Disability news, Accessibility Issues, Disability Issues, Accessiblity News

Sedi Penna: High school cheerleader has Down syndrome

February 29th, 2008

From WHAG TV, NBC 25, in Hagerstown, Maryland, with video:

Sedi Penna’s parents were shocked when she came home from school and said she wanted to be a member of the cheerleading team.

“I recruit girls all the time, Sedi (pronounced like “Sadie”) was in my aerobics class and she did a wonderful job. I noticed she picked up rhythm,” says Brunswick Health teach and Cheerleading Coach Jean Moore. “So just like I recruit any other girl, I asked Sedi if she would be interested in trying out and she did. I was proud of her it was not easy for her to do.”

While the coach reached out to Sedi, it then fell to the members of the team to make her feel like part of their family.

“I think everyone was like — a little shocked at first but then we were like really excited. We were kind of wondering how it would affect us,” says senior Heather Masser. “But I think it really made everyone stronger.”

“We kind of thought like other people would be kind of iffy about it,” says junior Tia Musselman.  “But actually everyone always comes up to us and they’re like, Sedi looks so good out there. They would always like give her compliments, and give the squad compliments for like letting her join the team.”

Since becoming a Brunswick cheerleader, Sedi has a new group of friends and admirers, and a new air of self confidence.

Sedi attends Brunswick High School in Brunswick, Maryland.

Story, part 2. Video, part 2.

2 Responses to “Sedi Penna: High school cheerleader has Down syndrome”

  1. Robin SInkhorn Says:

    What a wonderful story! Unfortunately,my daughter had a much different experience. She too tried out for the cheerleading squad at our local high school in Riverside, California. She has been dancing since she was two, and has even acted in a movie (Mr. Blue Sky), so I wasn’t too surprised when she expressed an interest in cheer.

    I knew it would be difficult for her since she was trying out for the first time in her senior year (this year), but the cheer advisor confided in me that if Lauren did her best and attended all of the clinics, they would find a place for her on the team. The other girls and the mothers were very supportive, and Lauren did a great job at tryouts, according to the other girls. However, when the results were posted, she was devastated not to see her name on the list.

    I truly believe that the school missed out on a wonderful opportunity. It would have been a beautiful example of true inclusion, and Lauren would have cheered her heart out! I’m so happy to see that other schools understand the importance of giving every child a chance to fulfill their dreams!

  2. Author Debbie Ludwig-Galich Says:

    I am so very proud of the team for letting Sedi join. There are so many people in this world who can be cruel and heartless.

    People with Down Syndrome have just as many capabilities as any other person, sometimes even more.

    People shouldn’t even have to think about whether or not she should have been able to join the team. After all, she’s just as human as any other person on that team, right? I bet you she sure makes a difference in a special way.

    I bet Sedi is one of the best cheerleaders out there on the floor!

    I know from experience, I have a beautiful 5 year old son named River with Down Syndrome and believe me I will always fight for his rights… I hope when that day comes in later school grades that the kids and adults accept him as have Sedi’s fellow students in her school.

    God Bless!

Leave a Reply


Please copy the string Z2Zs2F to the field below:


About the Site

More than 50 million people in the United States have disabilities, a number that is growing rapidly as the population ages. Experts say disability will soon affect the lives of most Americans. This website attempts to aggregate news and commentary about disability, and to document the efforts of people who are seeking new ways to address familiar challenges.

Join journalist Patricia E. Bauer as she seeks to bring you the best information about what's happening now and what it may mean for you and your loved ones.

Read More »



Read More »


Read More »


Read More »

School Restraints

Read More »

Prenatal Diagnosis

Read More »

Obama Administration

Read More »

My Articles & Essays

Read More »




Read More »


Read More »

Mailing List

Sign up for our mailing list!

RSS Our RSS Feed

  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009
  • November 2009
  • October 2009
  • September 2009
  • August 2009
  • July 2009
  • June 2009
  • May 2009
  • April 2009
  • March 2009
  • February 2009
  • January 2009
  • December 2008
  • November 2008
  • October 2008
  • September 2008
  • August 2008
  • July 2008
  • June 2008
  • May 2008
  • April 2008
  • March 2008
  • February 2008
  • January 2008
  • December 2007
  • November 2007
  • October 2007
  • September 2007
  • August 2007
  • July 2007
  • June 2007
  • May 2007