DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The principal initially called it a “technical difficulty” when the microphone in front of the Emmett J. Conrad High valedictorian went dead earlier this month, now officials with the Dallas Independent School District are apologizing.
The graduation speech of Rooha Haghar was interrupted when she read the names of young, African-American shooting victims Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice.
The DISD said in a statement Tuesday that the decision to stop Haghar’s June 1 speech wasn’t “reflective of the core values we teach our students.”
Officials said it’s district practice to review student speeches and that Haghar chose “to share other remarks that were not prepared with the administration’s knowledge.”
The unscripted comments led Principal Temesghen Asmerom to cut Haghar’s mic.
On Facebook Haghar said, “My valedictorian speech was cut short because I said the names of black children who had become victims of police brutality.”
Haghar later explained that she mentioned Tamir and Trayvon, because their deaths are “a reality that black families have to deal with.”
Officers in Cleveland shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014. According to CBS News, a grand jury declined to indict a Cleveland police officer in the killing of Rice who was shot to death while carrying what turned out to be a pellet gun. Read More.
Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012. Also according to CBS News, Zimmerman was cleared of second-degree murder charges on July 11, 2015. Read More.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)