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Artículo Police open investigations after footage shows cheerleader being forced into splits News


Police open investigations after footage shows cheerleader being forced into splits



Playground Redaccion

25 Agosto 2017 10:17

Her coach and teammates held her in the position against her will

If you’ve ever tried to teach yourself how to do the splits, you’ll know that it’s incredibly difficult and painful. But at least self-taught splits allows you to stop at any moment you want.

Distressing footage of a cheerleader at a Denver high school has gone viral as it shows the teenage girl being forced into the splits by her teammates and coach, against her will.

Ally Wakefield, 13, can be seen screaming in agony as she is held down with her two legs spread apart at an East High School, Denver, cheerleading training camp. The teen pleaded with her fellow cheerleaders and coach to stop. ‘No, no, no, no, no! I can't!’ she cries. ‘Please stop. Please stop. Please stop.’ It is hard to watch. But thanks to the prevalence of smartphones, a bystander filmed the ordeal and sent the damning footage, alongside other videos of East High School’s cheerleaders being forced into the splits, to KUSA. Kusa also published an email from Wakefield’s mother to the school’s athletic director, explaining how her daughter had injured her leg as a result of being  forced to perform the splits. ‘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 Ally injured her leg,’ it read. ‘My husband and I would like to know what the administration is going to do about my daughter's injury and how it happened.’ The team’s coach, Ozell Williams, is a renowned gymnast and tumbler with a following of over 8000 users on Instagram. He had only recently been hired at East High School, and it remains to be seen whether he will keep his post, but it seems unlikely.
Denver police have confirmed that they are investigating the incident. And Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg said top school officials and cheer coaches have been put on temporary leave while investigations are pending.   ‘With regards to certain videos, I cannot state strongly enough – as the superintendent of the school district and the father of two high school-aged daughters – that the images and actions depicted are extremely distressing and absolutely contrary to our core values as a public school community,’ Boasberg said in a statement. ‘In order to conduct a fair and thorough investigation, we have placed East Principal Andy Mendelsberg, East Assistant Principal Lisa Porter, East Cheer Coach Ozell Williams, East Assistant Cheer Coach Mariah Cladis and DPS Deputy General Counsel Michael Hickman on leave. ‘This is standard practice in an investigation of this type. It does not imply or prejudge in any way the actions of the individuals or what the investigation might determine.