ADL Commends UGA for Termination of Cheerleading Coach And Praises Student for Fighting Religious Discrimination
Atlanta, GA, August 24, 2004… The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today commended the University of Georgia (UGA) for terminating cheerleading coach Marilou Braswell.
Deborah Lauter, ADL Southeast Region Director, issued the following statement:
We believe that there has been a clear pattern of religious discrimination and insensitivity on the part of Coach Braswell against members of UGA cheerleading squads who have refused to participate in Bible study sessions and other Christian activities that were either initiated or endorsed by this coach in her capacity as an employee of the university. We believe these activities-- which are clearly inappropriate for an agent of a public institution-- have been going on for years, but cheerleaders have been reluctant to come forward for fear of retribution from the coach and other members of the squads.
We praise Jaclyn Steele for standing up for what is right and for notifying the University of this long-standing problem. We are pleased to see that the University took her complaint seriously, investigated the matter thoroughly pursuant to their "Dispute Resolution Policy," and took the appropriate action.
We hope that UGA officials will now work with the cheerleading squad and other students to help them understand that Ms. Steele's actions in coming forward with this complaint should be held up as a model for exemplary student conduct.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.