A video shows multiple cheerleaders at Denver East High School screaming out in pain, forcibly pushed into splits by coaches and teammates, at least one girl is left injured, as an investigation into the incident continues.
Cheerleading coaches across the country and right here in the Twin Tiers are outraged by what they’re seeing, calling this video disturbing and unacceptable.
Horseheads cheerleading coach Amy Buchanan says she’s never seen anything like it.
“I don’t know why in your right mind if you see one of your players struggling and in that much pain why you would continue to do something and think that that was ok,” Buchanan said.
Safety always a top priority, Buchanan says this type of physical force should never be used as a coaching technique.
“We’re here to make sure that this is a safe place for our girls, obviously they’re athletes but they’re also like a family as well. They’re a team and we definitely make sure that that is something we strive for our girls to do…encourage each other but not push too far to the point that they break,” Buchanan said.
Coaches and cheerleaders say the actions in the video go against everything they believe in.
“There’s a poor girl who is obviously trying her hardest to work and do what she needs to do and the fact that it’s not just a coach but multiple teammates, it kind of gives me chills,” Buchanan said.
Certainly not the type of teamwork cheerleaders at Horseheads are used to.
“It’s really more than just teammates, these are like our family and they’re really nice people,” Haley Cook said.
“I think we have a good relationship with everybody, I’m really close to these girls, they’re like my sisters,” Juliet Deines said.
Buchanan urging any athlete who sees something they feel is inappropriate to get help immediately, to stop things like this from happening.
“Speak up, the only way that things are going to be taken care of and issues are going to be resolved is if someone says something,” Buchanan said.