Disturbing Video of Teen Cheerleaders Forced To Do Splits Leads Police To Investigate

cheerleader forced to do the splits
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Warning: Some viewers may be disturbed by the footage included in this story.

Police are investigating incidents at a Denver high school after horrifying cell phone videos showed teenaged cheerleaders being forced to do the splits.

According to BuzzFeed News, one of the clips shows 13-year-old Ally Wakefield screaming in pain as other East High School cheerleaders and their coach push her into an extended left split.

"No, no, no, no, no! I can't!" she cries in agony. "Please stop. Please stop. Please stop.

Kirsten Wakefield told CBS News that Ally is currently undergoing physical therapy after tearing muscle tissue and pulling a hamstring.

Local NBC affiliate KUSA says videos of eight cheerleaders being forced into the splits were sent anonymously to its staff sometime earlier in this month — but school administrators have had access to at least one of the videos since June.

In a June 15 email published by KUSA, Kirsten Wakefield alerted the school's athletic director about her daughter's injuries:

“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," she wrote. “My husband and I would like to know what the administration is going to do about my daughter's injury and how it happened."

Other parents have been complaining about the incidents to school administrators and the coach for the past few months, KUSA noted.

East High's cheer coach Ozell Williams was reportedly hired very recently, having previously made a name for himself by doing backflips during Denver Broncos and Colorado Buffaloes football games.

In a statement released Wednesday, Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg announced that Williams, his assistant cheer coach, as well as East High's principal, assistant principal, and the Denver Public Schools deputy general counsel were all placed on leave after the video of Ally went viral.

"I cannot state strongly enough — as the superintendent of the school district and the father of two high school-aged daughters — that the images and actions depicted are extremely distressing and absolutely contrary to our core values as a public school community," Boasberg wrote.

For her part, Ally Wakefield has since quit the cheerleading team "because she was afraid to be in the same room as her coach,"CBS reported. 

"The world is a scary place and people you think you can trust, you can't always," Ally said.

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