Controversy is brewing in Tennessee where a mother alleges her daughter was unjustly dismissed from a Knoxville high school cheer squad.
Tosky Boyle’s daughter, Te’Shauria, is a junior and cheerleader at Hardin Valley Academy. The 15-year-old is no different from most of her peers who have found themselves engaged in the latest dance crazes on social media. However, earlier this month the teen became the target of criticism for her dancing, and was ultimately booted from her cheer squad.
On Aug. 3 Te’Shauria posted a video of herself wearing a fitted black athleisure outfit, and dancing to a song whose lyrics consist of “from the back, from the back, from the back.”
Her peers loved the video, with many commenting “🔥🔥🔥” and complimenting the teen for her execution of the choreography. Te’Shauria was already on to the next challenge, unaware her video was viewed as problematic until she received an Instagram message from her cheer coach saying, “Can you please remove the video you posted? It is not an appropriate representation of a Hardin Valley Academy Cheerleader.”
Te’Shauria immediately obliged the request, but it was too late. Unbeknownst to her, school officials had already singled out multiple videos posted to the teen’s social accounts as being inappropriate.
“They called her and told her she was dismissed from the team because of those videos,” explained Toksy, the teen’s mother, to Inside Edition. “They said they were sexually explicit, or sexually inappropriate, her motions that she was doing, they talked about her clothing.”
Tosky said she was shocked by the school and coaches’ reactions to the dances, and the way in which her daughter was scrutinized. Te’Shauria said the news of being removed from the team was heartbreaking. “I couldn’t think about anything, my mind just cleared out,” said Te’Shauria.
The teen’s mother believes race played a role in her daughter being punished for doing the same moves as other teens, including a white Hardin Valley cheerleader. On social media, Tosky pointed out what she believed to be the key differences in her daughter’s dance video compared to her white teammate’s.
She said Te’Shauria has a more developed body that moved differently and her moves were labeled “sensual” and inappropriate because of her figure, while her less-developed white teammate’s dancing was not criticized, nor was her decision to wear small cutoff shorts, exposing some of her derrière
Further insult was compounded by Toksy’s parenting being called into question, she claims. “The young African American female’s high school cheer coach(es) took it upon themselves to report her mother to DCS for sexual exploitation of a child because of her daughters IG dance post (investigated, unfounded, and dismissed), however her fellow Caucasian teammate’s mother was not,” she wrote.
Tosky’s post continued, “I would rather my daughter do dubs and/or tik toks all day long as opposed to smoking, drinking, doing drugs, having sex, etc. Body shaming an already insecure 15 year old and discrimination at its best and for what? …by a high school cheer coach and assistant.
As an adult…especially one who teaches/coaches young impressionable and already emotionally charged children…you should be uplifting your children…not tearing them down. And then for you to assume something so incredibly awful about me as a mother…when you don’t have the slightest idea of who I am or what it took for me to get where I am today…is utterly ridiculous. HVA…you should be ashamed of yourselves.”
The school ultimately reversed course and invited Te’Shauria to rejoin the team, but for many the damage was already done.
“Racist at its finest & I bet the principal of the school condoned ALL OF THIS” wrote a person online.
Another commented, “You weren’t wearing school uniform you weren’t on school grounds and your social media actions are none of their business, I’m proud of you 🔥”
“I don’t understand why anyone has issues with your doing other than being a prick. I looked at your other videos, to me you just look like you love dancing. Keep at it and f—k the haters, singed old white guy that hates ignorance.”