ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Controversy continues to surround next week’s ‘spirit week’ at Forest Hills Northern.

In this week’s Husky Highlights, the school noted its Black History Month spirit week and its respective themed days that included jersey day, hoodie day/Trayvon Martin day and Y2k day which it indicated baggy clothing.

“It’s just a thug look,” concerned parent Dionna Crisp said. “That is not a representation of who we are. As I indicated, we’re inventors, we’re billionaires, we’re people who have so much more to offer and have offered to this country.”

Since Crisp and other parents voiced their concerns, the school sent out an additional email overnight.

“I hope you are doing well and looking forward to your long weekend. I am sending you this communication because I want to provide some context regarding our upcoming spirit week for our Northern Huskies. As we work with our students, staff, and families to engage and enrich learning, we communicated in our February 14 edition of Husky Highlights, a ‘Black History Month Spirit Week’ that runs from Feb. 21-24.

“The verbiage ‘Black History Month Spirit Week’ was in error. It should have said ‘Black Student Union Spirit Week’ because Northern’s Black Student Union (BSU) club is coordinating it. This club is like any other extracurricular club organized by students and overseen by a staff advisor. Clubs such as student government have the ability to coordinate spirit week, and BSU is doing the same. The purpose is not a historical homage to Black History. Rather, it is intended to engage students in a way that is accessible to all. To help facilitate this understanding, this morning, our BSU members made announcements to explain each daily theme and its significance.

“Our students are sharing Northern’s homage to Black History in a variety of ways, such as:
• Morning announcements honoring the contributions of Black Americans.
• Posters created by BSU members celebrating the rich history of Black Americans.
• A BSU led school assembly celebrating Black History Month on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

“Our mantra at Northern is: Ubuntu, I am because we are. We aspire to have every student who walks into Northern be proud of who they are and the culture they come from while having the ability to share and celebrate their heritage with the people around them. The goal is to help them to feel a sense of belonging at Northern. This is the essence of Ubuntu.

“Thank you for your continued partnership and support of all students at FHN. Should you have additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at (616) 493-8600 or

“Enjoy the extended winter recess, and I look forward to seeing our Huskies on Tuesday next week.”

Letter from Principal Amena Moiz to parents

Crisp said the change in spirit week’s name isn’t enough.

“So then that means someone was educated (enough) to make sure everything was done in decency and order,” she said. “The district has all the responsibility of directing our children in the right direction. They’re educators, let’s educate.”

News 8 reached out to both the district’s superintendent and school principal, Amena Moiz. Moiz reiterated that they made a mistake in the name of the spirit week. She added that each club is overseen by a school staff member.

“When working with any of our organizations and they do have events that they’d like to plan, (students) work directly with us,” Moiz said. “They come to us, we give them feedback, we ask them why and get to their thinking.”

After the initial controversy, Moiz said the school added an additional educational component during Thursday’s internal news broadcast. Students of the student union added context and the history behind each chosen theme, including the death of Trayvon Martin.

“The reasoning behind that was, number one, to honor his life and the things that he had gone through and the loss of his life…. Also to add a perspective for students who are not of color. Many students of ours who are of color they have to think twice about what they’re going to wear,” Moiz said.

Some parents believe that the school continues to pass the responsibility onto the students.

“So when our superintendent was acknowledging that the children had chosen this and he thought it was OK, that was very disturbing to me,” Crisp said. “Because that’s not who we are.”