Excel Academy, Elected Officials Upset over Anti-Arab Video

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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