Teen-Ager Banned from Cheerleading Squad Settles Suit
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A $1 million lawsuit filed by a teen-ager who claimed she was kept off a high school cheerleading squad because her breasts were too big has been settled by a public apology from the school district.
″This is a victory students and parents will cheer about for many years to come,″ said attorney Gloria Allred, who filed the suit last year on behalf of Vicki Ann Guest.
″Vicki filed this case because she didn’t want any other student to be subjected to the severe emotional distress and embarrassment inflicted on her as a result of her teacher’s remarks,″ Ms. Allred said Wednesday.
The suit against the Huntington Beach Union High School District said Vicki was told by teacher-adviser Jean Clower that she couldn’t join the pep squad because of her breasts, and that Miss Clower recommended reduction surgery.
The girl, who has since graduated from Fountain Valley High School, claimed that her constitutional rights were violated and she was subjected to discrimination and ridicule.
The district voted Tuesday night to accept the settlement terms, which called for no monetary award, Ms. Allred said.
District superintendent Lawrence Kemper said Wednesday, ″The district feels the matter has been resolved and ... there will be adjustments to policy.″
″I’m very happy that I can feel normal about myself again and that I have built up my confidence,″ Vicki said, recalling her humiliation when word spread on campus about Miss Clower’s recommendation.
Miss Clower eventually wrote to Vicki, apologizing for her remarks, Ms. Allred said.
Principal Michael Kasler insisted at the time of the suit that Vicki failed to make the squad based on her skills, not her appearance.
Vicki, then a 17-year-old senior, received several scholarships and awards before graduating in June, her lawyer said. She is enrolled at Chapman College in Orange, majoring in dance and hoping to become a dance instructor.