High school cheerleader with Down sydrome receives support from locals

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by Shern-min Chow / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on September 26, 2013 at 10:38 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 26 at 11:45 PM

DEER PARK, Texas -- An honorary cheerleader with disabilities has received a lot of support since her story first went public this week.

Her family will meet again Monday with Deer Park I.S.D. officials to see if the 16-year-old with Down syndrome can join her squad on the sidelines.

At Thursday night’s Deer Park High School football game, fans were cheering on more than the J.V. team.

Many were cheering for freshman Brittany Davila.

“Wow, you wouldn't believe it,” said Buffy Davila, Brittany’s mom.

“Everybody, everybody is so supportive.”

The family has gotten hundreds of Facebook comments from people who were upset that Brittany wasn't allowed to cheer this year as she did in Jr. High.

“Shame on Deer Park High School,” Betty Butler said.

“We have a real soft spot in our heart for children with Down syndrome,” Glen Butler said.

The couple explained they have a grandson with Down syndrome.

“If she's been able to do it up to this point, she should be able to continue to do it,” Betty said.

Sheila Moore, whose son is Autistic, disagrees. She thinks Brittany should stay away from the sometimes risky routines.

“We've gotta be safe and be happy that we're able to put kids sometimes in certain places,” Moore said.

Deer Park I.S.D. cited liability and safety issues, when telling the 16-year-old to stay in the stands at a volleyball game. She had arrived in her uniform, ready to cheer.

“I think the girls around her would love her, take care of her, cheer her on and make sure she doesn't get hurt,” said Natasha Spradley, another Deer Park High School mom.

Brittany would be happy just doing the cheers, according to her father Ruben Davila.

“As far as knowing when to put her pom-poms or when to say certain lines of the chair she did all of that,” Ruben said.

The Davilas said she could keep her distance from the more athletic routines.

Brittany's family understands she and others could get hurt if she's too close to some of the gymnastics. Her Jr. High school squad didn't do any physical stunts.

Meantime Deer Park tells us they are working with the parents to resolve this and are proud to have Brittany as an honorary cheerleader.

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