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Tyler Wilson is the only boy on the cheerleading squad and loves to jump and tumble at his Ohio middle school football games. But those cheers were suspended after two of his classmates broke his arm.
The 11-year-old says the teasing started once classmates found out he joined a cheer squad over the summer. Kristy Wilson, Tyler’s mother, tells WTOL cheerleading should be accepted regardless of gender.
“Boy or girl these cheerleaders put a lot of time and energy into supporting their team and they deserve respect. That it’s not right to treat people like that. Whatever choices people make to do with their life, that’s their choice.”
Toledo’s WUPW looks at the cheerleading squad at the University of Toledo –just 50 miles north of Tyler’s town — pointing out half of THAT squad is male. The captain of that squad, who is male, tells the Fox-affiliate male cheerleading isn’t an easy sport for guys.
“It’s harder than any other sport I’ve done people might say that’s impossible but until you do cheerleading you won’t believe it. … A lot of people aren’t comfortable with themselves and they pick on other people to make themselves feel better.”
The police warned Tyler’s mother about the possible bullying that could happen before he joined the team. The police opened up an investigation, and WJW says the results are in, but the harassment hasn’t gone away.
“With the police investigation complete, Kristy says she just found out two of her son’s classmates could be punished. Tyler says the teasing hasn’t stopped all together.”
But Tyler has too much school spirit to let any bully take him down. He tells ABC that he’ll continue to cheer now and for many years down the road.
“It feels horrible that they can’t accept me for who I am, it’s my choice. If I am a cheerleader I am a cheerleader. I’m going to keep going, I am going to make a lifestyle out of it.”