After seventh-grader Lizeth Villanueva had spent two years in Anthony Aguirre Junior High’s academic program, she expected to receive an award or a certificate to be given by her teachers for her high grades and disciplinary behaviour.
However, the bizarre award came to Lizeth’s and her mother’s surprise; Lizeth’s teacher gave her “most likely to become a terrorist” award.
An unpleasant surprise
The award was intended to be a joke, a part of a mock end-of-the-year awards ceremony at Anthony Aguirre Junior High in Channelview, Tex., near Houston, where students are awarded bizzare certificates.
Lizeth, 13, said her teacher “just laughed” as she gave her the certificate the day followed the Manchester Arena bomber attack in Britain. Lizeth’s mother Ena Hernandez did not think that such gesture would be funny as terrorism and the fact that it breeds violence and blood could not be a subject for laughs.
“I was upset and very mad when I saw the award,” Hernandez told The Washington Post. “I was surprised because my daughter has been doing well in the honors program.”
Lizetha and her mother were on the same page as Lizeth was shocked as she said.
She said two honors classes gathered for the fake award ceremony. There were other awards as “most likely to cry for every little thing” that was handed in to a girl and “most likely to become homeless” that was given to a boy amid the teachers’ laughter.
A poor attempt to poke fun
A spokesman for Channelview Independent School District Mark Kramer told KPRC the awards were a “poor attempt to poke fun” and it “wasn’t well thought out.”
In a statement the school district said:
“The Channelview ISD Administration would like to apologise for the insensitive and offensive fake mock awards that were given to students in a classroom. Channelview ISD would like to assure all students, parents and community members that these award statements and ideals are not representative of the district’s vision, mission and educational goals for our students.
“The teachers involved in this matter have been disciplined according to district policy and the incident is still under investigation.”
Hernandez says she is looking forward to suspending the teachers or else “they will continue doing the same thing.”
The school principal has submitted his apologies to Lizeth; however, she hasn’t returned to school because she “feels uncomfortable.”