People are getting fired up over the way one high school cheerleader is being treated.

Brittany Davila, a 16-year-old girl with Down syndrome, has been barred from serving as a cheerleader at Deer Park High School in Deer Park, Texas and will have to sit in the stands at games instead of rooting on the teams from the sidelines. Brittany’s dad, Ruben, claims the school said she is “a liability,” even though she’s been cheering since middle school.

Ruben also says they learned of the school’s decision when Brittany showed up to cheer at a recent volleyball game, a move which left them dumbfounded:

It was heartbreaking to hear that she is a cheerleader, but yet she won’t cheer with any of the other girls....If it’s a liability for her why wouldn’t it be for anyone else?"

The Davilas say they have received an outpouring of support, while a school official says they’re trying to work with Brittany and her family to fix the matter:

There are apparently rumors going around that she was cut from the squad, but this is not true. She’s STILL an honorary member of the squad, and we are honored to have her involved in the program.

Several of our high school team members met with the child’s parents this afternoon. Again, while I can’t comment on the specifics of that meeting, I can say that our principal indicated that both sides left with a better understanding of the other’s concerns and position. There was also an agreement to work together to resolve whatever issues might remain.”

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