Videos of Girls Forced to Do Splits at Cheer Camp Prompt Police Investigation

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The Denver Police Department announced this week that it was investigating allegations that girls at a high school cheerleading camp had been forced into a painful splits position by their coach and teammates.

The allegations have also resulted in five officials from Denver Public Schools being placed on leave, including the principal, assistant principal and cheerleading coach at East High School, the school system’s superintendent, Tom Boasberg, said in a statement released on Wednesday. He cautioned that those officials should not be prejudged, and that placing them on leave was “standard practice.”

The Police Department said in its statement, also released on Wednesday, that it had “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 announcements came as a widely circulated video showed a 13-year-old girl, an incoming freshman, being forced into the position, with one leg to her front and the other stretched behind her, even as she pleads repeatedly to “please stop” and appears to cry out in pain.

In that video, the cheerleading coach, Ozell Williams, appears to be pushing down on the girl’s shoulders.

Source: The New York Times