A US school is under fire after allegedly taking students to a restaurant with a stripper pole lounge – and allegedly threatening legal action against the trustee who exposed the scandal.
The incident reportedly happened on Nov. 16 when a sixth-grade band and orchestra student at Hart Middle School in Rochester Hills, Michigan, visited Detroit’s hotspot, Niki’s Pizza, after a performance by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
The restaurant collaborates with Niki’s Lounge, a hip nightclub New York Post reports.
“Students were moved from Niki’s Pizza to the lounge where they tried pole dancing due to lack of space,” Rochester Community Schools (RCS) trustee and parent Andrew Weaver claimed in a Jan. 6 Facebook post.
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Alongside a photo of the kids playing on the poles was Weaver’s post shared with followers of his blog Find the right answerincludes images of Niki’s adult lounge scene and a drinks menu.
Weaver’s post quickly made the rounds on social media, where it was shared Twitter by @LibsoftTikTok. RCS then blocked the controversial account as the story picked up steam.
In a statement to the Daily callerRCS Executive Director of Strategic Communications Lori Grein denied that the district put students “into a venue affiliated with a ‘strip club’.”
“Proposed field trips will be evaluated by a curriculum team and require parent/guardian permission,” she continued.
“The safety of our students, staff and school community is always a priority for us.”
Niki’s owner, Agatha Kefallinos, told the outlet that the school knew about the seating plan when she made the reservation.
“If we have a group of over 100 people, we usually give them the option to go to our second floor, which operates as a club on Saturday nights but is closed during the day,” she explained.
“We’ve been doing this for 20 years. We had dozens of school classes and there was never a problem.”
Kefallinos also said the metal poles are not stripper poles, but simply “part of the decoration.”
Although the district denied any wrongdoing, Weaver, who applied for trusteeship on a platform promoting transparency between schools and parents, reiterated his stance that RCS had not adequately addressed the situation.
“As I have said before, and an important basis of my promise to the public, there needs to be more focus on actions that poorly reflect our district,” he wrote on his Trustee Facebook profile Jan. 8.
“Many community members feel that too much time and energy is being spent preventing people from learning about the actions that reflect badly on the district, while not enough time or energy is being spent on actually doing anything to take action against the problems at hand. “
Weaver also accused the district of trying to intimidate him, writing on Jan. 11 that Superintendent Robert Shaner on 11/21 urged the board to “take immediate action to ensure Mr. Weaver’s compliance with protocol” and threatened , “Appeal”.
This isn’t Weaver’s first clash with the thornier side of RCS. As a parent, he claims to have received two cease and desist letters from the district over social media posts criticizing pandemic policies and distance learning.
He also says Shaner filed a police report against him for making “false allegations and insults” during an exchange about masks at a school board meeting.
In a statement to Fox News Digitalthe district denied all threats against Weaver.
“On Dec. 02/21/2022 Dr. Shaner submitted a letter to the Board of Education. The correspondence reinforced the need for a new board member to comply with the board bylaws and code of cooperation so that the district’s focus can remain on the education of all RCS students,” the statement said.
“The letter contained no threats.”
Speak with Detroit News Editor Kaitlyn Buss told Weaver he remains undeterred in his crusade for accountability.
“That’s why I fled,” he said.
Weaver, Rochester Community Schools and Shaner did not immediately respond The post office Requests for Comments.
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and is reproduced with permission
Originally released as a school trip, it reportedly brings kids into the lounge with stripper poles