The Massachusetts cheerleading coach who sparked a firestorm after video emerged showing her with a raised fist saying, “white power,” has been officially removed for the 2018 season after school officials said they would not renew her contract.
The dual decisions follow furor over a video posted on the Snapchat account of Lynn English cheerleading coach Stephanie Cuevas. The video in question reportedly showcased Cuevas with a raised fist saying, ‘white power.’
Lynn Superintendent Patrick Tutwiler told the Lynn Daily Item that Cuevas was only employed under agreement during the season in which she coached, which made it particularly easy for Lynn English to cut ties, even while an investigation is ongoing.
“All coaches in the Lynn Public Schools system are only employed during the season for which they receive an agreement, so once the season is over they’re no longer employed,” Tutwiler told the Daily Item. “I’ve received a lot of questions around whether or not she is going to be fired and I could only fire her if it was during the fall season, but we have concluded she will not be extended an agreement to coach with us this fall.
“This is not a comment on her character, this is more about our public schools being anchored in a set of values, chief among those being respect for our students and families.”
For her part, Cuevas defended herself on Facebook but fell short of doing so when contacted by New England Cable News.
There is no early word on who will fill Cuevas’ role in the coming weeks. For now, the school is focused simply on ensuring everyone is comfortable and cognizant of the threat of irresponsible social media use.
“There is a lot of talk out there about this being a teachable moment and I think the message I want to make clear to my students is about being responsible with social media because there can be grave consequences when you aren’t,” Tutwiler told the Daily Item. “I’m not commenting specifically on white power, but Mrs. Cuevas did something not in keeping with her employer’s core values and posted it, so that has a consequence.”