Valedictorian Says Mic Was Cut Off After Mentioning Trayvon Martin In Speech
A high school valedictorian is raising concern after she claimed that her principal intentionally turned her microphone off after she mentioned Trayvon Martin and other black victims killed by police during her graduation speech, NBC News reports
Rooha Haghar, a senior at Emmet J. Conrad High School in Dallas, Texas shared a clip of her interrupted speech on Twitter on Monday (June 3). "To the kids that were murdered in senseless mass shootings. To Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and all the other children who became victims," she said in the video.
Before she could finish her sentence, however, her mic appeared to cut off. Haghar is seen in the video looking around and tapping her microphone before taking her seat. When Principal Temesghen Asmerom got up, the microphone appears to be working again.
"My valedictorian speech was cut short because I said the names of black children who had become victims of police brutality," Haghar wrote. "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."
In addition to mentioning Martin and Rice – who subsequently lost their lives to police brutality – Haghar said she was going to talk about "kids across the globe affected by war, famine, persecution and child labor" and remind her classmates that they have "an obligation to your community and to the world at large."
According to Haghar, she showed her speech to Asmerom before graduation and was directed to remove Martin's and Rice's names because it was "too political." That being said, the senior said she was still shocked that she was not permitted to finish her speech.
"I never expected them to not allow me to finish because, at the end of the day, schools want to raise socially conscious students, students who are able to think for themselves. That's what I was doing," she said.
Following the uproar, the Dallas Independent School District released a statement, saying, "in Dallas ISD, we educate leaders of tomorrow and encourage student voices, and we are looking into this matter.”