Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg called the video “extremely distressing,” Denver police started an investigation after a cheerleader video in which she is forced into a split.
The video capturing a teenage girl East cheerleader and freshman Ally Wakefield who is forced perform a split while sitting on the floor she is forced to extend her legs in the opposite directions. The video featuring an adult who is pushing her down while the other adults hold her arms. In order to stop the teenage cheerleader from breaking out the split, they pushed her down and pushed her legs into the opposite directions. The teenage girl was crying and asking them to stop, she was screaming to get free.
According to the police, the East High School’s cheer practice investigation includes detectives of child abuse. However, no one has been charged yet, in this case, the investigation is still going on.
Tom Boasberg confirmed that five employees had been on leave including Deputy General Counsel of school system Michael Hickman, Assistant Cheer Coach Mariah Cladis, Cheer Coach Ozell Williams, Assistant Principal Lisa Porter and the Principal of East High School Andy Mendelsberg.
Wakefield’s coach Ozell Williams forced her to do split, she was repeatedly asking her coach to “please stop,” she was screaming in pain. Her arms were held by the other team members.
The Superintendent said in a statement released to the Denver Post, “We absolutely prohibit any practices that place our students’ physical and mental health in jeopardy.”
The statement reads, “We do not and will not allow any situation in which a student is forced to perform an activity or exercise beyond the point at which they express their desire to stop.”
The Superintendent said that Jason Maclin who is an assistant principal will be the interim principal during the police investigation.