School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III Seeks To Declare Competitive Cheerleading As A Sport In Miami-dade County Public Schools

CONTACT: Pavi’Elle Phillips


November 18, 2019

At the School Board meeting of November 20, 2019, District 1 School Board Member Dr. Steve Gallon III will ask the Board to approve Board Agenda Item H-17, Competitive Cheerleading which will establish Competitive Cheerleading as an approved and classified sport in Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

The item has been supported and co-sponsored by Chairwoman Perla Tabares Hantman, Vice-Chair Dr. Martin Karp, Ms. Susie Castillo, Dr. Larry Feldman, and Ms. Maria Teresa Rojas during the committee meeting held on November 13, 2019.

The Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) is committed to students’ participation in interscholastic sports as well as extracurricular activities. In doing so, it recognizes both as mainstays of school districts, schools, and more important, the learning and life experiences of students. In fact, research has shown that activities and athletics, specifically at the high school level, provides a vehicle that improves students’ citizenship, sportsmanship, self-discipline, physical and emotional wellness, and their grade point averages.

In the development, implementation, and enforcement of policies governing high school athletics, M-DCPS works very closely with the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA), the governing body of high school athletics in the state of Florida. One salient provision outlined in FHSAA’s rules and regulations is reflected in FHSAA By-Law 2.8, Competitive Equity which promotes the “opportunity for equity in competition to assure that individual student-athletes and school teams will not be prevented unfairly from achieving the benefits possible through participation in interscholastic athletics.”

As with the FHSAA, M-DCPS is committed to policies and practices that support and promote the same spirit of fair and equitable participation and competition. This spirit should also extend to such sports provided to students in schools throughout the District. One such extension should be the offering of competitive cheerleading as a sport.

Thus, this item seeks to direct the Superintendent to implement and take appropriate action to establish cheerleading as a competitive sport in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. In addition, to establish a process and platform, such as a Task Force inclusive of relevant school leaders, athletic directors, cheerleading sponsors, parents, and students that will further discuss and provide relevant insight, information, and perspective on offering cheerleading as a competitive sport.

“We must ensure that we explore and exhaust every avenue for our students to pursue, experience, and achieve success, and adding competitive cheerleading as a sport will be yet another pathway in the District’s athletic portfolio,” said Dr. Gallon.

“The time is long overdue to ensure that our students who have participated and competed at the highest level in cheerleading are able to do so with the full weight and support of the District, and with all the additional benefits that will come with competitive cheerleading being classified and recognized as a sport,” Dr. Gallon stated.

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