A high school cheerleading coach has been fired after video showed him forcing teen girls to do splits as they writhed in pain.
And it’s not the first time he has been fired for it.
One video leaked to the press shows East High coach Ozell Williams, and teammates, holding Ally Wakefield, 13, in split position, called “breaking” as she repeatedly screamed and cried for them to stop.
Wakefield suffered a torn ligament and torn leg muscle from the exercise, the Denver Post reported.
The video was sent to KUSA, who said it received eight more videos of other girls being brutally trained in the same manner.
Disturbingly at least one video was first seen by school administrators in June who did nothing until it was given to the press, according to KUSA.
Numerous complaints to administrators and the coach himself were reportedly ignored for months.
As it turns out, Williams was fired as a cheerleading consultant from Boulder High for the same thing in 2016. He was let go after parents complained of the technique he used called “breaking.”
In a recent note sent to parents of Boulder High students, its principal, James A Hill, said the now infamous coach “‘unfortunately, had connections to our cheerleading squad,” KUSA reported.
In addition, gym owner Julie Ledbetter, who also founded a business training athletes, decided not to work with Williams after witnessing his tactics.
“They would go to do things and if they would stop, like they would go into a tumbling pass and they would stop, and he would be like, ‘I’m going to punch you in the face if you don’t do it next time,'” she told KUSA.
“You don’t tell kids you’re going to punch them in the face if they can’t pull the skill,” she said.
Williams told the Denver Post that the video was taken out of context but said he was not able to speak on it.
“You can definitely say that what was in the video could be seen in a different light,” Williams said.
“I would love to tell my story, but I can’t say anything else at this time,” he told the Post.
Additional video beyond the original that went viral, was given to KUSA. Parts of it can be viewed below – be warned for disturbing content:
The school has also placed Principal Andy Mendelsberg, assistant principal Lisa Portert, assistant cheer coach Mariah Cladis and school district deputy general counsel Michael Huckman on administrative leave as the incident is investigated.
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