Exclusive: Coach Accused of Forcing Cheerleaders to Fight
PACIFIC PALISADES (KTLA) — A Palisades Charter High School student is claiming that her coach forced her to fight with another student after she had reported being bullied by her.
The girls fought, resulting in scratches and a black eye.
“I felt embarrassed and humiliated and ashamed,” Cimone Holloway told KTLA.
Holloway said she was forced to sit on the sidelines and watch with a back eye the last time she was supposed to cheer with her Pali High cheerleading squad.
Cimone, a junior, said that she was at odds with a teammate over a boy.
When she arrived to cheerleading practice before a game in January, she claims her coach made them work it out with their fists.
“I’ve never been in a fight in my life. I didn’t want to fight,” she insisted.
But Cimone said the coach insisted that they settle their differences physically. She claims the coach put on music and moved a desk, and then the punching began.
“Another cheerleader broke up the fight. I thought that it was over and the coach said, ‘Do you guys want to go another round?” Cimone recalled.
“In that fight, I tripped over my foot and was on the floor and she was on top of me and again punching me. And sometime during that fight, she kicked me in the forehead.”
She said that she was forced to sit out the game, humiliated, and with bruises, swelling and scratches. She claims her coach asked her to lie to her mother about what happened.
“She told the other girls, as they were getting dressed for the game, to pinky-swear not to tell anybody outside of the team,” she said.
When Cimone’s mother texted the coach to find out what happened, she was told that her daughter came down from a stunt and caught an elbow.
The coach expressed shock over what happened and offered to help however she could.
“We try at all costs to protect our kids. And then for it to be an adult who hurt her is like, it’s amazing,” said Cimone’s mom, Tonya Humes.
The family says a videotape surfaced of the fistfight. But police refused to take a report. Humes says she hired lawyers in an effort to get justice.
KTLA tried to contact the school’s dean, but was unable to do so.
He did, however, send and email to Humes, stating that the coach had been suspended, and that other administrators were talking with the girls on the cheerleading squad.