Principals Fired Over Forcing Cheerleaders Into Doing Painful Splits

Frustrated African American teenager holding her head in pain.

Principals Fired Over Forcing Cheerleaders Into Doing Painful Splits

Outrage sparked the firing of the Denver high school's principal and assistant principal.

Published September 23, 2017

After footage of high school cheerleaders being forced into painful splits during practice went viral, two of the Denver school’s top administrators were forced out.

  1. An outside law firm who conducted interviews with 30 people during an investigation concluded that the principal and assistant principal failed to take the concerns of parents seriously for months. They were also slow to respond when the video eventually went viral.

    East High School Principal Andy Mendelsberg announced his retirement and Assistant Principal Lisa Porter, who also served as the high school’s athletic director, will also be resigning, according to Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasber.

    Parents claim school officials responded to their concerns slowly because they were on summer vacation and said officials wanted to let coach Ozell Williams continue his abuse since he was a new hire.

    Williams was fired in August after footage of 13-year-old Ally Wakefield screaming in agony hit the Internet during a June 6 training session. Four cheerleaders in all met with a medical examiner to assess injuries incurred during their training sessions with Williams, a parent says.

    The Internet reacted to the firing news and were in full support. See a news package about the firing as well as social media’s reaction below.

  2. News Package by NBC LA
  3. Reaction

Written by Paul Meara

(Photo: Akilina Winner/Getty Images)


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