DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — On Tuesday, the Douglas County School Board heard allegations that girls in four athletic programs from three different high schools were bullied by their coaches.
The girls and their parents gathered at Douglas County School District headquarters for the board meeting in hopes of forcing action on the issue and to bring about positive change.
Bullying Recovery Resource Center, a nonprofit organization, says the families from Douglas County, Chaparral and Rock Canyon high schools have had enough.
The girls say their coaches have verbally abused them and targeted them for their gender.
The athletic programs under scrutiny, according to Bullying Recovery Resource Center, are:
- Chaparral High School’s pom team
- Rock Canyon High School’s cheerleading team
- Douglas County High School’s girls varsity basketball team
- Douglas County High School’s pom team
The resource center says one of the cases, involving the Douglas County High School girls varsity basketball team, has resulted in an Office of Civil Rights complaint to the U.S. Department of Education. A coach of that program is accused of mixing a personal battle with his job — placing unneeded stress and pressure on the girls.
“We were the only reason he was still, like, carrying on — is because we were playing — and if we quit, we were concerned for his safety,” one of the girls told FOX31.
Another complaint from members of the Chaparral pom team accuses a coach of using demeaning language.
“[The coach] called me fat and ugly, and she told me I’d never be good enough and that I shouldn’t dance anymore because of it,” one of the athletes said.
During Tuesday’s meeting, accusations were raised of of hair pulling and coaches uttering sexual comments to students. Those accusations were not publicly leveled at specific coaches.
Douglas County Schools' superintendent says outside investigators have been called in to examine the allegations.