Footage of a 13-year-old Denver, Colorado, cheerleader seemingly being forced into doing splits has gone viral and has led to several East High School coaches and administrators being put on leave, NBC News reports. Though the above video shows one girl’s experience, there were reportedly eight girls total who were forced to do splits that day at the school’s cheer camp in June, all of whom reportedly cried out in pain.
According to 9News, the video was obtained by the station anonymously and was given to police in August. On June 15, though, one of the girl’s parents emailed the school writing “I have attached a video of the forced splits she and her other team members were forced to do at cheerleading camp and practices; unless they had a doctor's note. This is how [she] injured her leg.”
Other girls reportedly quit the squad upon implementation of this method by new cheer coach Ozell Williams, who is one of the staffers who’s been put on leave.
A parent of the child in the above video spoke to KUSA: “This is a grown man pushing my 13-year old girl so hard against her will while she’s crying and screaming for him to stop, that he’s ripping tissue in her body,” she said of Williams. “I don’t understand why this man is still employed there.” Other parents have been complaining about Williams for months, prompting the Denver Police Department to get involved. Yesterday, they launched an investigation.
“On August 23, 2017, the Denver Police Department received anonymous information regarding the incidents involving a cheerleader coach at East High School, and Denver Police child abuse detectives immediately began an investigation,” the department said in a statement. “This is an open case, therefore no additional details or videos will be provided at this time.”