is a very competitive rivalry. So competitive that this year’s game featured a penalty on the Panthers’ cheerleaders during Chico’s 42-25 win on October 28.
According to KRCR 7, Chico was given a 10-yard penalty after its cheerleaders stayed on the field for longer than their allotted one minute between the first two quarters. Teresa Tindill, coach of the Chico cheerleading squad, claimed that her team wasn’t told about the one-minute allotted rule.
Then in early November, Jim Hanlon, principal of Chico high school, appoligized to the cheerleaders and absolved them of any wrongdoing.
“I would like to be clear that neither the cheerleaders or the officials were at fault and 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,” says Principal Hanlon.
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, she states the squad was subject to bullying and some not-too-kind words from Jason Alvistur, Chico football coach.
“…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 devasted and embarrassed the girls were when Chicho 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 form players on his team. Players called them ‘stupid (expletive)’ and tried to spit on them as they left the field,” says Harris-Mayer.
Hanlon denied Harris-Mayers comment, but told the station that there were other incidents of bullying after the game. The bully, which was one of the football players, had been suspended.