With Tom McLoughlin occupying the director’s chair, Lifetime’s ‘Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal’ is a teen drama movie that centers around the five infamous high school cheerleaders, together known as the Fab Five — Brooke Tippit who is co-captain of the squad, Jeri Blackburn, Lisa Toledo, Ashley Sanchez, and Tabitha Doering. The mean girls are infamous among their peers and teachers for their rebellious behavior on and off campus. They even repeatedly get their coaches fired after disagreements.
After years of disrespecting the school’s rules and regulations by drinking alcohol and posting explicit content on the internet, a new cheerleading coach arrives in the high school who tries to keep a check on the Fab Five. However, she faces the consequences of trying to discipline the mean girls of the school as she gets asked to resign by the school administrators. Featuring compelling performances from talented actors, including Jenna Dewan, Ashley Benson, and Tatum O’Neal, the drama film taps into the rebellious nature of teenagers and the consequences of enabling their misbehavior, something which makes the viewers wonder if the tale is rooted in reality or not.
Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal is Based on the Scandolous Cheerleaders of McKinney North High School
Yes, ‘Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal’ is based on a true story. The 2006 case of the “Fab Five” of the McKinney North High School in McKinney, Texas, became the inspiration for Teena Booth who weaved the dramatized version of the case, utilizing her experience in the industry and her excellent penmanship. She has also been involved in writing the screenplay for ‘Good Sam,’ ‘Amish Grace,’ ‘Cyber Bully,’ and ‘Reviving Ophelia.’
While the entire controversial scandal surfaced in 2006, it all began around 2002 with the formation of the Fab Five — Karrissa Theret, Danielle Billelo, Shaunika Dancy, Brittney Rader, and Elizabeth Griffin. Four years of rowdiness and indiscipline from the infamous clique included them being rude to other students, showing a complete lack of respect toward their teachers, and manipulating their coaches. One of the key figures behind enabling such behavior from the Fab Five was the principal of North McKinney High School, Linda Theret, who was also Karrissa Theret’s mother. Not only did she fail to discipline the girls, she was also accused of covering up their misdeeds and allowing them to continue doing so.
Over the course of three years, the rebellious girls were coached by five different cheerleading coaches, with Michaela Ward being the last one who tried her best to instill some degree of discipline into the Fab Five but her efforts were in vain. What caused the entire scandal to erupt in 2006 was the fact that the senior members of the cheerleading clique posted explicit photos and content online on MySpace. Right when they were the center of attention, their then-cheerleading coach Michaela Ward was reportedly forced to resign from her position in October 2006. Claiming that it was all Ward’s fault for not keeping the girls in check, the school even attacked her character and accused her of making false allegations when she went on ‘Good Morning America’ and revealed the dark secrets about Fab Five.
In the interview, Ward stated, “Unfortunately these girls were given power that any teenager would have completely abused. They were untouchable. They were invincible. The rules did not apply to them. There was no accountability. They knew that I had absolutely no power to discipline.” She claimed that the members of Fab Five even took her phone and sent inappropriate text messages to her husband and another coach. “Everything I did, I was undermined by the principal and the administration. I was never kept in the loop,” she claimed further.
Following the wild claims and allegations against the cheerleaders, the school district hired an attorney to look into them and uncover the facts. He came to the conclusion that Fab Five’s influence was beyond limits at the school and that it developed because there were no consequences for their disrespectful behavior. Taking into account all the above-mentioned factors, it would be safe to say that although ‘Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal’ is a dramatized version, it doesn’t change the fact that it is inspired by the true events surrounding the Fab Five of the McKinney North High School and is deeply rooted in reality.
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