Working with the ADL, Hillel of Georgia has helped University of Georgia cheerleader Jaclyn Steele retain her position on the football squad after she alleged that she was demoted to a lesser position because she refused to participate in Bible study sessions and other Christian-oriented activities. Head cheerleading coach Marilou Braswell was fired in the wake of the incident.
In its statement in support of Steele, University of Georgia Hillel Director Shawn Laing wrote: "UGA Hillel: Campus Center for Jewish Life applauds Jaclyn Steele for coming forward and notifying the University of Georgia regarding the difficult issues she faced as a member of the UGA Cheerleading squad. We commend the University of Georgia for systematically addressing the issue of religious discrimination on the cheerleading squad and for following well-crafted administrative procedures for assuring its students equal treatment and due process. As the Center for Jewish life at University of Georgia, Hillel not only exists to provide vibrant Jewish programs to 1800 Jewish UGA students, but to also work together with groups of students from all faiths and backgrounds to insure a campus community that promotes brotherhood, cooperation and advancement."
For more information:
ADL: Braswell endorsed prayer, by Matthew Borenstein, redandblack.com, August 25, 2004