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Student with Down syndrome left out of cheerleader team yearbook photo

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 4:46 PM CDT
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LAYTON, Utah (KSL) - There is controversy in Utah after a girl with Down syndrome was left out of a cheerleading team’s yearbook photo.

The eighth grader isn’t complaining about it herself publicly, but her big sister is taking up the cause.

Summer break for schools is usually a happy time for students. But at Shoreline Junior High School, one student came home disappointed.

“She was sad that she was not included,” said Jordyn Poll, Morgyn Poll’s sister.

Morgyn, who just finished eighth grade, was saddened when she saw she was not in the cheerleading team picture the yearbook used.

“There were two pictures that were taken. One picture was taken with Morgyn, and one picture was taken without Morgyn,” Jordyn said.

The team picture not used shows Morgyn front and center.

“I don’t think discrimination was intended,” her sister said. “I don’t think that there was malice. I don’t think that people meant to be mean.”

Morgyn was the team manager, going to meets and practices with them.

“When we asked her how she felt, she said, ‘These are my friends, and I want them to know that they’re my friends,’” Jordyn said.

Jordyn posted about it on Facebook, and it took off. Hundreds of comments and growing showed support for Morgyn, telling her she’s beautiful and did nothing wrong.

“I’m overwhelmed at the good, and I’m overwhelmed at the ability to rally people to get there,” the big sister said. “At the end of the day, the most important thing to do is to love everybody.”

Davis County School District released a statement saying they are saddened by the mistake that happened.

They apologized to the family, and they are working to try to find out why and how this happened, so it never happens again.

The family isn’t mad at the school or the school district, but they hope it is a learning opportunity for the future.

Some members of the cheerleading squad have been harassed on social media over the incident.

The school district is discouraging placing any blame on Morgyn’s teammates.

Copyright 2021 KSL via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.