Uniform Controversy: School only offers cheerleaders 1 size

Uniform Controversy: School only offers cheerleaders 1 size
While 14-year-old Tiffany Hammond is comfortable in her own skin, her cheerleading uniform is a tight fit. (Source: WOIO)
While 14-year-old Tiffany Hammond is comfortable in her own skin, her cheerleading uniform is a tight fit. (Source: WOIO)

MADISON, OH (WOIO) - A mother in Lake County wants to know why her daughter's middle school is only providing cheerleading uniforms in one size.

A typical 14-year-old, Tiffany Hammond loves to cheer.

"It's kind of, like, a rush. It's exciting and fun," she said.

The eighth grader at Madison Middle School is comfortable in her own skin, but her cheerleading uniform is a tight fit.

"I actually have the same skirt. I got it for two years in a row because it's the biggest skirt," she said.

All of the used cheerleading uniforms at her middle school are size small.

"I got mine on me, but I couldn't button it at all. I could only zip it up halfway in the back," Tiffany explained.

The bottom of Tiffany's cheerleading skirt was too high and its sides are too tight.

"There's nothing left. It's as close as you can get," she said, showing the seams of the skirt.

This "fix" still leaves her lower back exposed.

"My coach got it altered with this the first time," she said, showing an extra strip with a button attached.

"Our last result was a pin to hold it together," said Tiffany.

Her mother, Lisa, says they've gone to the principal for answers several times between the last school year and this school year, but nothing changed.

"Thank God she's as confident as she is. She's proud of what she is. And she just wants to make it better for other kids," Hammond said.

Madison Middle School Principal Thomas Brady released this statement to Cleveland 19:

"I am aware of the situation after talking to the parent on Tuesday.  Since Tuesday I have set in motion steps to remedy the situation.  We have had the uniforms for 8 years now and are exploring uniform replacement as well as fixing the immediate needs."

He goes on to say: "My goal is for all students to be comfortable and confident each and every day."

Tiffany says her uniform troubles are distracting when she's in the middle of cheering.

"It's just not comfortable to have a pin there. I'm scared it's going to stab me or something," she said.

Tiffany says her uniform -- which she should be proud to wear -- makes her feel uncomfortable and embarrassed.

"I want to tell girls, 'You don't have to be a certain size to cheer. You could be any size,'" she said.

Tiffany made these changes to her uniform because she was afraid if she didn't wear it, she would have to sit out.

Her mother credits her niece, Gabby Rae Simmons, for encouraging her to bring this issue to the school and the public's attention.

Tiffany says she wrote a grievance letter to the principal about the problem and has not received a response yet.

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