A teacher at a Texas junior high school was suspended after she gave one of her students a “Most likely to become a terrorist” award on Tuesday.
Just one day after a deadly terrorist bombing in Manchester, England, that killed 22, seventh grade student at Lance Corporal Anthony Aguirre Junior High, Lizeth Villanueva, said her teacher gave her the controversial award in class.
“When she said my name I turned around like what, what did she just say? I was very upset. I was mad but didn’t show it,” Villanueva told Fox 26 Houston.
Other awards handed out to students include “Most likely to blend in with white people,” “Most likely to be homeless in Guatemala” and “Most likely to cry for every little thing.”
Villanueva said teachers were handing out the certificates to honors students part of an advanced learning program as part of a mock awards ceremony, but some students and parents did not find the joke funny.
“It is kind of hard to believe somebody would do that,” said Ena Hernandez, Villanueva’s mother. She added that the teacher should be fired.
“So far I also know, the principal also mentioned to us that there were other parents complaining about a similar situation, the same thing,” Hernandez said.
Lauren Easton, whose sister received the “blend in with white people” award, told CNN she was dismayed by the teacher’s decision.
“My initial reaction was shock,” Easton said. “I couldn’t believe a teacher could be that bold.”
Easton said this isn’t the first provocative act from the teacher in question. Before the latest incident, Easton said the teacher, who is black, gave her sister “a ‘black quiz’ to prove how black she was.”
Representatives from the school released a statement apologizing for the incident and promising an investigation.
“Aguirre Administration would like to first of all apologize for the insensitive and offensive fake mock awards that were given to students after the official school awards ceremony had concluded. As principal, I want to assure all students, parents and community members that these award statements and ideals are NOT representative of the Aguirre Vision, Mission and educational goals for its students. An investigation will be launched into these events.”
The school has not publicly identified the teacher who made the awards, but according to another statement released by the Channelview School District, “the teacher involved in this matter have [sic] been disciplined according to district policy.”
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