Clemens Mountain School District officials are reviewing and strengthening their policies regarding the use of school facilities after an event last weekend at the district’s middle school that parents and officials called a dancer “inappropriate.”
Superintendent Monique Beals said Wednesday that staff training on the board’s policy has already begun, and the district is now requiring flyers for upcoming events at school facilities from a preliminary review.
“Some of the things we require is that … all forms related to any event must be submitted prior to the event, so they are all reviewed,” Beals said. “We will be running a two-week schedule … If they want to use our facilities for charity and non-profit effects, they must notify us at least two weeks in advance.”
The change comes after one of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s top officials called on the district to “take action” following a controversial event, the nonprofit’s “Sweetest Pease Bash” at Mount Clemens High School. .
Saturday evening was hosted by Rivals Recruiting Worldwide, a nonprofit led by Quentin Hines, a former NFL player and graduate of Mount Clemens High School. The event — which was supposed to support an organization that works to bring fans and athletes who are unknown or overlooked — was originally scheduled to be held at Wisner Memorial Stadium, but was moved to the high school gymnasium due to cold weather.
A video of the event shows rapper OT Rell walking around the gym shirtless while a woman is wearing a swimsuit. Hines told The News he didn’t know the woman was being scantily clad and apologized to anyone who was offended Monday.
But Tricia Foster, the governor’s chief operating officer, sent a letter to Beals on Monday expressing dismay at the incident and urging the district to “take action.”
“All of us, no matter where we live or who we are, want the same thing for our children: a world-class education to excel in life and work. Our schools serve as the foundation of these goals and the pillars of our communities. It is important that that each district provides an appropriate learning environment that always puts the best interests of students and parents first,” Foster said. “What has been reported since this week is not consistent with those goals or values.”
Foster called on the school district to look into the incident and “hold the right people accountable.”
“We are asking the school district to conduct an immediate investigation to determine how such a major oversight or lapse in judgment was allowed,” he said. “We further ask that you take action to hold the right people accountable for what happened. Ultimately, we encourage the school district to implement policies, procedures and safeguards to ensure this never happens again.”
Meanwhile, use of the Mount Clemens High School facilities has been suspended and the district is investigating their use and rental process, according to Beels’ statement earlier this week.
“The Mount Clemens Community Schools Board of Education and administration are deeply shocked, disappointed and disgusted by the inappropriate events that occurred on Saturday,” Beals said. “We will review current facility rental and use practices and strive to ensure our community is not compromised by the values and practices we work to instill in our students.”
While Beels isn’t sure what the new policy will be, the school board will likely meet in the next 10 days to decide. He said the school has already begun implementing many of the changes suggested in the chief operating officer’s letter.
“We have a lot of positive things happening with our kids right now … and it’s all overshadowing all of the amazing things that they’re doing,” Beals added. “The kids had nothing to do with it and it’s not fair.”