Valedictorian cut off after mentioning Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice

0
21



A high school valedictorian claims a principal intentionally cut off her microphone when she mentioned the names of two notable black “victims of injustice” in her commencement speech.

Rooha Haghar, a 19-year-old originally from Iran, posted a 33-second video clip on Twitter of her moment in the spotlight on Saturday as the top student at Emmett J. Conrad High School in Dallas, where the school’s principal was seen signaling for her speech to be cut short after she referenced Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice.

“To the kids that were murdered in senseless mass shootings,” Haghar said. “To Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and all the other children who became victims of injustice.”

The principal can be seen raising his right hand immediately after Haghar mentioned Rice, a 12-year-old black boy who was carrying a pellet gun when he was fatally shot in 2014 by a white police officer in Cleveland.

Haghar said she met with principal Temesghen Asmerom a week earlier and was told that including the names of Martin and Rice would “incite anger towards white people,” according to a statement posted on Twitter.

“He advised me to take that line out completely,” Haghar wrote. “I didn’t.”

Asmerom suggested that the teen revise her speech to honor “all the children who became victims of injustice” rather than to invoke Rice or Martin, an unarmed black 17-year-old killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in 2012.

Haghar accused Asmerom of acting as if a “technical difficulty” led to her microphone being cut, but she insisted otherwise.

“I knew none of the consequences I could possibly face came even slightly close to what the families of the victims have to live with on a daily basis,” Haghar’s statement continued. “I knew the risk I was taking but never expected to be silenced.”

A message seeking comment from Asmerom was not immediately returned Thursday. But district officials said in a statement to The Post that an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

“In Dallas ISD, we educate leaders of tomorrow and encourage student voices, and we are looking into this matter,” the statement read.



LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here