Hawaii high school cheerleaders face allegations of cyber-bullying

"We got more reports of you guys bullying so we're shutting you guys down," says senior cheerleader.
By Evan Bleier  |  Nov. 12, 2013 at 12:19 PM
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Nov. 12 (UPI) -- The cheerleading squad at McKinley High School in Hawaii has been silenced while the Department of Education investigates allegations of cyber-bullying connected to the team.

The team is currently banned from practicing together, wearing their uniforms and fundraising.

"They just said, 'We got more reports of you guys bullying so we're shutting you guys down.' That's basically what they said," McKinley senior Mariah Newton told Hawaii News Now. "I put four years into this team. We basically built this team up from nothing.”

"I know that some are involved. Whether they're the receiver or the giver, I'm sorry, this is what we're investigating," said DOE Complex Area Superintendent Ruth Silberstein.

Mariah's father, Daren Newton, says the school did nothing when volleyball players verbally bullied the cheerleaders. "We're not against the punishment handed down. But what we're bringing to attention is the inequities between what's going on in that school between the programs." he said.

According to the cheerleaders, they have done nothing wrong.

"There's no cyber-bullies on our cheer squad, jayvee or varsity. And we have not bullied in any other form," said cheerleader Mahealani Wilson. "It upsets us when it's just shut down out of nowhere."

Punishments are expected to be handed down next week. "It goes to the principal, and the principal will make the final decision," Silberstein said.

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