Mom's Lawsuit Over Cheerleading Spat Sets Terrible Example

cheerleadersNo wonder Texas teen Sami Sanches was drawn to cheerleading: Her mom, Liz Laningham, is apparently a natural at the sport. Especially if you're imagining one of those psychotically zealous cheerleaders whose enthusiasm borders on unhinged. But Laningham's over-the-top pep isn't directed at a football team -- it's all reserved for her not-that-little girl.

The problems began when Sanches and her cheerleading squad captain got into a tiff over a boy. No word on whether or not said boy was the captain of the football team, but that would be sooo classic! It's also unclear which, if either, girl ended up with this guy, but the cheerleaders never reconciled. And that's why Sanches was left off the varsity squad the next year, alleged Laningham in her lawsuit against the school.


Oh yes, you read that right. Sanches didn't make the varsity cheerleading squad, so her mom sued the high school. For systematic discrimination and sexual harassment. Among the complaints filed: The school did not remove the freshman cheerleading squad captain after she told Sanches she'd kissed her boyfriend.

Before I launch into the real issue here -- how did this mom get so dang crazy -- I should mention that the pending suit was recently dismissed by the court as "a petty squabble, masquerading as a civil rights matter." Just so you know that sanity did in fact prevail here.

Now, back to Liz Laningham. I totally understand the mama bear, how dare you screw with my kid instinct that makes you want to steamroll anybody who crosses your child's path. But there's a difference (especially when we're talking about teenagers, not toddlers) between sticking up for your kid and making your maternal delusions everybody else's problem. I mean lady, come on. All's fair in love and war.

Maybe Sanches is America's most amazing cheerleader ever, maybe she sucks. I don't know. But even if she did get kicked off the squad over some boy, well, the sad truth is that kind of thing happens all the time, even years after high school graduation, when professionals and paychecks are involved, and moms don't get to fight your battles for you anymore. Isn't that what high school is, boot camp for the real world?

Do you think Liz Laningham went overboard trying to defend her teen?


Image via Bill and Vicki Tracey/Flickr

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