When a cheerleader with Down syndrome was bullied during a middle school basketball game, players in the game stepped up and did something inspirational.
Desiree Andrews is a student with Down syndrome at Lincoln Middle School in Kenosha, Wisconsin. As Desiree was performing at a game last year, she was bullied from kids in the stands. That’s when boys from the Lincoln Middle basketball team called a time out and decided to rally behind Desiree.
“One of the kids stepped up and said, ‘Don’t mess with her,'” Brandon Morris, who was the boys seventh-grade coach last year, told Kenosha News. “Then all of the guys got together to show her support.”
The players were visibly upset by how Desiree was treated.
“We were mad; we didn’t like that,” Miles Rodriguez, an eighth grader at Lincoln Middle School, told Kenosha News. “We asked our sports director to talk to the people and tell them not to make fun of her,” he said.
Now, the team regularly includes Desiree in their game-time rituals. During their last home game of the season, the team held a special chant just for Desiree, where they shouted “Who’s house? D’s house!”
During the last home game of the season, the team voiced a special chant for Desiree, in which they were shouting, “Who’s house?! D’s house!”
The positive reinforcement has been beneficial to Desiree, her dad says.
“It’s amazing,” Desiree’s father said. “It’s been a godsend to us … those boys, I tried to talk to them in person, but I couldn’t keep the tears back.”