Controversy over cheerleader's dismissal from JFL cheer team

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CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Ill. (WAND) - Allison Gouveia has had a rough couple of years.

"Unfortunately we have a situation where my husband passed away,” said Jennifer O’Dell the mother of Allison who was kicked off of the team. “It was a tragic event and the community was involved."

After the accident, her mother decided to move to Cumberland County for a fresh start.

"We didn't have resources and it was just her and I," added Jennifer. 

While Alison had a rough time getting situated she finally found something  she loved.

"It took almost three and a half years for her to be able to come out of that shell and she decided cheerleading was her thing," says Jennifer. 

However, cheerleading is expensive and while Jennifer was willing pay all of the costs associated; she and other parents began to question where all the fundraiser money they helped raise was going.

"I brought up in a conversation, that I was interested in being able to see where our funds are going," added Jennifer.  " I wanted to know where our fundraiser money is being placed  and how much of it is going to the girls and the community and so forth."

"Those funds should have carried over from her previous years she has worked her butt off doing raffles and sales," added Amy Antirm another concerned cheer parent. "None of the girls should have anything to pay because of the donations we have received and the coach can't produce any those records.

After Jennifer question the president and coach of the team, she received a letter in the mail saying she violated the code of conduct she had signed and that now her daughter was kicked off the team. 

"She just told me I was unsportsmanlike like, and that's why I was off the team," said Allison Gouveia Jennifer's daughter. 

Jennifer has reached out numerous times and even tried going to the cheer board meeting. However, the meeting got canceled so instead, she and other parents went to the coach's house. The coach's husband answered the door and said they will not be making a statement on the issue. Other parents on the team says they support Allison and Jennifer, and agree that how the situation got handled was wrong.

"It's sad, it's very sad," added Amy.  "All the girls work very hard for their spot and i don't feel that any girl should be kicked off for any reason like this."

A representative from the the Cumberland Jr. Pirates cheerleading team reached out to WAND news and said, "This parent was in violation of the code of conduct and, unanimously the board voted to dismiss her daughter from the squad. However, the person did not reveal to us the code of conduct violated."

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