Excel Academy, Elected Officials Upset over Anti-Arab Video – East Boston Times-Free Press

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A Revere woman, who goes by
the name of Stiletto Dee, walked into the Excel Academy Charter High School in
East Boston on April 24 and allegedly began recording an anti-Arab video that
was later posted to her Facebook account.

The school, which was
celebrating Arab Heritage Month, buzzed Dee into the school’s lobby. Inside the
lobby a display made by students reflecting the contributions Arabs and Muslims
have made to civilization since the dawn of time was clearly visible.

In the video, Dee can
allegedly be heard saying, “We’re in America, man. I don’t like this (expletive).
I’m just getting sick to my stomach being here.”

The video was picked up by
several social media discussion groups where many, including Eastie’s three
elected officials, condemned the woman’s rant.

“Boston’s schools prepare
students of our diverse city to be members of a global and welcoming society,”
said Sen. Joseph Boncore, Rep. Adrian Madaro and City Councilor Lydia Edwards
in a joint statement. “Arab-Americans are celebrated members of our
communities, whose contributions have enriched our neighborhoods. We applaud
Excel Academy for honoring Arab-American Heritage Month during the month of
April. Given recent concerns about the safety and well-being of students, and
Arab-American students in particular, we have contacted school staff to ensure
that proper security measures are in place. We firmly reject racism directed
against any members of our community, particularly as they celebrate
participation and unprecedented representation in government.” 

Excel’s Executive Director
Owen Stearns said the decoration on a school wall commemorating Arab Heritage
Month and the contributions of Arab Americans was visible from the street.

“At Excel, we thrive by
recognizing and celebrating the diversity of our community,” said Stearns. “We
are thankful for the contributions of our Arab Student Union and other
student-led affinity groups that organize various events to celebrate the
cultures and histories of our student body.”

Stearns said such
celebrations include Women’s History Month, Black History Month, Latinx
Heritage Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, Arab Heritage Month,
Asian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and LGBTQ+ History Month.

“Excel Academy condemns any
action or speech that disparages the dignity of any person based on their
culture, race, identity, national origin, sexual orientation, religion,
immigration status, or other aspect of their identity,” he said. “At Excel, we
strive to be an inclusive and welcoming space for students of all
backgrounds.  We believe that by
recognizing and celebrating the diversity of backgrounds and experiences in our
community, we support all students to learn, grow, and thrive in our modern
world.  We will continue to affirm our
commitment to these values and to support all students and families in our school.”

Stearns went on to add that
the school is committed to enforcing policies that ensure the safety of our
students. 

“This incident led us to
reexamine and make changes to our security protocols for allowing visitors into
the building,” he said. “We are investing in locks for our secondary interior
front doors, so that all visitors will need permission to enter the building
and will only be allowed to pass through the second set of doors once they have
been cleared by our front office staff.”

These changes in the
school’s security policy and its commitment to the celebration of students’
cultures, identities, and experiences allows Excel to continue to thrive as a
diverse community said Stearns.

“We are confident that our
students will use their time at Excel to be forces for positivity, inclusion,
and change,” said Stearns.

This is not the first time
Dee has made the news. She and a group of friends allegedly had a’ Trump’ party
canceled at JW’s in Winthrop because the owner felt it would send the wrong
message to its diverse group of loyal customers.

Also, two weeks ago another of Dee’s
Facebook videos began circulating online where she allegedly filmed a friend at
a Revere GOP meeting. In that video Dee allegedly films the woman expressing
her concerns of allowing any celebration of Islam in Revere schools–calling
Islam a ‘horrific ideology’ to a stunned crowd.

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