By Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
On August 20, at the Manchester Board of Education meeting, parents and members of the Manchester Varsity Sideline Cheer team were on hand to cite issues they had with the team.
Both parents of the cheerleaders and cheerleaders spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting, citing concerns with the coach, Jennifer Olejnik, and fundraising issues.
“As a district we’ve been looking into both issues,” said Manchester Superintendent Nick Steinmentz. “We’ve come up with a resolution for the fundraising, an organizational shift to our protocol, this season and moving forward with all of our athletics to clean up that process.”
That process includes an effort to put more transparency into where the money is going.
“Before fundraising would happen, purchases would be made, and now we’re going to switch that,” said Steinmetz. “If there’s purchases a team wants, it’s going to go to the team, if they need new mats, uniforms whatever it is. Do they want to fundraise? If so, what fundraisers would you want? Just switching the order so parents and students have a better idea of what the money goes towards.”
In addition to fundraising concerns, safety issues were brought up from a team camp that the team had attended on Aug. 8 in Flat Rock. It pertained to an injury sustained at the cheer camp by a cheerleader and if it was properly handled by all entities.
Cheerleaders attending the board meeting stated that proper concussion protocol was not followed after an injury and many stated they no longer wanted to cheer for the current coach.
At this time, North American Spirit Cheer, the organization that ran the camp, is investigating the issue and Manchester currently does not have a sideline cheer team.
Parents attending the Board of Education meeting also spoke about other issues they’ve had with Olejnik while cheerleaders, too, spoke about different issues they had with the current state of the team.