The parents of a 15-year-old Brainerd High School cheerleader who was suspended Friday from school for three days for allegedly offering to pay $50 to have another cheerleader beaten up said today their daughter is being falsely accused.
The parents, whom The Dispatch is not identifying, said their daughter has received threatening e-mails and phone calls from other students since school officials suspended her Friday. They said their daughter is a good student and has never been in trouble before. They said their daughter and the senior girl, also a cheerleader, have had problems getting along since last year. Her mother said she spoke to one of her coaches last year about the girls not getting along.
Brainerd School District officials Wednesday said a student Friday reported a sophomore at Brainerd High School was suspended because she offered $50 to beat up a senior.
"They don't like each other," said the suspended girl's mom. "(The girl) is a snot and my daughter can be a snot, too."
They said their daughter told them that last week she was waiting for her dad to pick her up at school and she was talking with a friend, also a cheerleader. The parents said the other girl told their daughter that if she gave her $50, she would beat up the other cheerleader their daughter has problems with.
Their daughter said she told her, "Yeah, right" and then left to meet her dad, who was picking her up. They said their daughter said she never threatened to harm the girl. They said she was in tears Friday when school officials told her she was suspended Monday through Wednesday.
Her mother said she and her daughter met with several school officials today and her daughter gave a statement to police saying she did not threaten the other girl. Her daughter was told she would not be able to be in cheerleading this week or compete in an event on Saturday. After that, it was yet to be determined whether she would be allowed in cheerleading.
She said cheerleading was her daughter's life and she likes being at Brainerd High School. But she said her daughter sat in their car for 10 minutes this morning and did not want to return to school. She asked her mother if she could transfer schools and said she was scared of what the other students would say or do to her.
"I understand that it has to be taken seriously, I really do," said her mother. "But hearsay isn't good enough. ... It's not like her at all. She doesn't believe in fighting. People push her around and she doesn't do a thing. I think it was blown out of proportion."
"It's like it's cut, wrapped and dried before the facts came out," said the girl's father. "This goes on her permanent record. It affects college and her whole life."
The parents said they wished they would have been allowed to meet with the other girl, the girl's parents and school staff to work this situation out.
The parents said if charges are pressed against their daughter, they have talked to an attorney about representing her. Brainerd Police Chief John Bolduc said today the matter remains under investigation and he wouldn't comment on the case. He said no charges have been filed yet in the case.
Principal Steve Razidlo wouldn't comment today on whether peer mediation was going to take place in the case of these two students, but he said the school does provide such mediation in many situations like this. He wouldn't comment on what the girl's parents said today, adding that he was concerned that the privacy of the students involved is protected.
"I believe our disciplinary actions are appropriate," said Razidlo. "The disciplinary actions we've taken are appropriate for the circumstances."
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.