DPS will comment on investigation into ‘forced splits' at East High

DENVER - The superintendent of Denver Public Schools plans to announce the results of an investigation into East High School, which was done following a 9NEWS report that showed cheerleaders forced into the splits.

In videos obtained by 9Wants to Know, eight cheerleaders are shown repeatedly being pushed down into the splits, while their arms are held up by fellow teammates, making each cheerleader unable to move herself out of the position.

READ THE REPORT: East HS principal retires, athletic director resigns in wake of 'forced splits' investigation

The cheer coach, assistant cheer coach, high school principal, assistant principal and DPS deputy general counsel were all placed on leave after the story aired last month. Superintendent Tom Boasberg announced that the coach, Ozell Williams, was fired two days after 9NEWS' first report.

The principal, assistant principal and athletic director met with one girl and her parents about the forced splits in June, according to the superintendent. He says he did not know the videos existed until they went public. 

RELATED: East High cheerleading coach fired after video showing 'forced splits,' superintendent says

RELATED: Videos show East High cheerleaders repeatedly forced into splits, police investigating GRAPHIC

RELATED: East High coach let go from another job over forced splits

RELATED: In new statement, superintendent says DPS athletic staff notified 'forced splits' aren't allowed

Earlier Friday, a group including parents, former students and at least one teacher gathered outside of the DPS headquarters, demanding Principal Andy Mendelberg be allowed to return to work. 

They held handmade signs and chanted "Bring Andy back."

"I am supporting my principal and my athletic director. I think they have given a lot to East High School," said Doug Kincaid, an East High P.E. teacher. "I think it was terrible and I think the coach should have been terminated. He was terminated, and I thought this was resolved. But even so, we need to humanize our employees. You shouldn’t end careers over things like this. This is my 40th year teaching and Andy is the best principal I have ever had."

Boasberg will comment on the district's internal investigation Friday afternoon at 3:30. 

9NEWS plans to live stream the press conference. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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