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Be of good cheer: Compromise settles Florida school district's short-skirt flap

By Marlena Baldacci, CNN
September 2, 2013 -- Updated 1428 GMT (2228 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A compromise allows cheerleader outfits in a Pinellas County, Florida, high school
  • The district bans too-short cheerleader skirts during classroom hours
  • A cheerleader's mother says the ban was "almost un-American"

(CNN) -- A compromise is putting rah, rah, rah back in place of no, no, no at a Florida school that had banned cheerleader skirts administrators said were too revealing for the classroom.

The decision to prohibit cheerleader skirts during classroom hours had been ridiculed as short in spirit by some Countryside High School cheerleaders and parents.

School leaders said the uniforms just weren't appropriate for classrooms and didn't fit into student dress codes.

Under the compromise between Pinellas County Schools and the cheerleading team, the skirts will have to be lower than the cheerleaders' fingertip reach, and no sleeveless tops will be allowed, school district spokeswoman Melanie Marquez Parra told CNN Friday.

Sophomore Jeana Fraser has been cheering since middle school, and she scored a spot on the Countryside High School Varsity cheerleading team this year. Before the compromise was announced, she told CNN affiliate WFLA that her "shorter than mid-thigh" skirt was a part of tradition: The football players and cheerleaders wear their uniforms each Friday during school on game day.

Jeana said dressing up for game day is a way for students to get excited for the football game.

Jeana's father, David Fraser, told CNN that some kids "just don't wear as many clothes as they should," primarily because of the Florida heat. He said he understands administrators were in a tough spot, but he noted that cheerleading is part of Americana.

Her mother, Norma Fraser, agreed, telling WFLA the ban was "almost un-American."

Marquez Parra said all 16 schools in the district have a dress code, and have for some time, but Countryside is an example of a school that is increasing enforcement.

The spokeswoman told CNN the emphasis should be on academics, and noted squads express their spirit during school hours at several schools in different ways. At one, cheerleaders wear their uniform tops, with sleeves, and matching bows in their hair.

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