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May 18, 2024

Cumberland JFL Cheer Team Part 5: Suggested Corrective Actions

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On October 27, 2017

Cumberland Co., IL. (ECWd) –

The underlying questions: Was it necessary for the “board” of this alleged organization to ban an 11-year old from participating as a cheerleader in the final game of the year, based off of what they perceived was a “threat” after her parent asked to see the financial records? How asking for financials was ever looked at as a threat is something maybe they should consider in the future by making their financials available at all meetings, and chances are nobody would ask to see them at a later time.

Corrective Actions Suggested

For the “Organization”:

  • Publish all rules and procedures, refer to them by name when sending letters – you really only need three at the most: by-laws, rules for parents, rules for participants
  • Register with the Secretary of State
  • Register with the Attorney General’s Charitable Trust if you plan on taking donations
  • Obtain a tax ID number (“FEIN”) from the IRS
  • Register with the Illinois Department of Revenue
  • Submit for charitable status with the IRS
  • Purchase Insurance
  • Proper accounting – with receipts
  • Don’t gamble or promote gambling without proper licensing/permitting
  • Don’t use extreme measures as punishment against children and parents if you do not want extreme measures applied to you and your organization
  • Develop legitimate By-Laws and Rules, and follow them yourselves, the same as you may require parents and cheerleaders to follow them. The appearance of “new” board members prior to a meeting requiring a 2/3 vote will never look good

For the School:

  • Develop/update policy on use of public resources, like email, internet, and facilities
  • Demand the policy be complied with
  • Demand proper proof of legal standing of organizations prior to allowing use of school facilities
  • Demand proof of insurance, with the school district named additionally insured, prior to allowing use of any of its facilities
  • Educate teachers on the fact that teachers and parents can be the bullies they so often claim others to be

For the Teachers:

  • Understand that every activity you are involved in, especially ones dealing with children, reflect on your conduct as a school teacher. You cannot hide behind the teacher’s desk when people question your actions, you cannot claim it had nothing to do with your job as a teacher. People trust you more than they would normally trust an individual, simply because of the teaching position you hold.

For the Parents:

  • Don’t use your children as crutches for your actions
  • Don’t gang up on other parents, your children see that and will do the same
  • Don’t exaggerate what happened in certain situations – because someone will always have it on video, or there will be witnesses
  • Don’t file frivolous Orders of Protection in order to extract revenge against another parent

For the School, Teams, Parents, Coaches:

  • Understand that when activities happen on public property, where the public is invited to attend, any person, including media, has the civil right to capture the event either on audio, video, or still pictures. Making unlawful attempts to try and force a camera behind a fence, when allowing others in front of the fence will never work. There is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Threatening people will not work, and purposely placing yourself in front of their recording equipment will not work.



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  • Kevin
    Posted at 08:50h, 27 October

    Excellent advice and a very well thought out action plan, but I’m a bit skeptical that the parties involved will receive it well. It’s my opinion the law doesn’t matter to them, and that they like to live and act like animals. Thr examples they set for their children are deplorable.

  • Small Town
    Posted at 18:47h, 27 October

    Agree! Very well said! The adults in this situation (parents, teachers and school officials) have certainly exposed their lack of moral integrity and incompetence. And we wonder why we have kids that bully. They have learned it from the adults in their lives. And a teacher being involved in this is the worst. I too live in small town USA so I know All too well that the adults in this situation will not have the fortitude to do what it takes to show their children how to forgive and ask for forgiveness. I question wether the teacher should be reprimanded by the school board for their part in this.