We do stories every week about some child who’s gone bad or hates school..or parents who couldn’t care less about their children... or a district that’s so strict about the rules..they never bend for even the slightest of circumstances.
So that’s why it was so gratifying to see what happened in garland this past week with Madison Thompson.
Marie Saavedra told us the story of the Coyle Middle School student who’s competed in Cheer Athletics for a decade... won countless trophies... awards but was having problems making her middle school cheerleading squad.
Madison has Down syndrome… but she also has acquired some skills for cheering… just not quite the same skills as normally developing child.
Mom asked the district last year about ways to help improve Madison’s preparation for this year’s competition..
The rules she was told were clear... no accommodation for Madison at all.
I don’t want any student... any adult to get anything without working hard for it... the value in real accomplishment comes from learning the discipline necessary to achieve success.
Madison’s willing to do the work… the district should be willing to make some kind of accommodation based on her development.
Now apparently, that’s what will happen…
After a review, Garland ISD now says, they will “…provide reasonable modifications in order to ensure that every student is afforded an equal opportunity to participate in the tryout process."
It doesn’t mean Madison’s automatically on the team... but she will get a fair shot based on her skills and potential.
That’s all you should expect.
Madison learns the value of hard work and dedication. The district gets a chance to teach the rest of us... how to encourage children to apply themselves.