At a public Revere GOP meeting Gina Castiello felt she needed to get something off her chest about Revere schools.
When given the opportunity to speak, Castiello, who was being filmed by a friend who goes by the name of, Stiletto Dee, launched into an anti-Islamic, anti-Muslim tirade that seemed to puzzle Councillor Tony Zambuto and others that were looking on.
“I love this city, but I’m very concerned about Islam in our school system,” said Castiello. “We can not allow this horrific ideology in our public schools. It’s not a religion. We need to get educated and we need people to back us.”
What seemed to bug Castiello the most was the school allowing Muslim students to pray at school. Devout Muslims pray five times during the day, once at dawn, once in early afternoon, a late afternoon prayer, a sunset prayer and a prayer at night.
“They have prayer rugs in our schools,” Castiello lamented.
Her comments were edited from the online version of the meeting but later resurfaced on Dee’s Facebook feed and went viral.
Days later Castiello bemoaned the fact they cut her arguably offensive speech out from the online broadcast.
“I viewed my concern about Islam in our Public Schools,” she later said. “It appears the GOP public meeting, which was filmed, cut this portion of the meeting out! This is even more concerning to me!”
Her rant received an immediate backlash from Revere School Superintendent Dianne Kelly.
“We are proud of our diversity in Revere and we do our best to honor each student’s culture and individuality,” said Kelly in a statement. “Our curriculum in no way suggests students adhere to any religious beliefs. Our students study various religions as part of the history curriculum (as required by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) and to help with their understanding of global history.”
Kelly went on to say that Revere will always support students and employees who choose to exercise their religious freedoms on their breaks and during non-academic times.
“This is something we do for all – not any one particular group,” she said. “Priorities for us are welcoming and including everyone and anyone who chooses to learn in our schools, as well as ensuring physically and emotionally safe spaces for all members of our school community.”
Dee, who helped make the video of Castiello’s speech go viral, recently got into some hot water in neighboring East Boston.
At the end of last month Dee walked into the Excel Academy Charter High School in East Boston 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, allegedly Dee can 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 condemned the woman’s rant.
The incident forced Excel to change its security protocols.
“This incident led us to reexamine and make changes to our security protocols for allowing visitors into the building,” said Excel’s Executive Director Owen Stearns. “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.”