Principal, Athletic Director Out After Cheerleader Splits Video Sparks Outrage
Principal Andy Mendelsberg and Athletic Director Lisa Porter are out at Denver's East High school.
A principal and athletic director will no longer be working at a Denver high school after an investigation into a controversial video that showed cheerleaders being forced into splits.
Denver's East High School Principal Andy Mendelsberg and Athletic Director Lisa Porter are out after failing to "take sufficient steps to ensure that the physical and emotional safety" of the cheer team, Superintendent Tom Boasberg said at a press conference that followed a lengthy inquiry into the incident.
Boasberg called the report's findings "painfully clear" and confirmed Mendelsberg has chosen to retire and Porter resigned following the investigation's conclusion.
Some parents have rallied in support of Mendelsberg, who they believe is not to blame for the incident.
However, the investigation report says Mendelsberg failed to share videos with district officials that showed teen girls screaming as fellow team members forced them into splits under the direction of the coach, Ozell Williams.
Broasberg said last month that administrators had seen at least one video in June, but police weren’t notified. The superintendent said he didn’t learn about the images until they began to go viral.
In one video, 13-year-old Ally Wakefield begs “Please stop!” as Williams forces her into the extreme position.
The girl suffered a torn hamstring and torn tendons, her mother said, and is currently in physical therapy.
Williams, was fired from East High in August before it was revealed he was terminated last year as a contract employee with Boulder High School after he was seen forcing a cheerleader into splits during a four-day camp.
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