A Colorado cheerleading coach seen in a viral video forcing a girl into an extended split as she screamed in agony was fired from a previous job for the same thing.
The 13-year-old cheerleader was shown crying and begging her coach, Ozell Williams, to stop as he pushed her to the ground during an exercise at a camp in June, reported KUSA-TV.
The teen, Ally Wakefield, told the TV station she tore a ligament in the exercise, known as “breaking,” and her parents sent video of the incident to school administrators shortly after the cheerleading camp began.
Williams, who oversaw the camp, was suspended Wednesday by East High School in Denver, Colorado.
KUSA also reported that Williams had been fired from his paid consulting job last year after parents at Boulder High School complained about the forced splits.
East High’s principal, assistant principal, assistant cheer coach and school district deputy general counsel were also placed on administrative leave while the incident was investigated.
The Denver Public Schools superintendent issued a statement Thursday emphasizing that forced splits were prohibited under school policy.