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Cheerleading Coaches Give Teens 'Big Boobie,' 'Booty' Awards

Parents, ACLU not happy about Wisconsin banquet or its aftermath
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2019 12:45 PM CST
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / vinhdav)

(Newser) – A cheerleading banquet last March at a Kenosha, Wis., high school included some not exactly traditional—but definitely controversial—awards. The "Big Boobie" award went to a girl who, according to the coach who presented it, risked a concussion every time she ran due to her "enormous boobs." As for the recipient of the "Big Booty" award, "We love her butt," said the coach presenting it. "Everybody loves her butt." The "String Bean" award went to a girl who, the cheerleading coach explained later to school administrators, is "so light and skinny." At least four people, including parents and the track and field coach, told Tremper High School's principal and school district administrators they were disturbed by the awards. But, though cheerleading coach Patti Uttech was asked to resign, nearly a year later she is still coaching the team, the New York Times reports. She does not teach at the school.

The track coach, who now works elsewhere, says "the principal treated it like it wasn't that big of a deal." And Uttech, in explaining things to the principal, seemed to consider it not that serious: "We understand that we are in a politically correct world these days, but we do like to have fun and keep thing on the lighter side," she wrote; she says the 2017 senior class originally came up with the awards. None of the girls who actually won the awards in question spoke to the Times, though the parents of the "Big Boobie" winner apparently emailed Uttech to say their daughter found it amusing. But some of their teammates anonymously told the paper they would have felt uncomfortable receiving the awards. A parent got the ACLU involved, and the organization this week threatened to sue if "meaningful corrective action" is not taken. The ACLU says the coaches also use "harassing language" toward cheerleaders during practice. This year's banquet does include two big changes: No gag awards will be handed out, per Kenosha News, and no parents are invited. (A "distressing" cheerleading video from a Denver high school.)

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