Calhoun student with Down syndrome allowed to join other cheerleaders

She loves her school, went to camp to learn the cheers and has the same uniform as the other Calhoun High School cheerleaders. But in the football team’s first scrimmage of the season, Grace Key wasn’t allowed to stand with the other cheerleaders.

“It just broke my heart,” said Robert Gregory, a 1992 Calhoun High graduate who played football. “It hurt my feelings knowing my school would let that happen.”

From the other side of the fence surrounding the field, Grace cheered. When the Yellow Jackets scored, Grace danced. Grace, who has Down syndrome, is an honorary cheerleader, but wasn’t given the honor of cheering on the sidelines like the other girls.

That changed Monday. On Friday, she’ll join the other cheerleaders on the sidelines.

Read more on the school district's decision at