A teacher in Texas has come under scrutiny after giving a mock award to a student who said she was "most likely to be a terrorist." The seventh grader at Lance Cpl. Anthony Aguirre Junior High School took the certificate home to her mother, who was furious, reported Click2Houston.
When 13-year-old Lizeth Villanueva received the award, she was horrified.
"I was shocked," Lizeth told Click2Houston. "[The teacher] said, 'most likely to become a terrorist,' and she said my name, and she gave me this."
The award was given to Lizeth in her AVID class — advanced learning program, which prepares students for college. Channelview Independent School District official Mark Kramer said it was one of the "fake mock awards.”
During the fake award ceremony, other students were given superlatives such as "most likely to become homeless" and "most likely to cry for every little thing," reported the Washington Post.
Lizeth was told by her teacher — who has yet to be named — the awards "might hurt [students'] feelings," but it's meant to be "funny."
"It was not a joke," Lizeth said. "I do not feel comfortable with this... I do not feel comfortable being in the same classroom with [the teacher]."
Lizeth's mother, Ena Hernandez, was irate when she saw the award and how hurt her daughter was.
"When she first showed me the paper, I'm like, 'What is this?' I read it again, and I'm like, 'What is this?' That's when my daughter told me it was supposed to be a joke," Hernandez said. "It doesn't look like a joke to me."
Following the incident, the district sent out the following statement:
"The Channelview ISD Administration would like to apologize 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."
(Photo: KPRC 2 Houston)