Stretched to the Limits

Cameron Williams, Staff Writer

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Competition is the lifeblood of America. It runs our universities, drives our economy, and brings entertainment to the everyman. But at some point competition takes a back seat to safety, right?

Ozell Williams, the head coach of East High School cheer leading team does not think so. In eight different videos recorded by members of the cheer team, Ozell can be seen forcing girls down into impossible splits, in a technique known aptly as ‘breaking’.   Each one of these girls can be seen screaming, crying, and begging for it to stop. Ozell even had the audacity to grab a girl and throw her to the ground when her body physically could not bend any further. Opting for expedience over efficacy, Ozell caused permanent ligament and muscle damage in at least one girl with his barbaric workout routine.

The school was made aware of the crimes committed by Ozell in June when the mother of Ally Wakefield, one of the girls injured at cheer camp, sent an email which included a video of her daughter; complaints were also made by other concerned parents, but an investigation only began after a news station contacted the school district about what occurred at the cheer camp.

As of now, Ozell has been fired and five other members of the school administration have been put on leave. It truly seems that the school has shot themselves in the foot by ignoring the salvo of complaints being sent to them for months, and might have even opened themselves up to prosecution as accessories to the crimes perpetrated against its students. Should, though, the jurors disregard the schools criminal negligence, the parents of those young girls may pursue civil recourse.  Regardless, the community may never trust the school district again.

 

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cheerleader-forced-into-splits-ally-wakefield-mother-kirsten/http://www.9news.com/news/local/investigations/videos-show-east-high-cheerleaders-repeatedly-forced-into-splits-1/466845236
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