Michigan middle school students attended a field trip in Detroit that included a stop for a restaurant that doubles as a late-night lounge with dancing poles.
Sixth-grade students from Rochester Community Schools’ (RCS) Hart Middle School (HMS) were photographed allegedly pole dancing while on a field trip to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, according to Andrew Weaver, a trustee for the RCS board.
Weaver posted to his Facebook page, Finding the Right Answer, that HMS students were “taken to lunch at Niki’s Pizza which is attached to Niki’s Lounge.” The students were then “moved from Niki’s Pizza due to a lack of available space to the Lounge, where they tried out some pole dancing,” Weaver wrote.
His post also included photos that showed an alcohol-stocked bar at Niki’s Lounge and a menu with alcoholic drinks. Another picture showed students appearing to pole dance on the establishment’s floor-to-ceiling metal rods, which were mounted on raised platforms.
Lori Grein, RCS executive director of strategic communication, told the Daily Caller that “Rochester Community Schools did not take students on a field trip to an eatery attached to a ‘strip club.'” (RELATED: Inspector Report Found Hundreds Of Chicago Teachers Allegedly Sexually Groomed, Raped Students)
“On Nov. 16, 2022, some middle school students attended a field trip to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. After the performance, students went to lunch as scheduled at Niki’s Pizza in Greektown Detroit,” Grein said.
“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,” she added. “The safety and security of our students, staff and school community is always our priority.”
Niki’s Pizza/Niki’s Lounge owner Agatha Kefallinos told the Caller that the school knew when the reservation was made that the restaurant could not accommodate the large group of students anywhere but upstairs in Niki’s Lounge, which has an alcohol-stocked bar.
“When we have a group of 100, they can’t just walk in. There is no way we could accommodate them,” Kefallinos said. “We can only accommodate a certain number in the restaurant. Typically when we have a group of over 100 people, we give them the option of going to our second floor, which is operated as a club on Saturday nights but is closed during the day.”
She said the server and the school liaison would have had several phone calls discussing the lunch reservation, adding that it was “absolutely made known to them” that the party would be placed in the upstairs lounge.
“We’ve been doing this for 20 years. We’ve had dozens of school groups, and there was never an issue. At the time of taking a reservation for a group of that size, we always make it very clear we can accommodate them on the second floor, but as we said, the space is a club, and so it’s at their discretion at that point to come in or chose not to,” she added.
Kefallinos said the poles featured in the photographs posted to Facebook are not stripper poles “and have never been used for that purpose.” She struggled to define the actual purpose, however, and finally settled on calling them simply, “part of the decorations.”