Cheerleaders cut for alleged cyberbullying file lawsuit

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (BestGrowthStock) – Two girls in Southwest Missouri have filed a lawsuit claiming their constitutional rights were violated when they were removed from a high school cheerleading squad for alleged cyberbullying, their attorney said on Tuesday.

The girls filed the lawsuit in federal court against the school district and school officials in Seneca, Missouri, claiming a breach of their rights to free speech, due process, freedom of association and privacy.

The girls, not named in the suit except by initials, are seeking unspecified damages.

The suit alleges the girls suffered “alienation” from the other cheerleaders and loss of an environment that offers full educational benefits. One of the girls was cheerleading captain.

Jason Shackelford, attorney for the girls, declined to comment on the lawsuit except to say, “I don’t believe they participated in any cyberbullying or harassment.”

Tom Mickes, attorney for the school district, said due process does not apply to extracurricular activities, such as cheerleading and athletics.

“It’s a privilege, not a right, to participate,” Mickes said. Being a student, by contrast, is a protected right, he said.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy, Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Peter Bohan)

Cheerleaders cut for alleged cyberbullying file lawsuit