A cheerleading coach who was seen forcing a high school student into an extended split while she screamed in pain was fired from a previous job for doing the same thing, it has been reported.
Ally Wakefield, a 13-year-old cheerleader at East High School in Denver, Colo., was filmed crying and repeatedly asking her coach Ozell Williams to stop while he continued pushing her towards the ground, KUSA reported.
Wakefield told KUSA the exercise tore her ligament and her mother said at least one of the videos had been sent to a school administrator back in June, shortly after the summer cheer camp began.
Two months later, the video was one of several clips sent to local news stations showing members of the cheerleading team undergoing the excruciating practice known as “breaking”.
The coach, who was suspended on Wednesday, was fired in 2016 after parents at Boulder High School, where Williams worked as a paid consultant, complained about the forced splits, KUSA reported.
Along with Williams, East High School’s principal, assistant principal, assistant cheer coach, and school district deputy general counsel have also been placed on leave.
Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg issued a statement on Thursday that emphasized “forced splits” were prohibited.
He said, “We have sent notification to our athletic directors emphasizing that DPS does not allow the use of “forced splits” or any other activity that puts a student’s physical or mental health at risk, or in which a student is forced to perform an exercise beyond the point at which they express their desire to stop.”