OCS BOE: Limited tickets to be circulated for cheerleader tryouts

Published 12:52 am Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Opp City School board this week made a compromise that will allow them to stay compliant under unitary status, while affording those trying out for cheerleader a little bit of privacy.

Opp City Schools Superintendent Michael Smithart said he had received a request to make the currently-open tryouts closed.

However, after talking to board attorney Wesley Laird, he was advised that closing the tryouts would likely be in violation of rules the school system must comply with to maintain its unitary status.

Opp City Schools, like the majority of Alabama school systems, was once under desegregation orders, to enforce school integration requirements decided in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in 1954.

OCS is one of some 80 school systems who have been released from desegregation order by obtaining unitary status. The system was released in 2002.

To receive unitary status, the system had to prove that it has eliminated all traces of intentional segregation in six areas: student assignment, faculty assignment, staff assignment, transportation, extracurricular activities and facilities, and be declared unitary by a judge.

Smithart offered the board this option to meet the requirements under the statutes of unitary status, while giving the girls some privacy.

“We have to maintain some element of openness. So, I propose every young lady gets two tickets,” he said. “That allows the girls to give it to who they want to.”

The problem with the tryouts, is that hundreds of spectators have been showing up in the past.

Board members and Athletic Director Brent Hill agreed that was nerve-racking for those trying out to have all eyes on them.