Two top officials at the Denver high school where a cheerleader was forced to do painful splits in a viral video have been ousted after the school district received a huge number of complaints about the upsetting drill.
On Friday, Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg told reporters that East High School principal Andy Mendelsberg would be retiring, while athletic director Lisa Porter, who also worked as a vice principal at the school, would resign, The Denver Post reported.
Boasberg chastised Mendelsberg and Porter for failing to report the incidents to their superiors and for not taking corrective actions when the controversial videos surfaced. At the center of the videos was former coach Ozell Williams, who was terminated from his job for forcing freshman Ally Wakefield into splits as she cried and screamed, “please stop.”
The clips were taken in June. Ally’s mother, Kristen Wakefield, sent a video of the incident to Porter claiming that her daughter suffered a leg injury and wondering what the district would do to correct the situation; her emails were ignored for two months, the Post reported.
“It’s important that when you have a situation, that we be able to see what happened,” Boasberg said Friday. “We did have clear evidence of what happened and that evidence was deeply troubling and deeply disturbing.”
It wasn’t until August that the clips went viral and Boasberg was finally made aware of the situation.
“It was wrong not to have taken action in June,” he said at the time. “Information should have been forwarded to police in June.”
Denver police are undergoing a criminal investigation of the incident, which Williams claims hinges on a video that was taken out of context.
“You can definitely say that what was in the video could be seen in a different light,” he said. “I would love to tell my story, but I can’t say anything else at this time.”