Forced-Splits Investigation: Administrators Step Down

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On Friday, Denver Public Schools superintendent Tom Boasberg released the findings of a legal investigation into the administration and cheerleading program at Denver East High School.

The investigation was initiated after video footage was shared with a local news station showing athletes being forced into a splits position by a coach and teammates at a cheer camp in June.

From AB: Denver Police Investigate Cheer Coaches at East High

The outside law firm responsible for the investigation concluded that school officials were made aware of the videos in June but made no attempts to follow up on parents’ concerns until the footage became public in August.

Officials later denied having previously viewed the footage, and head cheer coach Ozell Williams was fired from his position.

From AB: Cheer Coach Fired from Past Job Over Forced Splits

Of four officials suspended for the duration of the legal investigation, principal Andy Mendelsberg has gone into retirement and athletic director Lisa Porter has tendered her resignation.

Volunteer assistant cheer coach Mariah Cladis and DPS deputy general counsel Michael Hickman have been cleared of wrongdoing, according to FOX NEWS.

Former coach Williams has further been accused of bullying and humiliating athletes during practice sessions and orequiring students to connect with him on social media, both practices that have been condemned by the school district.

A criminal investigation into the events of the last few months at DPS is ongoing.

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