A Michigan school district is getting hammered after sixth-graders went on a class field trip that included allowing the students to practice pole dancing in a restaurant lounge according to a school board trustee who called it an example of “poor judgment.”
The Hart Middle School band teacher took the children to see the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in November. While on the trip, they stopped to have lunch at Niki’s Pizza which is connected to Niki’s Lounge, a strip club complete with stripper poles according to the Daily Mail. The lounge claims they are not stripper poles and are “decorative.”
Allegedly, the pizzeria was too crowded so the students shifted to the lounge and, unfortunately for the band director, were pictured swinging on stripper poles. When parents found out, they were enraged.
A spokesperson with the Rochester Communities Schools told Fox News in a statement that the students did have lunch at Niki’s, but would not comment on the incident with the stripper lounge.
A middle school teacher in @rochcommschools allegedly took students to a strip club where they tried out pole dancing during a field trip. The story is being publicized now by a board trustee after the district has reportedly refused to address it. pic.twitter.com/QpjyWaeKGx
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) January 10, 2023
Niki’s Lounge advertises itself as the premiere nightclub in Motor City. However, a flyer on Instagram shows that it has hosted strippers according to the Daily Mail. The flyer makes it very clear, “Guys bring your singles.”
View this post on Instagram
“Rochester Community Schools appreciates the strong teacher and caregiver partnerships as we work together to enhance classroom learning opportunities,” the school district stated in response to anger over the trip. “Parents and caregivers are always encouraged throughout the school year to contact their school administrator with questions or concerns.”
“Proposed field trips are evaluated by a curriculum team and require a parental/guardian permission slip. RCS may ask parents, caregivers or other responsible adults to serve as field trip chaperones when appropriate. Adult chaperones are required to complete background checks,” a spokesperson for the school district said justifying the incident. “The safety and security of our students, staff, and school community is always our top priority.”
Andrew Weaver, who is a school board trustee, posted about the incident on his Facebook Friday. He noted that Niki’s is located in an area that uses real-time cameras that connect directly to police headquarters.
“I don’t know what’s more disturbing; that RCS took a group of 6th graders on a school sponsored field trip to a gentlemen’s club complete with stripper poles, or the fact that there are parents out there that see nothing wrong with this and are defending the decision,” wrote one commenter on the original Facebook post, according to the Post Millennial.
“The post was factual and offered no judgment or opinion. The information that was shared came from community members sharing it via social media. The information was not gained through my role as a Trustee. As I have stated previously and a key foundation of my promise to the public, there needs to be more focus on the actions that reflect poorly on our District,” he posted on Sunday.
“Many community members feel that there is too much time and energy spent trying to stop people from knowing about the actions that reflect poorly on the District while not enough time or energy is spent on actually doing anything about the issue(s) at hand. As board members, it is critical that we remain objective and not allow personal biases to influence what concerns we take seriously and which ones we minimize,” Weaver continued.
I’m old enough to remember when teenagers were told to stay in school and study hard so they could get stable long term jobs as opposed to working in a strip club
Now they go to school to learn how to work in a strip club?!?!
— Christina Pushaw (@ChristinaPushaw) January 12, 2023
“While we may all want to believe no one would act intentionally to put students in harm’s way, it would be irresponsible to make a case-specific statement without having considered the details unique to this particular situation. Whether harm was done intentionally or otherwise, it is equally essential that our staff members are trained and empowered to make difficult and responsive decisions that respect the best interest of our learners and communicate their decisions with needed stakeholders when appropriate or required,” he added.
The trustee stated that he would bring up the issue at a future school board meeting, according to the Daily Mail.
“As a board, we need to understand what happened on the field trip was a symptom and not the root cause of the problem. Our responsibility is to ensure the root cause is addressed and that what happened this past November does not happen again,” he remarked.
In his interview with Fox News, Weaver wondered why the school district was not more transparent about the incident when it occurred.
“How did we get here? How do we not just communicate clearly to parents what happened?” the trustee asked. “A mistake was made, and address it and make sure that we have the policies in place to prevent it from happening again in the future. It’s not a witch hunt, no one’s going after anyone. It’s really just about how do we make sure that we communicate properly.”
This is the same school district that recently settled a lawsuit for tens of thousands of dollars after parents accused officials of spying on parents’ Facebook posts and retaliating against those who spoke out against it.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
The scandal led to Weaver’s appointment to the school board. But, according to the Detroit News, after he was sworn in, Weaver was told that he was expected to speak through the Board president.
The superintendent of the district, Robert Shaner, considered legal action against Weaver, according to Fox News.
“On Dec. 21, 2022, Dr. Shaner provided a letter to the Board of Education. The correspondence reinforced the need for a new board member to comply with board bylaws and the code of cooperation so that the district’s focus can remain on the education of all RCS students,” the district countered in a statement. “The letter did not include any threats.”
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