- The Washington Times
Tuesday, February 8, 2022

New York high school cheerleaders started a petition to move the high school cheerleading championships from Rochester Institute of Technology after the university mandated that all competitors be vaccinated.

The cheerleaders complained that the vaccine mandate did not come from the state government, according to Patch.com.

Competitors from Sachem North and Sachem East high schools in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York, worked with other cheerleaders across the state to create the petition.

Sachem East and Sachem North would qualify for the state championships by winning the county championship next week. One-third of Sachem North’s squad isn’t vaccinated.

“I have been cheering my whole life and have wished to compete at both nationals and states my whole life,” Sachem East varsity cheerleader Emma Silberman told Patch on Monday. “We got the news we were not allowed to attend states since we all must be vaccinated. I am a senior this year, meaning it is my last year. I’ve never competed at states and I really would love that experience.”

The cheerleaders’ main argument is that some state championships for other sports do not require vaccines since they are held at different venues.

The petition had nearly 17,000 signatures as of Tuesday.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Peter Santo can be reached at psanto@washingtontimes.com.

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