Police are investigating a Denver high school's administration after video surfaced of cheerleaders being forced into doing splits, NBC affiliate KUSA 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.
The school's principal, cheer coach, assistant cheer coach and an assistant principal, as well as Denver Public Schools deputy general counsel, have been placed on leave during the investigation.
Parents have sent complaints to school administrators and the coach for months, KUSA reported.
Child abuse detectives with the Denver Police Department launched an investigation on August 23, when they received an anonymous tip about cheerleader coach at East High School, police said in a statement to NBC.
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. "We do not and will not allow any situation in which a student is forced to perform an activity or exercise beyond the point at which they express their desire to stop."
The video was recorded by a cheerleader on the team and was anonymously sent to KUSA.