After a month-long investigation fueled by videos showing cheerleaders forced into splits at a Denver area high school, attorneys determined that the school was partly at fault.
CBS Denver reports that a report released by the school district Friday reveals that officials at East High School didn’t do enough to protect its cheerleaders from physical and emotional harm.
Incoming freshman Ally Wakefield is seen crying as she is forced by teammates and the coach to go into an extended split in one video, released over the summer. The incident took place during her the first week of cheer camp, according to NBC affiliate K5. Seven other cheerleaders are forced to do the same. Coach Ozell Williams is shown in the video pushing each girl down by their shoulders.
Friday’s findings state that the school’s principal failed to share videos of the splits incident with district officials when they were given to him. In addition to that, he didn’t share complaints about the coach who was behind them.
"East High school Principal Andy Mendelsberg and Athletic Director Lisa Porter did not take sufficient steps to ensure that the physical and emotional safety and well-being on the East High School cheer team were fully protected," Superintendent Tom Boasberg said at a press conference, according to CBS News.
Since the video came to light in June, Mendelsberg retired and Porter resigned.
"They included concerns that Coach Williams bullied and humiliated cheer members during practice and forced injured members to practice," Boasberg said.
The new report reveals that Williams was “let go” by two other high schools for the same splits training technique.
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