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Cheer Coach Fired from Past Job Over Forced Splits

Jason Scott

Ozell Williams, the cheerleading coach at Denver-area East High School is facing intense scrutiny after videos of him forcing girls into the splits despite their agonized cries came to light.

It turns out that it isn’t the first time this practice has caused problems for Williams. He was fired from a similar position at a different high school in 2016 for the same thing, according to 9Wants to Know, which broke the original story after they were sent a series of cell phone videos.

A parent at Boulder High School, where Williams had been a cheerleading consultant in 2015 and 2016, complained about him forcing a girl to do the splits, a practice sometimes called “breaking.”

From ABDenver Police Investigate Cheer Coaches at East High

“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,” Denver Public Schools superintendent Tom Boasberg said in a statement.

Williams was placed on leave earlier this week. Denver Police reportedly has child abuse detectives investigating the situation, but no criminal charges have yet been filed. 

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