A high school cheerleading coach in Illinois has officially been dismissed for a rather unique and almost unbelievable set of circumstances: She used a profane word in a text message to a student athlete, though that word was allegedly not intended to be a comment on any athlete but rather on the prior, 2016-17 season.
As reported by the Daily Southtown, Stagg High cheerleading coach Bridget Guzior was officially terminated Wednesday evening following more than three months spent on administrative leave. Her leave from the program was brought on by the aforementioned text message she sent to an undisclosed student. That message has since been proactively released by Guzior’s legal team:
“(Student name), no matter how much we want to make each other bash our heads into a wall (most times a brick wall) I am so proud of the young adult you have become! Looking forward to an awesome year! Drama free the curse is over the bitch is gone!”
The claim made by Guzior and a host of parents who have lined up to protect her is that the word “bitch” is being used to refer to the team’s prior season, which was allegedly seen as a major setback.
That interpretation was supported by a number of parents, including Michael Orloff and Laura Peterson, who read a letter allegedly from the mother of the student who received the text.
“I explained that I requested my child be included in the message as it contained words of support for my child,” the mother’s letter sets out. “I explained the context for the phrase in question — explaining that the phrase was being used to describe the previous season. A season in which the team, after significant work, sacrifice, and determination entered the State competition as favorites and placing 2nd on day one — only to see their dreams of the podium evaporate on day 2.”
Those calls to retain Guzior ultimately fell on deaf ears, which left at least one parent to voice his open displeasure with the decision.
“Welcome to lawsuits,” Orloff shouted after the board voted to terminate Guzior.
“If this practice of communicating with the athletes and their respective parents is deemed inappropriate, then every coach in District 230 needs to be removed because they all use similar platforms.”
Guzior’s dismissal comes while the coach has pending legal action against an unidentified Stagg administrator, whom she claims sexually harassed her beginning when he was hired in 2014 until she was suspended. As part of her own lawsuit, Guzior says she is convinced she was suspended in retaliation for openly complaining about the administrator’s behavior before the start of the 2017-18 school year.
How the saga plays out from here remains to be seen, but Guzior’s complaint isn’t going away, even with her position in the school now officially gone from her grasp.