Supreme Court Refuses Case of Cheerleader Forced to Cheer for Player Who Tried to Rape Her

Sunday, May 08, 2011
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review the case of a Texas high school cheerleader who was kicked off her squad after refusing to chant the name of a basketball player who had allegedly tried to rape her.
The girl, known as H.S. because she is a minor, appealed to the Supreme Court after losing her legal battle before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in favor of the school system. That ruling stated that she had no right to refuse to applaud the player because as a cheerleader in uniform, she was an agent of the school. The Fifth Circuit dismissed her case as “frivolous” and ordered the girl’s family to pay the school district’s $45,000 legal fees.
Rakheem Bolton was accused of attacking the girl at a party in October 2008. She was saved when other students pounded on the locked door of the room in which she was being attacked.
The following month, H.S. continued to cheer for the Silsbee High School basketball team during a game, but refused to cheer for Bolton individually as he took free throws, prompting school officials to suspend her as a cheerleader five days later. Her parents then sued the school claiming it had violated their daughter’s First Amendment rights.
Bolton was suspended from the team until a grand jury, in January 2009, declined to indict him on charges of sexual assault. On September 14, 2010, two days before the 5th Circuit released its opinion, Bolton pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of Class A assault and was sentenced to two years’ probation.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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