A cheerleader with Down syndrome is teased during a basketball game and three players intervene to defend her
In an era in which bullying presents itself as a phenomenon that is all too widespread in middle and high schools all over the world, these types of stories comfort us a little and renew hope in the human race and in a better future.
It is well known that the period of adolescence at school can be difficult, if not a real nightmare for those who also face other difficult challenges, every day of their life.
This could certainly be said in the case of Desiree Andrews, a young cheerleader with Down syndrome.
In this particular example, Desiree was publicly teased during a basketball game but, fortunately, three players intervened in her defense, giving a life lesson to those who disrespected her due to her characteristic physical features.
As mentioned previously, the young teenage girl in question is Desire Andrews, a 14-year-old girl and one of the cheerleaders at Lincoln Middle School.
Cheerleading has always been her dream—a dream that took shape when, for the first time, she saw an episode of the TV show "Glee" in which a girl with Down Syndrome was a cheerleader.
Obviously, for Desiree, being part of the cheerleading squad means much more because it is an experience that helps her strengthen her self-esteem and makes her feel more confident.
Unfortunately, things are not all roses in the life of any teenager, let alone in that of a girl with Down Syndrome who is considered "less capable" and therefore a target for the usual bullies.
During a basketball game, some very impolite people in the crowd started to mock Desiree and make fun of her.
This is exactly how bullies usually act! They are known to behave in a cowardly way, choosing to take it out on the smallest and weakest subjects of their ridicule.
Desiree, however, is known to have an inner strength that is not indifferent, as evidenced by the story narrated by her father, Cliff Andrews.
Although her father went out of his way to ignore them, he was deeply angry about what they were trying to do to his young teenage daughter.
Any father would have been furious and probably, blinded by anger, would have used strong measures to stop that situation.
"She saw that I was angry," Andrews said in an interview. "And she hugged me and looked me in the eye and said, "Dad, it's all right. I love them anyway even if they don't like me."
It was at that point that the three young basketball players, Chase Vasquez, Scooter Terrien, and Miles Rodriguez went into action.
Their stance in defense of Desiree meant that the game was momentarily halted. "We were really mad about what was going on. We asked our coach to talk to those people and make them stop," said Rodriguez.
After this experience, all the students that were present at the game have become more respectful and have developed a greater sensitivity towards the issue of bullying.
Moreover, Desiree now has something very similar to a support group, that sustains and helps her both on and off the basketball court. Now, at every game, she is presented as an integral part of the team and cheerleading formation.
In addition, the gym where the whole affair took place has been renamed "D’s House" in honor of Desiree. And the young cheerleader is the first to acknowledge how special this experience has been for her.
As the same basketball players who came forward to defend her have said: "We are all the same". Of course, this refers to the fact that we all deserve the same respect and appreciation as human beings.