Hamtramck High School pep rally canceled due to flier listing 'ghetto' dance performance

List of dance routines included 'ghetto' on third line

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – A pep rally to celebrate diversity at Hamtramck High School was canceled Friday after the superintendent realized the flier detailing the performances listed one as "ghetto."

The flier listed the performances that were part of the pep rally. On the list of dance routines, Bosnian was first, Arabic was second and the third line said, "Ghetto."

When the superintendent found out about the flier, he canceled the pep rally.

"(It) makes me feel like all our hard work went down the drain," Santiya Halthon said.

Halthon and her fellow classmates were supposed to perform at the pep rally, but she said their hard work went down the drain because of the flier referring to their dance as "ghetto."

"We thought it was all a mistake, but kids started making fun of us," Halthon said.

It left some students, including Michael Belcher, feeling embarrassed.

"It's wrong for us to feel separated from the other kids," Belcher said.

Superintendent Thomas Niczay found out about the flier Friday morning.

"(I) said, 'We will cancel the pep rally. Find out who did it and take appropriate action,'" Niczay said.

Niczay believes a student made the flier. He said it doesn't represent Hamtramck High School.

"We are a very diverse school district, one that takes pride of accepting everybody and inclusive of every nationality (and) race," Niczay said.

Halthon said the face that the school is diverse is what surprised her most about the flier.

"I was thinking we would never stoop that low," Halthon said.

Now, she's worried the situation will impact the way students interact at Hamtramck High School from here on out.

"We feel like our school won't be diverse anymore," Halthon said. "We won't want to celebrate together anymore."

The pep rally hasn't been rescheduled at this point as the school focuses on finding out who's responsible for the flier. The superintendent said they will make sure it stays inclusive.

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