Michigan parents outraged after school trip ends with students pole dancing at strip club

The image was originally posted by board trustee Andrew Weaver on his blog.
The image was originally posted by board trustee Andrew Weaver on his blog. Photo credit: Facebook - Finding the Right Answer.

Parents are furious after 12-year-old students were photographed pole dancing at a strip club after a school trip.

Hart Middle School in Michigan, US, is under fire after a band teacher took students on a school trip to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in November last year.

After the show, the pupils were taken to Niki's Pizza for a meal, however, the pizzeria was too busy and the students were moved to Niki's lounge, an adjacent strip club, where the students were photographed pole dancing. 

The club's Instagram page displays long bars and stripper poles. 

A flyer shows it has hosted strippers and includes the tagline, "Guys bring your singles", in an advertisement for a night "Hosted by big Greg".

Niki's Pizzaria sits right next to Niki's Lounge where the students ended up.
Niki's Pizzaria sits right next to Niki's Lounge where the students ended up. Photo credit: Google Maps.

Angry parents who had heard about the trip from their children repeatedly tried to complain. 

Rochester Communities Schools district confirmed the lunch but refused to comment further, instead directing parents to Hart Middle School administrators.

This was met with more anger from parents demanding the school and the district come clean about what had happened.

School board trustee Andrew Weaver questioned the district's lack of transparency in a blog post publicising the incident.

Weaver said some students "tried some pole dancing" and then proceeded to post a photo of the incident with the children's faces blurred out.

Weaver vowed to bring the issue up at the next school board meeting on Saturday.

"As a board, we need to understand what happened on the field trip was a symptom and not the root cause of the problem", he said.

He also noted that Niki's is located in an area the Detriot Police Department monitors heavily, with local businesses working with the police to install real-time cameras that connect directly to the police headquarters. 

Weaver later took down the blog post after numerous complaints he was doing more damage. 

Fallout across social media

Parents across the district were furious when they saw Weaver's post, with one on Facebook saying, "That teacher needs to be fired - just sick. I would be infuriated as a parent as all parents should be. Sadly, too many are not parenting and could care less".

One parent criticised Weaver's decision to write the blog as it "would be highly inflammatory leading to attacks on a teacher whether or not you yourself 'say anything' you knew what the effect would end up being".

After removing the original post, Weaver went on to release a statement saying "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". 

Jennifer Tukasi, who also responded to the follow-up post on Facebook, said Weaver should have brought his concerns to district officials.

She said: "If I were a parent of one of these kids and we all knew they pretty much were already aware of it all -- regardless of how I felt about the situation, I would be absolutely disgusted by how you, a Trustee, have chosen to handle this situation."

Weaver told Fox News the school was not open about the incident and should have better communicated to concerned parents.

He said: "How did we get here? How do we not just communicate clearly to parents what happened?

"A mistake was made, 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."