Sunday, March 15, 2015

Downs Syndrome Cheerleader Vs. Bullies: Basketball Team's Got Her Back

Desiree Andrews walks down a hallway at Lincoln
Middle  School in Kenosha, Wisconsin with
three basketball players who defended her
from bullies during a game at the school.  
Maybe I'm being Pollyannish, but it seems this has been a bad week or two for bullies.

What with Curt Schilling's outing the Twitter bullies tormenting his daughter, and the dance party response to the heavyset guy who was fat shamed online, and now a new case, things are pretty good.

You take what you can get.

The latest bit of good news came from a middle school basketball court in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Desiree Andrews, 14, is enjoying some positive viral Internet fame, and so is the Lincoln Middle School basketball team after what started as another ugly case of bullying turned into a demonstration on how to do the right thing.

I think the whole incident went viral because people are clammoring for news of people acting with a bit of dignity.

As the Kenosha News reported, Desiree,has Down syndrome and is a Lincoln Middle School cheerleader. She was bullied by some jerks in the home bleachers as she cheered on the school's basketball team recently.

During a time out, three members of the school's basketball team, Miles Rodriquez, Scooter Terrien and Chase Vasquez, stormed off the court and told the bullies to knock it off

Desiree's father, Cliff Andrews, said the basketball players intervened in nick of time.

'She saw that I was upset,' Andrews said. 'She threw her hands around me and made me look at her face and said, 'Papa it's OK. I still love them even if they don't like me.'"

It turns out, unsurprisingly, that lots of people in Kenosha and Lincoln Middle School like Desiree.

The school and its students now refer to the gymnaisum where the incident took place as "D's House," named for Desiree. 

Students and people throughout town also bought and wear lots of t-shirts with a "D's House" logo on them.

Still the Andrews family isn't letting this attention go to their heads.

In the Kenosha News article, Desiree's father said:

"'My concern is putting Desiree out there and people thinking we're doing it just so she can get all this attention,' Andrews said. 'It didn't start out that way. It started out when some fine young men stood u for her in a bullying situation. I didn't want to lose track of that. I don't want to take away rom what those boys did."

People with Down syndrome seem to be increasingly getting the positive attention they deserve. Actress Jamie Brewer, who has Down syndrome, recently modeled an original design by Carrie Hammer on the runway at New York Fashion Week to high praise.

I'm not quite sure why the scummier people among us bully people with Down syndrome anyway. Everyone I've ever met with Down syndrome have been nice, engaging people who you want to be friends with.

Or as Scooter Terrien, one of the basketball players said, 'It's not fair when other people get treated wrong because we're all the same."

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