A Couple HS Cheerleading Coaches Are On Administrative Leave For This Video That Shows Them Forcing Girls Into Splits
GlobalNews- Cheerleading coaches and school administrators in a Colorado district have been placed on leave, and Denver police are investigating amid a series of videos showing high school cheerleaders screaming in pain while being pushed into splits during practice.
KUSA-TV reports the videos show eight cheerleaders at Denver’s East High School repeatedly being pushed into splits while their arms are held up by teammates. In one video, a girl identified as freshman cheerleader Ally Wakefield, sobs in pain and repeatedly asks her coach to stop.
“Please stop! Please stop! Please stop!” she is heard pleading with her coach in the video, which was allegedly shot at the start of cheerleading camp last June. KUSA says the videos were shot on the phones of two team members and were sent anonymously to the station.
Wakefield says she didn’t expect to be “forced” to do elevated splits, forced down by her coach and fellow cheerleaders. “[The coach] was pushing like with his other knee on my back to try and keep my posture straight,” Wakefield told KUSA. “It was tearing my ligaments and my muscle at the same time.”
“This is a grown man pushing my 13-year-old girl so hard against her will while she’s crying and screaming for him to stop that he’s ripping tissues in her body,” Ally Wakefield’s mother, Kristen Wakefield, said. “I don’t understand why this man is still employed there.”
I have a question, and shockingly it's not "how did this grown man not come to the conclusion that he was doing someone wrong as he forcibly placed his hands on 13 year old girl in a physical manner while she screamed for him to stop?". Granted, that's a pretty important one to ask of the (now former) high school coach that took his job to mold the young cheerleaders of tomorrow far too literally. I mean, I feel like this one is just too obvious to consider an oversight. Training is one thing, but instructing a group of kids to follow your lead by pushing and pulling at the limbs of a teenage in an effort to contort her into a more effective cheerleader is quite another.
Nevertheless, what I really want to know is, isn't this what tryouts are for? I can understand expecting your whole squad to be able to do a split, but maybe - just maybe - it makes more sense to cut the girls who can't? Call me crazy, but that seems much easier - and far less illegal - than recreating a scene that absolutely had to take place in an episode of 'Criminal Minds'. I could be way off base here, but I feel like you don't necessarily need to be able to touch your crotch to the hardwood to vocally support the bums on the JV team. Certainly Ally could have better honed her flexibility for her sophomore season by making arm letters next to trolls that wouldn't even split a calzone to get moved up to varsity.
Long story short, if the bodies of young athletes were as malleable as their minds then I'm pretty sure that youth basketball teams would have started grabbing their mildly overweight small forwards from both ends in hopes of stretching some skill into the power forward spot. I don't want to discourage high school coaches from pushing kids past their comfort zone, but I also don't think that high school cheerleading practice should sound like it's taking place in a dungeon basement. Not to cut this coach off at the knees that he has buried in this girl's back, but if the kid you're looking after sounds like a Sandusky victim then you're probably overstepping your bounds as someone in a position of authority.