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Last week, I wrote a piece entitled “Who is Protecting Our Cheerleaders?” Shortly after I wrote the entry, I received an email from Debbie Bracewell, the executive director of the National Council for Spirit Safety and Education. Because her email had some great information/questions that parents of cheerleaders should think about, I asked for her permission to print it here. She was kind enough to agree, and her thoughts are below:

Your article is timely and accurate in that parents need to know who is coaching their students. I am the executive director of the National Council for Spirit Safety and Education (NCSSE). Our focus is coaching education for cheer coaches. Training is available, but coaches often do not want to spend the money for the training or their schools do not want to pay for the classes or give professional leave for such training. School administrations should give this kind of support to their coaches. Something else to keep in mind–the turnover rate for cheer coaches is huge. Some estimate that after the first year, 60% of new coaches quit. The numbers rise to approximately 70% after three years. This inconsistency could contribute to the number of problems in cheer programs. Why should a coach invest in training when he or she doesn’t expect to stay? Why should a coach invest in training when the school administration apparently doesn’t think it is important? Parents should ask if their cheer coaches are trained and how many classes have been taken. Professional education is necessary to keep cheerleaders safe.

You can learn more about this subject and Ms. Bracewell’s organization by clicking here.

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