Student reporters from Dougherty Valley High School in California’s San Ramon Valley Unified School District are fighting to unseal court documents and a supposedly controversial student video. The video was posted on Twitter by a student running for a student government position, and supposedly depicts the student being abducted by fictional terrorist. The video uses 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,” according to the motion to unseal the documents and video.
Though most students in San Ramon Valley Unified School District did not see the video, the majority of students had heard about its contents. Students protested the video by walking out of classes.
Student journalists in the district are trying to report on a lawsuit filed by the student’s parents against the school district, but do not know the full content of the lawsuit due to the sealing of court documents and the video at the heart of the case. By filing this motion, students are also attempting to figure out why the video in question was sealed in the first place.