WHARTON, Texas The Wharton High School varsity cheerleading squad was benched for Friday night s game for putting condoms in goody bags intended for the varsity football players, the school district said.

The Wharton Independent School District said the incident happened a week ago just before the Wharton Tigers homecoming game. The cheerleaders put the condoms in the goody bags, commonly referred to as spirit bags.

The district called that a violation of the student code of conduct and punished the girls with a one-day, in-school suspension and were banned from Friday night s game at Bellville.

Some students and parents think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

I think that it was wrong that they did it, but they were really just joking around, one student said.

One parent said that it was a simple joke that should not be taken so seriously.

If they did that, it was just a joke, Teresa Holmes, a parent, said. They need to go on with that and let children be children.

Another student said it was a harmless joke.

It was really a prank gone wrong. I guess. It was a harmless prank that went too far, another student said.

A junior on the drill team said the cheerleaders just thought it would be funny and meant no harm.

They just thought it would be funny,,cause they are guys and they are know... the student said.

The mother of one of the cheerleaders said that she fully supports the district s punishment. She also said that squad did intend the whole thing as a joke, one that they realize was inappropriate.

The district said in a statement that its discipline decisions are based on state law and are intended to provide proper consequences and teach students proper behavior.

The cheerleaders will back on the sidelines next Friday.

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