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Cheerleading manager with down syndrome reportedly left out of team photo in yearbook

A Junior High School cheerleading manager with Down syndrome was excluded from the cheerleading team’s yearbook photo, which relatives believe may be due to her disability, according to the New York Post.

As The Salt Lake Tribune reports, Shoreline Junior High in Layton, Utah, took two portraits of their cheerleading squad this year. One photo included Morgyn Arnold, the 14-year-old student cheerleading manager with Down Syndrome, and the second photo included all the girls on the team expect for Arnold. It was this picture the school chose to use in the yearbook and on social media. 

Jordyn Poll, Arnold’s older sister, expressed how “heartbroken” her younger sister was as she flipped through the yearbook only to find the picture of the cheer team without her in it. Poll told The Salt Lake Tribune that Arnold is “very intelligent” and “knew what happened.” Poll also added that Arnold was “sad” and “hurt” over the situation.  The Daily Wire further reported that the school failed to even mention Arnold on the page about the cheerleading team. 

Poll took to social media to address the situation saying Arnold “spent hours learning dances, showing up to games, and cheering on her school and friends but was left out. I hope that no one ever has to experience the heartbreak that comes when the person they love comes home from school devastated and shows them that they’re not in the picture with their team.” Poll also shared both team pictures, trying to figure out why there was even a picture without Arnold in the first place, according to The Daily Wire. 

“It’s the SAME cheer team — SAME girls, SAME photo shoot, SAME poses, but one included all team members and one did not,” Poll stated. “A choice was made on which photo to submit.” Surprisingly, Poll shared with The Salt Lake Tribune that this is not the first time in recent years where something like this has happened. Poll claims that two years ago Arnold was excluded from the class list.

Although the school later posted an apology on Facebook claiming, “Apologies have been made to the family, and we sincerely apologize to all others impacted by this error. We are continuing to look at what has occurred, and to improve our practice,” Poll tells the Tribune that when her family first reached out to the school, before posting the incident on social media, the family received a very different response. According to Poll, a school employee told the family they didn’t know what Arnold’s family were expecting of them and there “was nothing they could do.” Shoreline Junior High claimed they reached out to Arnold’s family “to make the situation right,” as mentioned by the Tribune. 

ARTICLE: LAURA RAMIREZ 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CNN

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