‘CHEERGATE’ GOES TO COURT: Cheerleader hearing rescheduled for Dec. 4

Managing Editor

A hearing in federal court into an injunction filed by Noe Treviño on behalf of his niece Alexandria Hernandez, the San Benito High School cheerleader with disabilities who accused fellow squad members of bullying and discrimination, has been rescheduled to Dec. 4.

Originally set for 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, the hearing is now scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, inside U.S. District Judge Andrew S Hanen’s court as per a continuance requested by the San Benito Consolidated Independent School District.

Hanen signed a temporary restraining order that Treviño filed on Friday, Nov. 8, in a successful attempt to return Hernandez, 17, to the SBHS cheer squad in time for that evening’s San Benito Greyhounds football game, which was the last of the season. She had been removed for allegedly violating the school’s cheerleader constitution.

In the order, Treviño requests a trial by jury and seeks a declaratory judgment, equitable relief, recovery of attorney fees and costs in addition to a permanent injunction allowing Hernandez back on the squad.

He specifically alleges that Hernandez, who according to the order suffers from type 1 neurofibromatosis and whose left leg was amputated as a child, has been “discriminated and harassed since she began her participation in cheerleading, including but not limited to being taunted and ridiculed by other cheerleaders and/or parents; not being told of and/or being excluded from cheerleading meetings, practices and events; publically ridiculing her at football games and other cheerleading events; and other discriminatory and harassing conduct.”

What’s more, Treviño maintains that SBCISD violated the Individual Education Plan, which affords “a free and appropriate public education as required by federal and state laws,” when Hernandez was removed from the SBHS varsity cheerleading squad. Treviño further contests that participation in cheerleading is included in the IEP.

Hernandez was kicked off the squad on Nov. 4 after she was arrested on Oct. 31 for the alleged misdemeanor assault of Colleen Duncan, who is the mother of a fellow cheerleader. Duncan, 52, accused the teenager of grabbing the cheer mom’s T-shirt while pointing and shouting profanities during an Oct. 11 pep rally held on campus. High school and SBCISD officials have cited Section 9.2 of the cheer constitution, which states that “Immediate Dismissal” occurs when: “A member engaged in a conduct resulting in arrest from law enforcement officers;” and “verbal or physical confrontation with the sponsor, a member, student, staff or parent and the use of foul or profane language, threats, or any indecent gestures.”

Referring to the accusations levied against his niece, Treviño alleged in the order that Hernandez was “provoked” by “several cheerleaders and/or parents.”

Treviño has previously argued that the T-shirt Duncan wore during the alleged assault provoked his niece, reasoning that the apparel displayed a photograph of 10 senior cheerleaders but excluded Hernandez.

Duncan, however, has defended the T-shirt by contending that Hernandez was not maliciously excluded from taking the picture.

According to Duncan, cheer parents printed the photograph on T-shirts because a full page advertisement they arranged to have published in the SBHS football program was pulled at Treviño’s behest. Treviño also requested that a scoreboard message displaying the photo be removed from rotation at Bobby Morrow Stadium.

The T-shirt and aforementioned advertisements, which Duncan said were an innocuous show of support for 10 longtime friends, were all paid for by parents of the cheerleaders.

It was on Oct. 30 that Austin-based attorneys Buechler and Associates, the law firm representing the SBCISD Special Education Department, cleared the cheerleaders of the bullying and discrimination accusations as “unsubstantiated.”

On Monday, Nov. 11, Hernandez’ father, Ralph Hernandez, called SBHS Principal Henry Sanchez in question.

“As a father, I think what Mr. Henry Sanchez did on Friday, not allowing Alexandria to participate for the last game, I think was very wrong,” Ralph Hernandez said.

Sanchez retorted with the following: “All I can say is she did get to cheer.”

Ralph Hernandez continued, “So when we got there, to the game, the parents and the cheerleaders and the coaches there were just … you could tell they were very, very upset (that Hernandez was temporarily placed on the squad due to the injunction). They were disappointed and weren’t expecting this, but it’s like I told everybody: Where there’s a will there’s a way, and there is a God.”

In further defense of his daughter, Ralph Hernandez said she has remained in good standing with the district prior to her arrest and, like Treviño, justified her actions as a breaking point.

“She’s my world and I’m going to fight to the end if I have to, but for this 52-year-old woman to stand up to my baby… that wasn’t right at all,” Ralph Hernandez said before excusing his daughter’s alleged actions. “What teenager at that age doesn’t use vulgar language or profane language?”

Duncan responded, “The cheer constitution was held last year to such strict standards and they are not held to her (Hernandez). She has had 18 demerits along with six or seven that require immediate dismissal, and they’re being looked away. And Noe’s been stalking our girls. My daughter now carries mace with her except at school, and they’re scared to death of him.”

Concerning Treviño and Ralph Hernandez, Duncan remarked, “It’s not a matter of a 52-year-old picking on this little girl. Her parents are making it so nobody can hold her accountable for anything. She is an adult; they can’t keep doing this for her for her whole life.”

Other cheer parents, who have spoken under anonymity to protect their daughters, have accused Treviño of following cheerleaders in his vehicle and staring at them—allegations the San Benito Police Department is currently investigating—as well as litigiousness in what they believe is an opportunistic attempt to build a case for a discrimination lawsuit.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2013/11/16/cheergate-goes-to-court-cheerleader-hearing-rescheduled-for-dec-4/


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    • Get A Clue on November 20, 2013 at 11:24 am
    • Reply

    It all finally comes out. He is suing for money. plain and simple. The bullying did not happen any of the other years she was in school, in band , in the cheer squad, only when a picture was going to be placed in the program that was paid for by the parents, that she and her uncle did not like.
    But yet page four of the program has her in the senior picture line-up with the other cheerleaders.
    People do not seem to understand that her rights end when other individuals rights get violated. I have the freedom of speech as long as I do not use vulger, offensive or profane language. Again it came down to exactly what everone had said…..MONEY….MONEY….MONEY….. Goes to show the intent the whole time.

    • hounds83 on November 20, 2013 at 12:36 am
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    @Sophia Grace you are absolutely right…. Mr. Trevino you sir are the real bully here and you and your niece have bullied this district, teachers, administrators to the point that everyone who sees you or your niece coming will run the other way . It could almost be a case of reverse discrimination that the cheerleaders have endured , they are being penalized and ostracized because of a picture they took on their own time and dime. What happened to their rights? Mrs. Duncan , Harriet is right , please stop posting . I support you and the cheerleaders, but you just need to stop already .

    • Harriet on November 19, 2013 at 9:47 pm
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    Mrs. Duncan, please stop posting.

      • Colleen Duncan on November 20, 2013 at 2:32 am
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      I have nothing to hide and I’ll say my side to I go to my gave not fast enough for most of you but I never hide behind made up names or tryed to use someone else,name to prove my point ask me to stop posting only makes me want to move.

    • Sophia Grace on November 19, 2013 at 9:28 pm
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    It’s really sad that Noe thinks the answer lies in suing a poor school district. After all the years of educating your child, this is how you repay the district? Really? You realize that you are taking money from all the children of San Benito. Do you think any college is going to want to accept Alex, now that they know you are litigious? Do you think any company is going to want Alex as an employee when they hear of this? Everyone is going to be too scared to hire her because the second things don’t go your way, you call the lawyers. You have bullied this district since day one, and now it is the children of the district who will pay. Everyone should have seen this coming. The two fathers are teaching this young adult that she doesn’t have to work for anything and that the rules don’t apply to her. I understand people with disabilities have to be given the same opportunities, but let me ask you this: Would you go to a dentist who was blind? Would you let a mentally retarded doctor perform brain surgery on you? If you answer no, then does that make you a bully and does that mean you are discriminating because of their disability?

    • Colleen Duncan on November 19, 2013 at 5:53 pm
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    Ok if you say I said it and me and my witnesses heard different then fine I will own it. This whole mess as I told you has caused great health problems and my health is not worth a lie. so Im saying now.MY DAUGHTER WAS TOLD BY THE POLICE TO CARRY MASE WHEN SHE IS NOT AT SCHOOL. AS FOR THE DEMERITS YES THE WHOLE SCHOOL KNOWS THEY ARE THERE BUT NONE OF US KNOW THE CORRECT NUMBER SHE HAS GOTTEN THAT INFORMATION IS NOT RELEISED. I’VE READ THUR THE CONSTITUTION COUNTING JUST WHAT I KNOW SHE HAS DONE AND WHICH ONE WERE CAUSE FOR BEING KICKED OFF THE TEAM. As I said before the constitution has affeced my daughter so I kown it very well. I’ve had many interviews and you are the only one who has been fair to me. but I am correcting two things I believe you or your recording hear wronge. With all the comments I’ve had bad things saids to me.Yet out of three news outlets not one has said what this team and my daughter went througj last year. which is in part the reason for the page to start with then the shirts which I did not come up with or buy. If any one would have told me last year that these ten girls would be talking to each other let alone be friends again any of the parents would have laughed at any one who said this. We tryed to keep our problems out of the press some of us went though the channels of the school distric.. Now we get all this bulling throw in our faces and people not knowing the whole story a great story went sour. Alex should be glad she wasn’t involved in it last year. But lets do a story on how Alay and her Uncle run every schoold she has gone to and how glad the school is when it’s time to leave. Why don’t the other special kids get the same treatment? Buy you just want to run this story until everyone is sick of it some literttry I was told not to read no newspapers or nothing on the internet. and I haven’t except the SB news and now I know I have to stop reading it to. Lets get over it in the end she will win but the ten girls will be the ones picking out their collages most out of the valley.

      • Oh Brother! on November 19, 2013 at 6:48 pm
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      The recorder heard wrong??? OMG! I rest my case. Her poo just does not stink!

    • Como Es Juan on November 19, 2013 at 9:38 am
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    Hearing and knowing what she has done? Lady you really need to stop talking. Have you ever heard the phrase “perception is reality”??? If you “heard” what someone has done that does not mean you know. If you are not there then just be quiet. The more and more you talk, the more and more it seems you are picking on this girl. From everything I have read on SB News and Valley Central etc., you just can’t be quiet about it.

      • Oh Brother! on November 19, 2013 at 6:43 pm
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      I have stopped reading the News the past few weeks because 1, this story is sad and pathetic and there is no one person who is right, and 2, most of all, because Mrs. Duncan’s poo just don’t stink! She isn’t wrong about anything!

      According to her, she wasn’t wrong for printing that shirt, wasn’t wrong for wearing it when she knew of the controversy surrounding it, and she’s still not wrong regarding her quotes when faced with the fact that her interview was recorded.

      With all due respect, Mrs. Duncan, your blubbering comments make it hard for people to believe you were acting innocently. You are acting like a 17 year old school girl, not an adult. Grow up and shut up, you got what you wanted. Attention and Alex’s senior year miserable.

        • Colleen Duncan on November 19, 2013 at 7:59 pm
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        I did not print the shirt I bought one. And who care if he says it’s recoreded or not. You are right about one thing no one is going to win so lets get over it. Other parants have given their opions but ask not to use their name thats where I went wrong because I had nothing to hide. I wasn’t the first to wear the shirt the person right behind me had it on and who knows how many others. from what I hear around 20 were sold. I will continue to where my shirt I paid good money they weren’t free just like i seen at the last game everyone wearing shirt of one or more people kids from band, bells, cheer, or part of the football team. They could of made a shirt. The only reson Im in this is because I said I didn’t care it they used my name unlike others. Lets move on. I’m far from perfect but did her uncle stand when Veterns were ask to? Did I? Yes I may not be perfect no one on this earth is but I gave me time for this county and became parcial disable for it and later on in life now I am. Thats life you have to deal with what God gave you. Would you like to ask my special needs brother if I was mean to him even as a sister? To day Im the closest brother or sister to him. My kids love and respect him. I’ve taught my kids to respect people and you can ask her coach because I have if my daughter ever disrespected her and the answer was no. How perfect are you or your kids? we all make mistakes. Think what you want of me because of people like you I can wait to leave this place! That should make you happy! Good day and God bless.

    • Colleen Duncan on November 18, 2013 at 7:17 pm
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    Just for those who read the whole story I was miss quoted twice once my daughter doesn’t carry mase to school she was told to after school. The second is the demerits those are not numbers giving to my that was my esament of what she should have after hearing and knowing what she has done. The constitution says they are wicked off at ten and I’m sure you understand the immediate ones. The last three years we have seen some of our friends gone and for doing a lot less then Alex . My daughter got in trouble for a minor thing she didn’t do. And like Alex’s parents you try to fight for it. The then principal Ms Weaver never gave here the time of day to explain that it wasn’t hers. She did care I had a little help at the main office which they didn’t have power to do anything I took it to the schoolboard following all the rules. I was told according to our constitution the principal has the final answer I could of saved time and grief going through it. I to thought about the news but I didn’t want the town of SB to be blamed for something one person did. Her punishment to away her dream she had since pre-kinder to be captain she made it twice her junior year because we had two send of tryout she loved it and right before school started. They took it from her. Plus they took away her chance to run for it this her senior year. All for something she didn’t do! So when I see Alex’s dads coming after me and my daughter saying how could you do this to my baby? I understand how they feel but she had a choice to carry on and do what she loves or to bring her down. She learned right then that life’s not fair but you has to take what’s thrown at you and grow and get stronger for it. She’s out there again this year not as her dream of captain but as a strong team player. Alex has known me for years she could of talked to me at any time and I would had listen just like the day she grabbed me and yelled at bad words at me I just stood their and listen I didn’t try to fighter her I said same calm thing to her I had no idea where she was coming from. This was not the first time this shirt was worm and I wasn’t the only one wearing it the last count I heard was 20 were sold. We were told we could wear then Mr Sanchez and others new too it should of been no surprise at Friday nights game I saw about twenty shirts with pictures on them but I the one to blame? No I’m a scape goat. IT WAS NOT A CHEERLEEDING PICTURES she’s in all the pictures thin was what was left of 17 freshman girl cheerleaders who are friends and everything they went through this was who made it. another more.

    1. On the contrary, Mrs. Duncan, upon further review of your comments you did in fact state quite clearly that you were informed of the information about the alleged demerits. Your offering of clarification after the fact is therefore an instance of misspeaking on your part as opposed to misquoting on ours. You also did not clarify in your remarks that your daughter was told to carry mace after school. After repeated listens, however, I did notice that in your original statement you had said your daughter now carries mace except at school. This was a little more difficult to discern since you were, quite frankly, speaking very fast. The story now reflects the comment as it should have appeared. Other than that, you were indeed quoted accurately.

        • Colleen Duncan on November 19, 2013 at 1:20 pm
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        When I gave the interview I had a witness with me in fact two so beleive what you want it’s a free world. I know what I said and I wouldn’t say anything that would get my daughter in trouble or any one else. Yes I know what Im talking about I’ve know Alex since she was in the forth grade and we always spoke nice to each other she wouldn’t of been afaid to talk to me unless she was put up to it. Now tell me papers never miss quote people.

        • Colleen Duncan on November 19, 2013 at 1:31 pm
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        If the stress I’m unde due to this mess I’m not speaking clearly please ask for me to clarify it as you have in many other interviews. I wanted to do the interview so I did have witnesess to what i said. The demerets are know through out the school. just do what I did pull out the consitutuion and count what you know for sure what she has done. this is only what I know for sure their may be more. If I can’t be quoted right It will be my last interview. I have no knowlage of what the school has on paper only what I did. and I talked about this point with my friends right before. :Lets just move on were now picking collages not cheersquads.

        1. This is not a matter of whether you can be “quoted right” but whether you’re capable of taking ownership of your comments. And the few times I sought clarification from you in the past, as I’m sure you’ll recall, occurred when your remarks were either inaudible or unclear. That wasn’t the case here. As I said, with the exception of the word “except,” you were quite clear in your statements. Audio doesn’t lie and neither do I, Mrs. Duncan. Take my word for it when I say that you’re mistaken.

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