Days before the Castle View High School cheer team was set to travel to Florida for the National High School Cheerleading Championships, its head coach resigned after the school district learned she …
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Days before the Castle View High School cheer team was set to travel to Florida for the National High School Cheerleading Championships, its head coach resigned after the school district learned she allowed a male volunteer to work with the school's varsity poms team who later contacted athletes by text or social media in a manner that made them uncomfortable.
A school resource officer from the Castle Rock Police Department investigated the volunteer's contact with students and found no criminal wrongdoing, said the police department's spokesman, Joe Cybert.
The department has closed its investigation. Both police and the Douglas County School District said they would not release the volunteer's name in light of the lack of criminal activity.
The school sent a letter to poms parents on Jan. 30 detailing an October incident in which the male volunteer was allowed to work with the varsity poms team on a hip-hop routine but had not undergone the background checks required of volunteers by district policy.
“Although he was present at only one practice, this is unacceptable,” Castle View Principal Rex Corr wrote.
Heather Acampora was the acting head coach of the varsity poms team at the time and was serving as the head cheer coach. The current head coach for Castle View's poms team, Emily Silverman, took over in October, according to the school website.
Corr said they learned of the volunteer when a poms member told them of messages she'd received from him on Instagram that made her uncomfortable. Cybert said the police department was alerted to the situation on Jan. 29.
“(Volunteers) have to go through our regular volunteer process,” district spokeswoman Paula Hans said. “It can include background checks, finger printing, those sorts of measures. Obviously, a government I.D., driver's license, just to make sure that we have the best people possible in front of our students.”
The district announced on Feb. 1 that Acampora resigned as the head cheer coach that day. The team is scheduled to leave for nationals on Feb. 6. Corr will chaperone the trip, along with assistant coaches. Assistant coach Roschelle Hunt is the interim head coach.
“I sincerely wish Ms. Acampora well in her future endeavors. I have met with the team this morning to share this announcement in person,” Corr said in his letter to parents. “I recognize this news is concerning as the team's trip to nationals is just around the corner.”
Hans declined to say if Acampora — who does not teach at the school — faced disciplinary action or if she would have before she resigned, citing the confidentiality of personnel matters. She also declined to provide Acampora's reason for resigning.
She deferred to the Castle Rock Police Department when asked if the student who reported the messages was a minor and if the district or police had learned of any more students who were contacted by the volunteer. Cybert said at least two team members were contacted by text or social media. At the time of the incident, he said, all girls on the team were juveniles.
In October, Acampora was involved in a domestic dispute with her husband in which she called police, but according to the police report, she was found to be the primary aggressor. No criminal activity occurred, police said in their report.
In January, a temporary restraining order was taken against Acampora by her husband. The two are pursuing a divorce. The restraining order was lifted and replaced with a no-contact order, according to court documents.
Hans said Acampora's resignation was unrelated to the domestic situation and that the couple, Castle Rock police and school officials held numerous meetings following the issuance of the temporary restraining order and determined there was no safety risk for students.
Acampora could not be reached for comment.
Corr held a meeting with parents on Feb. 1 after announcing Acampora's resignation, attended by about six people. Corr told Colorado Community Media he was confident in the cheer team ahead of nationals.
"We have an outstanding cheer staff. This team is among the top teams in the state," he said. "I think the team is in a great place."
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