There’s a lot going on here, and I may lack the ethics dexterity, or perhaps the courage, to figure it out.
I learned about the story on CNN this morning, as the newscasters were getting misty-eyed and “Awwing” all over the place. With a lot of fairly disturbing ethics issues rotting on my plate, I was looking for something uplifting to write about. I’m not sure whether this is it or not.
Here is the most recent on-line story about Kory Mitchell, a sophomore on the varsity cheerleading squad for Manitou Springs (Colorado) High School, who was born with Down Syndrome:
DENVER, Colo. – A Colorado teen with Down syndrome has made her dream of competing in a cheerleading competition come true.
Colorado’s 3-A cheerleading champions hail from Manitou Springs. At the top of their pyramid is a teenager who has overcome serious challenges in her life. The countdown is on as thirteen girls get one last practice in at the Colorado School of Mines. In minutes, the Manitou Springs Mustangs huddle will compete against other top teams.
Cheerleaders take center stage showcasing their spirit and synchronicity. The Manitou Springs Mustangs huddle one last time. And for the first time, joining them in competition is 16-year-old Kory Mitchell.
“She is full of life and full of energy and always wants to be a part of everything,” says her mom, Bonnie King, as she watches with pride.
Her daughter has dreamt about being a cheerleader since elementary school. Her mom is emotional.
But learning these already complicated routines is harder for Kory. “It`s just a tough road when you have a differently-abled child. And to see them have a sense of belonging and acceptance is what she wants, of course, is just so beautiful to see it,” mom says.
Kory’s teammates see what’s under the surface. Things like courage, patience and unconditional acceptance.
“She`s pretty spunky. And she`s got some sass. She loves being out there. It`s nice to see her smile and part of the team,” says one of her teammates. Sometimes competitions aren’t about who wins, but a little hardware doesn’t hurt.
Kory accepted the trophy and a hand from her teammates.
“It`s my dream come true. I love my girls a lot. I`m a big fan of cheerleaders,” Kory said.And Kory’s teammates are big fans of her. This was Kory`s first competition, but she has cheered with the team since last year at football and basketball games.
Observations (some of them reluctant): Continue reading