Seeing something bizarre happens in the stands during a game of football, some middle school boys immediately stooped, left everything they were doing and walked the plank off the court to show their loathing of the situation.
For a teenager, middle school is not always the kindest of places. Being a place filled with preteens well on their way to becoming full-fledged teenagers, and here Emotions and feelings grow uncontrollable. This kind of feeling is peculiar to individuals who are alienated from others because of something about them. This was the case for an eighth-grade middle school cheerleader by the name Desire Andrews, a cheerleader in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
While she was at her job of cheering on her team on the side-line during a school basketball game, desire caught the attention of rival fans in the stands. A few of those in attendance began bullying the little girl but oblivious to the fact that their little act had captured the attention of Miles Rodriguez, Chase Vasquez, and Scooter Terrien. All three being members of the Lincoln Middle School basketball team.
When some of the fans decided to bully Desiree who also goes by the name “D” and happens to have Down syndrome, the boys decided they were not going to stand for any of it.
While according to some, the incident was just another example of kids being “kids”, these boys braced up and made it stop. Not only did they make it stop, in fact, they halted the entire Basketball game in the process by walking off the court.
“The kids in audience were picking on D, so we all stepped forward,” Chase Vasquez told a Milwaukee news outlet. Desiree got the support of the whole basketball team when they called a timeout and walked off the court to take prompt action.
Not only did the boys stop there, they would often walk Desiree to class ensuring that she’s safe and showing others she has their support.
“We were mad. We didn’t like that, we asked our sports director to talk to the people and tell them not to make fun of her” Miles later explained.
When Desiree’s dad, Cliff Andrews heard of what had transpired, he broke down in tears as he appreciated the basketball players for their act of kindness. The Fox TV show “Glee” had been instrumental in Desiree’s interest in cheerleading. They have a character with Down syndrome who is a cheerleader, and she said “if she can be a cheerleader, I can be a cheerleader” Cliff explained while talking to the NY Daily News. According to Desiree, the gesture was “Sweet, kind, awesome, amazing.”
As a result of the incident, the spirit at Lincoln Middle School has soar as kids focus on kindness and inclusion. The Gymnasium in the school is now called “D” House,” giving a nod to Desiree via her nickname. In some of their games, you may even hear a new chant that goes, “Whose house? D’s House!”
The gesture struck Timothy Nieman, the Athletic Director so much that he had a banner hung with the new title. He later told the local news that that was what standing up meant, being a true team, not only a basketball team but a team of people that are going to support somebody. A little wonder the boys received national attention as well as a special Award for sportsmanship.
These incredible teammates have set an example, not only for kids but for adults all across the country. One can only try to imagine how proud the boys’ parents are, and their pride is rightly deserved for having raised quality kids. Perhaps this Story will encourage others to do what is right and take the just side when it is needed of them to do so