Principal Resigns After 'Distressing' Video Goes Viral of High School Cheerleader Forced Into Splits - NBC New York

Principal Resigns After 'Distressing' Video Goes Viral of High School Cheerleader Forced Into Splits

Parents complained to school administrators and the coach for months after the incident

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    Warning: Footage may be disturbing to viewers. Video shows a high school cheerleader in Colorado seemingly forced to do the splits, KUSA reports. (Published Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017)

    The principal and athletic director of a Denver high school have resigned after an investigation found both were aware 'horrific' videos existed of cheerleaders being forced into splits, months before they became public.

    An investigation was launched into East High School's administration after a video surfaced of cheerleaders being forced into doing splits, NBC affiliate KUSA initially reported.

    The video shows an incoming freshman at East High School surrounded by teammates and a coach in June during the first week of cheer camp. The girl screams in pain and repeatedly cries "please stop" as the group tries to force her legs into a split. KUSA received seven similar videos.

    East High School's principal and athletic director resigned Friday, Denver Public Schools announced. Its investigation found, despite both knowing about the videos, neither took disciplinary action or acted on parents' complaints.

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    The Denver Public Schools Superintendent says school administrators did meet with the coach after seeing a video of the incident in June, but he says that was not enough to protect students' safety.

    The coach was dismissed shortly after the videos became public.

    The school's principal, cheer coach, assistant cheer coach and an assistant principal, as well as Denver Public Schools deputy general counsel, were all placed on leave during the investigation.

    Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg called the video "extremely distressing" in a statement.

    "We absolutely prohibit any practices that place our students’ physical and mental health in jeopardy," Boasberg said. 

    The video was recorded by a cheerleader on the team and was anonymously sent to KUSA.