The Macomb Daily

Twerking investigat­ion clears school district boss

Board shows support for Monique Beels

- By Mitch Hotts mhotts@medianewsg­

The head of Mount Clemens Community Schools is scheduled to return today from a monthlong paid, non-disciplina­ry administra­tive leave.

Monique Beels had been placed on leave while an investigat­ion was completed to determine if any of the school board policies were violated in regard to a twerking incident that resulted in negative public- ity for the district.

Last week, the Board of Education issued a statement expressing its complete support for Beels.

“During the past two school years, Superinten­dent Beels has exhibited collaborat­ive leadership, and moral character dur

ing challengin­g times,” the statement read.

“The Board wishes to express its full and unequivoca­l support in her leadership and guidance and is looking forward to continuous­ly working collaborat­ively with Superinten­dent Beels during the 2022-2023 school year”

At issue was a raunchy dance routine performed in October by a rap artist who was accompanie­d by a woman in a G-string and sports bra who twerked on the gym floor, making sexually provocativ­e moves.

The performanc­e was one of about 20 entertaine­rs at a private function that took place in Mount Clemens High School gym. School administra­tors rented the gym to Rivals Recruiting Worldwide for what the organizati­on had claimed was a charity event.

A video of the event quickly went viral, drawing negative reactions from parents and taxpayers. It also gained the attention of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office and was mentioned on at least one national TV news talk show.

The school board appointed Bingham Farmsbased Recon Management Group to investigat­e whether Beels violated board policies relating to the gym incident. The move resulted in Beels being banned from Mount Clemens school buildings, and all of her authorized responsibi­lities and duties as the chief administra­tor put on hold.

“The Board needed to protect the integrity of the district, as well as the superinten­dent, and ensure a fair and impartial investigat­ion,” the school board said in its statement.

A number of parents complained to the school board about the incident, insisting “someone should lose their job over this.”

On Nov. 3, the board hired Recon to “review and investigat­e” a complaint filed against the superinten­dent concerning potential board policy. The statement did not indicate who filed the complaint.

In recent weeks, Recon interviewe­d nine individual­s and reviewed board policies to determine whether Beels violated any board policies or legal standards and found she had not.

As a result, the statement said, board members are happy to welcome Beels back to her position.

“We wish to stress that throughout this investigat­ion, the Board has been fully supportive of Superinten­dent Beels and look forward to having her back,” the statement read.

In Beels’ absence, the board appointed former Fitzgerald Public Schools Superinten­dent Barbara VanSweden as acting superinten­dent.

School officials are already taking steps to make sure a similar incident doesn’t happen again. From now on, officials will now require advance review of flyers for upcoming events at school facilities.

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