CALIPHORNIA: Parents fight school on the right for a student to make a “culturally insensitive” video about Islamic terrorism

AND THEY WIN! One student’s action at San Ramon Valley High School in posting  an “allegedly insensitive video about Muslim terrorists” on Twitter has caused snowflake outrage at the school. Initially, the school district took action against the student, but after his parents sued, the district backed off.

East Bay Times  The San Ramon Unified School District board sat silent and mostly expressionless during three hours of public comment Tuesday night as people  the community told them how upset they were at a video some called anti-Muslim and hateful.

The Times described the content of the video in question:

According to court documents, there is extensive imagery of students using fake firearms — and the video briefly shows what appears to be a real firearm —  ostensibly to assault, rob and kill each other. The video also suggests a student engaged in a sexual act when armed “terrorists” abduct him from his bedroom, according to a court document.
In the video, the “abductors” shove used tissues into the boy’s face while another begins slapping his naked stomach, according to a court document. Another scene portrays the “terrorists” torturing him.
“The video makes repeated ‘racist’ and insensitive references to Middle Eastern people, stereotyping them based on their dress, accents and language, names, manner of praying and religious dietary restrictions,” the document stated.

About 50 speakers showed up to address the board, but board vice president Ken Mintz told the packed room that the board was legally not allowed to respond to items not on the agenda. But the item on their minds was a controversial video made by a San Ramon Valley High School student during his run for student body president.

Besides the video itself — which has sparked outcry with its depiction of two students as Muslim terrorists and supposed references to lewd conduct, violence and torture — is the apparent decision of the board to reinstate the student as president. The teen boy filed a petition with the state court against the school district following the February video incident, and his immediate disqualification from the student election. Despite a judge ruling in favor of the school district, the board apparently made the decision to reinstate his leadership roles.

Spojmie Nasiri, president of the designated terrorist group CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) in the Bay Area, asked the board to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter and not dismiss that the video was a joke. “Jokes have consequences,” she said. She asked the district take remedial action, including trainings on hate, free speech and Islamophobia for students, faculty and staff who are involved.


ABC News  Parent Karen Pearce described the short video against Muslim terrorism her son posted on Twitter as a free speech issue. She is more troubled by how the school district has handled the matter, posting on her Facebook page in bold letters: Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but it’s always right.

Pearce says initially, the school told the student he could no longer be in a school leadership role. That’s when his parents took legal action. The school district admitted they were forced to comply. Pearce made sure her son will now have a major role within the associated student body without ever apologizing for exercising his First Amendment rights.

The teen boy’s First Amendment attorney, Gill Sperlein, said his client doesn’t have any intention to resign from his position. He said the district had met most of their demands, including reinstating him as current junior class president, a total vote count of the spring election, and instating him as student body president next year.