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Valedictorian Address Cut Short as Iranian Student Lists Black Men Killed Due to Racism

By Team Ebony

The valedictorian address delivered by Iranian immigrant, Rooha Hager, was cut short as she began to list names of Black men whose deaths were caused by racisim.

Hager, a new graduate of Emmet J. Conrad High School in Dallas, explained to KXAS that she and her famiy left Iran when she was 12 to escape religious persecution.

Valedictorian Hagher said that officials at the school cut her microphone after she spoke out on behalf of Black men whose deaths were allegedly caused by racism.

Hager wanted to include the names of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Michael Brown, but was asked by the principal to remove the names to avoid being political. “It made me feel sick, honestly, because I was close to their age and knowing this is a reality that Black families have to deal with,” she told KXAS.

“I never expected to be silenced,” Hagher remarked. “The consequences I was expecting to face was them holding my diploma or having a conversation with my principal.”

“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,” she added. “That’s what I was doing.”

This article originally appeared in Ebony.

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