Parents, city officials outraged about provocative video filmed at Newark’s West Side High School

The video was a promotional video for the “NBA Baddies” basketball tournament.

Chris Keating

Jun 17, 2024, 10:37 PM

Updated 32 days ago


The “NBA Baddies” basketball tournament won’t be taking place as scheduled at West Side High School in Newark. The basketball tournament would’ve featured women wearing bikinis and playing a tournament for a cash prize.
The tournament was canceled after complaints from the community, and parents want someone with the school district held accountable.
Some parents who spoke with News 12 New Jersey found it disturbing that the group of women taking part in the tournament was allowed inside of West Side High School to shoot a promotional video – a video that has made the rounds on social media. It was recorded inside the gym of the West Side High-Roughriders.
The video shows a man dressed as a referee explaining four teams would be competing on July 21, along with women dancing provocatively. At the end of the video he says, “We’re giving out $10,000 to the best team.”
Denise Cole lives in Newark and has long been an education advocate.
“How do we get someone in our school - or females in our school - twerking, naked, during time school is in, on chairs that read West Side?” Cole asks.
Cole is also an alumnus of West Side High School.
"How did this happen? I know there’s a process and in the process that I know, this shouldn’t take place,” she says.
Parent Maggie Freeman says students in the district were at the school when the video was shot.
“Our first instinct was this is not real this just cannot be,” Freeman says.
The Newark School District says this was not a district event, adding no district official was aware of the video until it was posted online.
“This was supposed to be a community basketball event sponsored by Councilman [Dupre] Kelly. No school or district official approved the activity depicted in the video or knew that an event at one of our schools would include such activity.”
Kelly’s office sent a statement saying they were contacted about the availability of the gym at West Side High School but never had specifics about the event.
“The promotion video that was filmed was absolutely horrible and was not authorized by Newark Public Schools or the West Ward Councilman’s Office. As Councilman and as a father, I would never allow this type of content to be filmed in any of our schools and I don’t agree or promote it in any way,” Kelly wrote in a statement.
Freeman says it’s a bad look for the school and the district as a whole.
“I just know that if it was me as a parent looking for a school to go to that wouldn’t be my first choice,” she says.
So far, neither the district nor the councilman’s office has offered an answer as to whom allowed the promotional shoot to happen.

More from News 12