A high school in Wisconsin is facing criticism following an annual awards banquet in which coaches handed out special awards to cheerleaders for having the biggest boobs and butt on the team. Parents and students in attendance were appalled when one of the coaches got up and joked that one girl risked getting a concussion when she ran because of her "enormous boobs." In another instance, the team's coach, Patti Uttech, commented that “we love her butt” when handing out the "Big Booty" award to another cheerleader.
“I looked around and thought, ‘Did that just happen?’ If my daughter would have won one of those awards, I would’ve absolutely been rushing the stage. It was just so wrong, in so many ways,” one mother told the New York Times.
Some of the concerned parents contacted the American Civil Liberties Union, which sent a letter to officials at Tremper High School warning that they might file a lawsuit if the school does not address the issues.
School officials reached out to the cheerleading coach, who defended the mock awards, claiming they have been doing it for years without incident.
"I honestly don't feel that I need to explain myself about how we ran our banquet," Uttech said. "Actually we have run it this way for years and have never had a problem."
The school's principal tried to downplay the situation to at least one concerned parent, saying that the awards "were meant to be funny" and that he "could find no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the coaches."
Eventually, Uttech wrote an apology letter to the girls, but refused to resign and continues to be a co-coach of the squad.
A spokeswoman with the Kenosha Unified School District released a statement saying that "a clear expectation has been set that awards of this nature are not acceptable and are not to be given at Tremper cheerleading banquets going forward."
This year, officials said that the awards banquet will not be open to parents and that only the coaches and members of the cheer squad will be invited to attend.
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