KATY, Texas -- A cheerleading squad from Katy is demanding an apology from their coach after they say they were treated like animals.
The 8th grade cheerleaders at West Memorial Junior High say it all started when their coach told them that they could no longer do a traditional cheer.
The squad signed a letter to be given to the principal.
They claim what happened next was a cruel and unusual form of punishment in front of as many as 70 students.
She crumpled up the letter, and she started one by one. She threw it across the gym and said go fetch, said cheerleader Carmelita Faulkenberry. She was treating us like we were animals, and it's not fair to us.
Faulkenberry says the coach made them do bear crawls across the gym floor to retrieve the crumpled letter.
While we were doing this, you could hear kids say go fetch and crawl faster, recalled Faulkenberry.
Faulkenberry's mother believes the coach knowingly humiliated the Jaguars cheerleaders.
I was furious. I cried, said mother Raimy Sabido. It breaks my heart because go fetch is a dog. You don't send human beings to fetch a letter.
Parents of other cheerleaders believe the coach's actions gave other kids a reason to make fun of the girls.
They already have to worry enough about being bullied by peers. Now they have to worry about being bullied by their teachers, said mother Stacey Adkins.
The squad and their parents say the coach owes everyone a sincere apology.
What kind of teacher would make a student do that?, questioned father Tim McCurdy, whose daughter wrote the letter. I don't know if you can be degraded any more than that.
Katy ISD released the following statement to KHOU 11 News:
School administrators at West Memorial Junior High are aware of allegations brought forth against a school employee for using connotations deemed inappropriate during conditioning exercises with students on Thursday. School officials and the Katy ISD Human Resource Department are currently investigating. At West Memorial Junior High, allegations as such are taken seriously and are thoroughly investigated.