Cheer team manager who has Down syndrome excluded from directory photo

A Layton family wants to know why their eighth-grade daughter, who has Down syndrome, was left out of the cheerleader squad photo in her school yearbook.

“She was sad. She was sad not to be included,” said Jordyn Poll, Morgyn’s older sister.

“There were two photos that were taken – one photo was taken with Morgyn and one photo was taken without Morgyn,” Poll said. The one without Morgyn was published in the Shoreline Junior High School yearbook.

This photo of the Shoreline Junior High cheerleading team was posted in the school yearbook. Two photos were taken for the yearbook, one with Morgyn Poll, the Down’s Syndrome team leader, and the other without. The faces of team members have been blurred after reports that team members have been harassed online.
Joseph Martinez

Morgyn was the manager of the team and went to meetings and practices with the cheering team.

“I don’t think the discrimination was intentional,” Poll said. “I don’t think there was any malice. I don’t think people wanted to be mean.

“When we asked her how she felt, she replied, ‘They are my friends and I want them to know that they are my friends,” Poll said.

A poll posted about it on Facebook and thousands of people commented in favor of Morgyn, telling her that she was beautiful and hadn’t done anything wrong.

“I am overwhelmed by the good and I am overwhelmed by the ability to bring people together,” Poll said. “At the end of the day, the most important thing to do is love everyone.”

Davis County School District a statement saying he was saddened by the mistake.

The district statement reads in its entirety:

We are deeply saddened by the mistake that was made. We continue to examine what happened and why it happened. An apology has been given to the family and we sincerely apologize to others affected by this error. We will continue to discuss it with the student’s parents. We will also continue to review our processes to ensure this does not happen again.

Morgyn’s family said they were not angry with the school or the school district; they just hope it’s a learning opportunity for the future.