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J.P. Taravella High School students say they were discouraged from showing pride on Haitian Flag Day

Student says she received apology after being told to take down tweet

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – Students at J.P. Taravella High School in Coral Springs said they were discouraged from displaying their pride Wednesday on Haitian Flag Day.

One student, Danitra Toomer, took to Twitter, writing: "While we are proudly taking a picture representing Haiti she comes and snatches our property."

She, according to students, was 12th grade Assistant Principal Lisa Pannazzo.

A photo posted on social media appears to show the school administrator grabbing some items from the students, but it doesn't show what, if anything, happened seconds before.

The incident was reported the same day that Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie took to Twitter about the adoption of a resolution to support Haitian heritage and culture in the district.

But Danitra said she was only encouraged to take down her disparaging tweets.

"They're putting me in IS because I won't take down my posts," she later tweeted. "She talked down on me because I supposedly degraded her reputation."

Danitra told Local 10 News reporter Terrell Forney that she has since gotten an apology from the school.

Below is a full statement released by Broward County Public Schools spokeswoman Nadine Drew:

"Broward County Public Schools takes pride in a culturally rich and diverse student population, representing 208 different countries and speaking 181 different languages. Students are absolutely allowed and encouraged to celebrate their heritage. However, in doing so, students are not allowed to disrupt the school day or violate the Code of Student Conduct.

School administrators indicate they did not in any way violate or infringe upon the rights of students during Haitian Flag Day. Students were only addressed if they were in violation of the policy specifically regarding bandannas and hats. At no time were students asked not to show their pride."

Below is a section of the school district's dress code addressing head coverings:  

"Head coverings including, but not limited to, caps and hats are not allowed unless they are necessary for safety in programs such as home economics, technology education, vocational education, and athletics or are worn for religious or medical reasons. Bandannas are not allowed. Hats, that do not violate #7 above, are allowed to be worn outdoors for physical education and recess as a safety precaution from sun damage."


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