How much freedom do we have in deciding what to put on a website?
How much control do others have over what can be put on a website?
Special Olympics Texas contacted Julie one day asking to make some changes to the website. Some seemed logical, but some were just crazy. They wanted all mention of "Special Olympics" taken off the website. They may have the right to request that, but why? I guess they don't want publicity. They also said we had to remove a photo of Melissa where she was holding a medal. I think that's just crazy. Someone wins a medal and they're not allowed to show it to others? That makes no sense.
(webmaster's opinion - not necessarily that of the website owner / skater, Melissa, or her mother Julie)
Anyway, this page is where we will keep you up to date on what's going on with this matter. If you have an opinion you would like to share here, contact the website owner here.
Special Olympian's Website causes problems | WOAI.COM: San Antonio News
In June 2009 the Cheatwood's have made 2 request asking SOTX for legal written documentation supporting their theory they have the right to censor a private citizen's website. As of February 2010 the Cheatwood's have not received legal written documentation they have requested.
Letter from Sherry S... to SOTX
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing in support of Melissa Cheatwood and SOTX. I first met Melissa at approximately 5 - 6 years ago in Chesapeake, Virginia where we both skated on practice sessions at the Chilled Ponds and participated in the Christmas shows. She is a wonderful young lady and I hope you get the chance to meet her.
I've heard about the problems SOTX has with her website however, I've never found any illegal content or anything of malicious intent on her website, nor any trademark infringements.
Most people believe we all should try to go "by the book" to maintain integrity, safety, and to show or earn respect. However, we also have a duty to ourselves, our organizations, and our communities to proceed with common sense, especially in areas where trademarks may be concerned. Because Melissa Cheatwood is an individual, should it not be that she be treated as such in this matter? Her website is not used in any way that a company or organization would if it were similar to or competing against SOTX.
It appears that the SOTX is proceeding in an effort to protect trademarks. What is Melissa Cheatwood trading? Happiness, joy, beauty, competitive spirit, talent, fun, and a bountiful supply of optimism. These are most definitely things any person, organization, and community needs more of.
It could be possible that this disagreement stems from recent and increased use of the internet meeting with antiquated policy from a 40 year old organization. Many would understand these rules if applied to organizations and companies. However, many are not understanding why these same rules are being forced upon individuals.
I beg you to allow Melissa Cheatwood to proceed with her website, unhindered by rules that were not written for individuals or all current media and their individual uses.
The SOTX has been a highly esteemed organization for four decades. How about continuing that tradition and proceed in the effort to continue holding Special Olympians in high esteem?
Letter from Barbara D... to SOTX
Dear Kelly C...
I "met" Julie Cheatwood on line via her daughters web site. I too have a handicapped grandchild and am very proud of her accomplishments. Melissa is a private citizen who has just as much right as anyone else to have their own web site. I am begging you to leave Melissa and her web site alone.........we work hard to give our children the same opportunities as any other child, when they are proud of themselves it makes us proud............PLEASE LEAVE MELISSA, HER FAMILY AND HER WEB SITE ALONE.
2002 original site done by Debbie Blum
2003 original site redesigned and maintained by Brian French with webstardev.com
Oct 2006 ... site design, maintainance, and hosting by P.W.S.