Posted on October 3, 2012 at 6:33 PM
Wednesday, Oct 3 at 6:33 PM
VIRGINIA BEACH--Brianna Mikeska is fighting to be on the cheerleading team.
She's been on the squad her freshman, sophomore and junior years, but she's been told by the Virginia High School League that she is ineligible this year because she moved to Japan midway through her junior year and then came back.
"I tried out for the cheerleading team and I made it. I was practicing like I was gonna compete and I got pulled into the Student Activities Office and she told me that they said I wasn't allowed to cheer because I had moved back and I hadn't gone through any hardships since I was living with another family," said Mikeska.
Mikeska moved because her Navy father was deployed to Japan.
The Virginia High School League denied her appeal citing that she did not go through an "undue hardship" as a reason for her leaving.
"My dad's serving our country so that how they repay us, by not letting me cheer? It's a hardship not having my family here," stated Mikeska.
Christy Mcanally, a teacher in the Virginia Beach School system ,is an advocate and founder of a support group for military kids.
"Across the nation, the Joining Forces Movement has placed military families in the limelight to educate the public that they too serve our country with the sacrifices they make. I am sure it was a difficult decision for the Mikeskas to be away from their youngest daughter her senior year," said Mcanally.
The Mikeskas stayed in Japan, allowing their daughter Brianna to move back to Virginia Beach and stay with friends so she could graduate with an Advanced Studies Diploma.
Dr. George Parker, Beach District Chair of the Virginia High School League, wrote to the executive director in Charlottesville to reconsider the denial of Brianna's appeal.
Parker wrote, "In the case of military families, the impact of transition to a new culture and school can have significant impact on a school-aged student. Therefore, the Beach District committee feels that denying this student that opportunity to continue her athletic interests her senior year of high school would indirectly punish her for being a member of a family that serves the interest of our country."
In an email after 13News inquired about the situation, deputy director of the VHSL Tom Zimorski wrote, "I respectfully decline due to student confidentiality. Any student information should be requested from the member school and it is at their discretion to whether to provide specific information."
Brianna is now the manager of the cheerleading squad and hopes that VHSL will approve her appeal. She plans to go before the board in person in Charlottesville to state her case.