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Texas HS Cut Off Valedictorian Speech After Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice Mentions

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Emmett J. Conrad High School in Texas is under fire after video surfaced showing the speech of valedictorian Rooha Haghar being cut off after mentions of Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice. Haghar accused principal Temesghen Asmerom cutting off her mic as a result of the mentions.

“My valedictorian speech was cut short because I said the names of black children who had become victims of police brutality. our principal signaled for my mic to be turned off as soon as I said ‘Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice’ and played it off as a technical difficulty,” she alleged. “Pathetic.”

The school district, however, has said that is not the case.

“It was never our intent to censor anyone’s freedom of speech,” Dallas Independent School District officials said in a statement, according to the New York Post. “Students have that right – Dallas ISD encourages it.

“As a result, the principal made the decision to limit the student’s remarks. Our charge is to ensure the rights of all students are respected and no one‘s rights are infringed upon. In hindsight, we realize this decision may not have been reflective of the core values we teach our students, as we work to educate leaders of tomorrow. For that, we apologize.”

Haghar posted the video on social media.

my valedictorian speech was cut short because i said the names of black children who had become victims of police brutality. our principal signaled for my mic to be turned off as soon as i said “trayvon martin and tamir rice” and played it off as a technical difficulty. pathetic. pic.twitter.com/9upW3dZ7Mg

— روحا (@ItsRoohaHaghar) June 3, 2019

Haghar also claims that Aserom had asked her to remove the mentions of Martin and Rice during a meeting the previous week. She claims Asmerom said the mentions would “incite anger towards white people.”

Asmerom has not commented on the matter.

Haghar said she does not have any regrets for mentioning Martin and Rice — two of the most prominent cases of unarmed teens being shot and killed — even though she was unable to finish her speech. Up next for Haghar is the beginning of her college career at the University of Texas at Austin.


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