“[The coach] was pushing like with his other knee on my back to try and keep my posture straight,” Wakefield told KUSA. “It was tearing my ligaments and my muscle at the same time.”
Cheerleading coach Ozell Williams was fired from his position in August after having been placed on administrative leave along with the school’s assistant cheer coach, Principal Mendelsberg, and two other school officials.
The Denver Post reports that a full investigation into the alleged abuse on the cheer team, conducted by Denver law firm Davis Graham & Stubbs on behalf of the school board, was released to the public on September 22.
“The concerns raised by parents were not limited to the forced splits exercises at cheer practice,” Boasberg said. “But rather, they included concerns that Coach Williams had bullied and humiliated cheer team members during practice and had forced injured girls to practice.”
WATCH: Video of cheerleader being forced to do the splits causes outrage
“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 tissues in her body,” Ally Wakefield’s mother, Kristen Wakefield, said.
“[The videos] made me sick to my stomach,” Cheri Nickolay, another concerned parent, told NBC-9 News in Denver. “I don’t know how you could justify that.”
The news of Mendelsberg’s departure prompted anger amongst some parents of East High students, who gathered outside the school Friday to demand that he stay on as principal.
“He is the spirit of East High School,” Emily Solomon, the mother of an East High student, told CBS Denver. “It is a different place without him.”
“He has the full support of the faculty, the students, the parents. And we just really don’t want to see him get used as a scapegoat for this,” said Mike Cohen, another parent of an East High student.
A separate investigation by the Denver Police Department is ongoing. No charges have been laid at this time.
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