Distressing video shows high school cheerleader being forced to do the splits
An investigation has been opened in Colorado after a shocking video emerged earlier this week, wherein high school girls were forced to do the splits against their will, resulting in no small amount of physical and mental trauma.
A shocking video featuring a student at East High School in Denver, Colorado show the teenage girls in extreme pain as they're forced into the split position, their limbs and bodies positioned as they plead for the pain to stop.
The young woman in the video is 13-year-old Ally Wakefield, who is an incoming freshman at East High School. She was subjected to the torture at the first week of cheer camp at East High, with coach Ozell Williams holding her shoulders, ensuring she goes down further.
The videos were taken on the phones of two girls who had witnessed the horror, and Ally spoke of the horrible pain she endured, and gave an insight into the damage she suffered as a consequence.
"It was tearing my ligament and my muscle at the same time. He was pushing down on the back of my right leg. He was pushing like with his other knee on my back to try to keep my posture straight."
Warning: the video below contains footage that may be of a distressing nature. Viewer discretion is advised.
Ally's mother, Kristen Wakefield, said a police investigation did not start for another two months. "This is a grown man pushing my 13-year-old girl so hard against her will while she's crying", she said, and in an email to East High sent in June, she asked the administration why they had not yet taken action.
"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. My husband and I would like to know what the administration is going to do about my daughter's injury and how it happened."
In the wake of the video's leak, Williams, along with his assistant, the school's principal, an assistant principal, and a district lawyer, were placed on leave as the investigation continues. Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg strongly condemned the harmful cheering practices in a statement, and said that the girls involved would be eligible for extra support.
"I want to reiterate in no uncertain terms our commitment to the safety of our students. We absolutely prohibit any practices that place our students’ physical and mental health in jeopardy. 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. While this investigation is ongoing, we are entirely focused on ensuring our students and staff at East are receiving the supports they need."
Denver police launched an investigation into East High school staff on August 23, and at the moment, that investigation is ongoing.