A 7th grade student from Texas high school has received a disturbingly weird award from her teacher. It was a certificate that said 'Most likely to become a terrorist' and it has certainly gone viral.
The teacher from Lance Cpl. Anthony Aguirre Junior High School decided to have mock school awards. She gave students random awards with fake titles in an advance learning class. But at least one of those fake titles was somewhat offensive to the kids.
Lizeth Villanueva received the certificate, with the teachers signature, saying 'Most likely to become terrorist'. Lizeth admits that this is supposed to be a joke, but she doesn't like the joke to be about her or call her a future terrorist.
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Ena Hernandez, mother of Lizeth, turned furious as she saw the mock award. Her daughter said that the teacher tried this as a joke, which apparently was not funny to her or to her mother.
A Houston-area school is apologizing after a seventh-grade student was given an award that named her "Most likely to become a terrorist."
Lizeth Villanueva told Click2Houston.com that she was given the award Tuesday in her AVID class, an advanced learning program to prepare students for college.
Her mother, Ena Hernandez, was furious and said her daughter was hurt by the award.
"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 told the station. "It doesn't look like a joke to me."
Hernandez was shocked when first saw the award. She read it again and again to confirm what she saw. Her daughter seemed as shocked as the mother. A girl was apparently being called a potential terrorist as a joke, but I guess not everyone appreciates the dark humor. We also don't know WHY she was chosen as the most likely to become a terrorist. Perhaps there's a back story to this that readers are unaware of. Perhaps this was a social experiment to see the reactions of people and use their response to start an open discussion about stereotypes.
Another student, Sydney Cesar, won a mock award that said ' Most likely to Blend in with white people'. Lizeth, Sydney, and other students were a bit shocked by the mock awards. It seems like they were unable to handle the fake awards ceremony. Without knowing the premise of these awards, it's hard to tell if the teacher was being obnoxious or if this was some sort of social experiment that would lead to an actual lesson.
"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.
Sydney Cesar was given a certificate that said she is "Most likely to blend in with white people."
"It made me feel really embarrassed about what other people were going to say," she told KRIV.
"For that child to either be called a terrorist or she's not black enough, basically now the students are taking that and that's her label for the rest of the school year," her mother, Latonya Robinson, told KRIV.
Other students of the class had an experience as bad as Lizeth and Sydney. Sydney said she missed the school because of the embarrassment she felt that day. Even some of the parents were hurt by this incident. Parents believed that these remarks are going to make an impact on the kids for a long time and these tags will remain with them for the whole year. Can you imagine your child going through the rest of the school year being called a terrorist? It's a good thing there's only a few weeks of school left.
The school apologized officially for the incident and promised to hold an investigation for the same. They released the statement as below -
"Aguirre Administration would like to first of all apologize for the insensitive and offensive fake mock award that were given to students...As principal, I want to assure all students, parents and community members that these ward statement 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 is investigating the matter to determine what really happened. It is important to get to both sides of the story before making any judgement. The parents are disappointed and the kids are embarrassed with this incident. The name of the teacher has not been disclosed yet. Lizeth revealed that the teacher was suspended.
The way this teacher behaves with seventh grade kids is insensitive and probably not age appropriate. It is no surprise that it seems offensive to the parents, but at what point can we successfully tell parents to stop being sensitive and start teaching students that there will be people in the real world that will say things that you don't like? Isn't it better to teach students to have grit and toughness instead of being so sensitive over WORDS?
A suicide bomber recently killed 22 people and more than 60 injured in the Ariana Grande concert, so I can see how this girl would not want to be called a terrorist. Perhaps this type of mock award is best suited for older high school and college students as long as it teaches a valuable lesson. However, this is not the time to joke about terrorism when the people in Manchester are trying to get through the recent horrible incident.
Some things should not be joked about at least not around these critical days while we all are trying to fight our way through the loss of lives. Terrorists are heartless & stupid, comparing them to the kids is hurtful. People die helplessly, this is not a theme for mockery around kids.
Humanity is put to shame every time a terrorist attacks innocent people. Comparing these people to the innocent kids is an insult to the kids and could ruin their state of mind for a very long time.
There's a time and place for everything and this was probably the wrong time and wrong place.
The teacher should not be fired, but the should learn a lesson and reach out to each family to discuss this and ensure that everyone is back on the same page.
Talking about it can fix it. Running from it leaves it broken forever.