Cheerleading squad removes member with Down syndrome from yearbook photo

Cheerleading squad removes member with Down syndrome from yearbook photo
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A cheerleading squad in Utah omitted a member of the team with Down syndrome from their official Facebook photo, and she was devastated.

Morgyn Arnold, 14, took a photo with her cheer squad for the Shoreline Junior High School yearbook, and was “so excited’ to get the book on the day it arrived.

But, according to her family, she then found out the team took a separate photo without her - which the school used instead.

"She came home from school and was showing us her yearbook," her sister Jordyn Poll told TODAY Parents. "She said ‘There’s my team and there’s my friends and I’m not included.’ She was devastated."

Poll had previously shared the harrowing tale in a viral post on Facebook, showing both photos - the one taken with Morgyn and the one without.

"The first picture you see is a cute junior high cheer team. The second, although similar, includes all members of the team,” the post read. “It’s the SAME cheer team–SAME girls, SAME photo shoot, SAME poses, but one included all team members and one did not.”

"Unfortunately, the first one was posted on the school’s social accounts and in the school yearbook,” Poll continued. “Additionally, Morgyn’s name wasn’t even mentioned as a part of the team. She wasn’t included. She spent hours learning dances, showing up to games, and cheering on her school and friends but was left out."

In a now-deleted post, Shoreline Junior High apologised.

"We are deeply saddened by the mistake that was made," their post read. "We are continuing to look at what has occurred and why it occurred. Apologies have been made to the family and we sincerely apologize to others impacted by this error. We will continue to address it with the parents of the student. We will continue to look at our processes to ensure this does not happen again."

In an edit to the post, Poll noted that she did not blame the girls on the squad, and instead asked people supporting her sister to understand that the cruel surprise was done by the school itself.

“To the parents and the girls on the team - from the bottom of my heart, you are amazing and we love you.”

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