#IStandWithAhmed: An Open Letter to the Superintendent of the Irving School District

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To:  Jose Perra jperra@irvingisd.net

Dear Superintendent Jose,

My name is Tariq, I am a software engineer and I ask you to stand behind Ahmed Mohammed and his family to defend his right to express his creativity and inventiveness. As a mentor for First Lego League teams, it is difficult to get kids into that initial dive to get them excited about STEM.

You have a case where a bright student was disciplined, frightened, and humiliated by one of your teachers because of his expression of his work. Ahmed said later that he will never bring an invention to school again which is a loss for the school and a shutting down of any desire to make more inventions.

As Superintendent representing the teachers, schools, and the best interests of the students therein, I request that you:

  • Provide public verbal and physical support of the family in their case by demanding the charges be dropped against him.
  • Discipline the teacher that called officers to the school and implement measures such as diversity bias trainings to prevent it from occurring again.
  • Call on the Irving Police Department to investigate the statements of the officers and their behavior towards Ahmed.
  • Continue to fund STEM programs such as robotics and maker spaces for kids to have creative outlets and to make teachers familiar with the work they can create.

I look forward to your reply and action to support Ahmed and the creativity of all your students.

Tariq Yusuf