14-year-old Deyab Houssein Wardani
14-year-old Deyab Houssein Wardani
via YouTube user "FastNews!"

Protest at Broward School Board Tonight Against Teacher Who Called Student "Raghead Taliban"

South Florida residents, parents, students and the family of a young man that recently had racial slurs directed towards him by a Cypress Bay High School teacher have planned a protest outside the Broward County School Board this evening. From 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. protesters are planning to line up outside the office located at 600 SE 3rd Ave in Fort Lauderdale, expressing the message that hate speech against Muslim students, or any student, should not be tolerated.

The protest stems from outrage over reports that a Cypress Bay French teacher repeatedly called 14-year-old Deyab Houssein Wardani, a Muslim student at the school, a "raghead taliban." The family is calling for an apology from the teacher, Maria Valdes, in addition to her firing or suspension for a year without pay.

"We are protesting, as a first step, to send a firm message that hate speech against Muslim students or any student should not be tolerated. We urge Broward County School Board to take appropriate disciplinary action and we urge the Board to better fund, expand implementation of, and prioritize restorative justice mechanisms to make progress in ensuring safe and productive learning environments for all," said Muhammed Malik, a South Florida human rights advocate.

"There is a better way to handle things, it's restorative justice - good for students, teachers, parents, administrators, and the community-at-large,"

The Wardani Family will be present to speak to media at the planned protest. In recent media appearances, the family has expressed their disbelief that the teacher has yet to be disciplined, and have demanded that Broward County School Board either fire or suspend this teacher whose comments, as they put it, "have poisoned the learning environment for all students, Muslim and non-Muslim alike."



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