McKinney Texas Cheerleader Scandal: A 20-Year-Old Incident

The Texas cheerleader scandal occurred nearly 20 years ago, spurring a sensationalized Lifetime movie. Everyone has moved on with their lives.

Updated May 17, 2024
Cheerleader team portrait

The 2008 Lifetime movie Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal was inspired by real-life events that took place with a group of cheerleaders called the Fab Five at North McKinney High School in Texas in 2006. The events of that year led to suspensions and job loss, and it happened a few years after the movie Mean Girls came out. These two factors probably contributed to why Lifetime made it into a sensationalized movie. 

History of Bawdy Behavior

In 2006, the Fab Five, a group of five senior girls on the North McKinney High School cheerleading squad, were reported to be typical mean girls. According to reports at the time, the girls skipped school, talked back to teachers, and weren't very nice to some of their fellow students. Over time, their behavior reportedly escalated both on and off campus. 

Parents and school administration allegedly tolerated and enabled such behavior. Notably, the school principal was also the mom of one of the cheerleaders. She was accused of not only failing to discipline the girls but also of covering up their antics to allow them to stay on the squad and continue their behavior.

The girls went through five cheerleading coaches in three years. Their most recent coach attempted to bring what she claimed was a culture of entitlement to a halt late in 2006.

The "Scandal"

While their behavior was well-known, a series of racy photos taken while the girls were in their cheerleading uniforms erupted into "scandal." The teens shared the photos on MySpace in 2006.

The images depicted girls in a variety of situations that included underage drinking with other students, "skimpy" clothing, and "risqué" poses. The final straw was when the Fab Five posed in their uniforms at a Condoms to Go store holding candles shaped like penises. One of the girls appeared to be simulating oral sex. 

While the Fab Five photos became the center of the media storm, their cheerleading coach was forced to resign in October 2006. According to her, the school's administration undermined all efforts to discipline the girls.

The school publicly attacked the coach's character, accusing her of making false allegations. She sued the school district.

Related: Good Songs for Cheerleaders of All Ages

Who's at Fault in the Texas Cheerleader Scandal?

Upon further investigation, a Dallas attorney found numerous parties at fault, including the administration and the cheerleading coach. One teacher said the girls were so untouchable that gang members were nothing by comparison. After the full investigation, it was determined that there was enough fault to go around. 

  • The coach for befriending and enabling the girls
  • The principal for covering up scandals and failing to discipline the girls
  • Other teachers for choosing career advancement over stepping up
  • The girls for being disobedient and flippant
  • The assistant principal for looking the other way
  • The media for running amok with a story and sensationalizing it

Where Are They Now?

While the original "scandal" still features prominently in web searches, all parties involved appear to have moved on with their lives.

The Fab Five

With high school nearly 20 years in their rearview mirror, the women are living private adult lives out of the limelight. 

The Principal

The principal lost her job over the incidents. She maintains that those who were in authority over her resisted her efforts to discipline the girls. She has continued her career in public education in Texas.

The Coach

While the district and the media slammed her character, their coach continued coaching cheerleading. The incident is 20 years in the past, so little is known about where she is today. 

Overblown Media Hype From 20 Years Ago

The events of nearly 20 years ago were sensationalized in a made-for-TV movie, but everyone involved has moved on with their lives in the intervening years. It would be difficult to have things you did in high school follow you for the rest of your life, so hopefully everyone wound up in a better place. 

McKinney Texas Cheerleader Scandal: A 20-Year-Old Incident