Student with Down syndrome left out of yearbook group photo of cheerleading squad

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The family of a Utah teen with Down syndrome was taken aback after discovering that she wasn’t included in her cheerleading squad’s high school yearbook photo.  

Morgyn Arnold, 14, was omitted from the group shot within Shoreline Junior High School’s 2020-21 yearbook, her sister, Jordyn Poll, told KSTU, the Fox-affiliated television station in Salt Lake City, 

Arnold, who was reportedly the team manager and knew all the squad’s routines by heart, was “devastated” by the news, Poll said. 

However, Poll quickly took to Facebook to clarify that it was not Arnold’s fellow cheerleaders, who had been her friends all year, who were not to blame. 

“These girls are not the problem,” Poll wrote on Facebook. “They were kind, inclusive, and they are Morgyn’s friends.”   

Poll even praised the cheerleaders and their parents for their support. 

“We are grateful for you and grateful for the way you’ve respected our sweet Morgyn,” she wrote. 

Rather, the issue stems from “those above them,” Poll added. 

School officials issued an apology but claim that the published yearbook image – one of two photos taken – was a “mistake.” One photo featured Morgyn Arnold, the other did not. The school has  promised to “look at what has occurred and why it occurred.” 

“We are deeply saddened by the mistake that was made,” the Davis School District told Fox News in a statement. “Apologies have been made to the family and we sincerely apologize to others impacted by this error.” 

In her Facebook post, Poll also confirmed that those responsible “are now working with us to make a change.” 

However, Poll said her family is now taking a page from her sister’s playbook in dealing with the situation. 

They are choosing to follow an “example of forgiving … of loving those girls still and just learning from this experience so that we can be better,” Poll said. 

In doing so, Poll said they can “learn to be a better advocate, not only for Morgyn, but for those other students at that school and in our communities.”

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