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Rowan County superintendent shares what led to high school cheerleading investigation

“Recent errors in the cheerleading tryout process” led to an investigation of the Rowan County High School program, according to a Wednesday statement from Rowan County Superintendent Michael Rowe.

The program was shut down for less than a week in late August while an investigation took place.

Rowe said tryouts would be held again for all cheerleaders.

He told the Herald-Leader errors included no written policies/procedures for the tryout process, no parent meeting prior to tryouts explaining the tryout process, and individual tryout results were not shared with individual student athletes.

Another mistake was focusing on remaining a small squad so the cheer team could compete in a small division instead of transitioning to a large squad based on the need of student athletes, he said.

Rowe said the staff would not be changing.

“It is important to note that no mistakes were made with malicious intent,” Rowe said. “We firmly believe in acknowledging mistakes and taking corrective action.”

New tryouts will be held on September 7. Individuals from outside the school district will serve as judges and steps will be taken to ensure accuracy and fairness, Rowe said.

All participants will be required to try out again and new material will be introduced at the tryouts, he said.

The new team will officially start September 10. He said the district sought a more “transparent, accountable and effective environment.”

“We see this moment as a teachable one,” Rowe said.