A seventh-grader in a US school was bestowed a “most likely to become a terrorist” award from her teacher, prompting angry reaction from parents forcing the school to apologise for the event. The event was supposed to be a joke, part of a mock end-of-the-year awards ceremony at Anthony Aguirre Junior High in Channelview, Texas, near Houston, where a group of teachers hand certificates to students.
Lizeth Villanueva, 13, said her teacher “just laughed” when she handed her the certificate during class on Tuesday, just one day after the deadly terror attack at a pop concert in Manchester, Britain. “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 was quoted as saying by Fox 26 Houston.
Her mother Ena Hernandez didn’t find the award funny at all. “I was upset and very mad when I saw the award,” The Washington Post quoted her as saying. “I was surprised because my daughter has been doing well in the honors program.”
My daughter was not laughing either. Her emotion was one of shock, she said. She said two honors classes were brought together for the fake ceremony. Other awards included “most likely to cry for every little thing” that was given to a girl and “most likely to become homeless” that was presented to a boy.
Representatives from the Channelview Independent School District later issued a statement apologising for the incident. “The Channelview ISD Administration would like to apologise for the insensitive and offensive fake mock awards that were given to students in a classroom,” it said.
“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,” it added. It said the teachers involved in this matter have been disciplined according to district policy and the incident is still under investigation. Hernandez said the school should have fired the teacher.