CHANNELVIEW - "Most likely to be a terrorist." Those are the words one seventh-grader at Lance Cpl. Anthony Aguirre Junior High School brought home from her teacher.
It was an award given to 13-year-old Lizeth Villanueva by her teacher.
"I was shocked," Lizeth said. "[The teacher] said, 'Most likely to become a terrorist,' and she said my name, and she gave me this."
"Most likely to be a terrorist," were the words written on the award. Just below those words was her teacher's signature.
Channelview Independent School District official Mark Kramer said it was one of the "fake mock awards" a seventh-grade teacher distributed to students to her class.
Lizeth said it happened Tuesday in her AVID class, which is an advanced learning program to prepare students for college.
She said her teacher gave other students awards with the disclaimer that "it might hurt [students'] feelings." She said the teacher meant it 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 furious. She said her daughter was hurt. The family was too.
"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."
Kramer told KPRC it was a "poor attempt to poke fun," and that the activity "wasn't well thought out."
"We're really upset about it coming from a teacher," Hernandez said. "That program is supposed to be for advanced kids. It is kind of hard to believe that she's doing that. Being a teacher--giving this to a 13-year-old. How is she going to feel when she grows up later on?"
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."
They did not release the teacher's name.
Lizeth said the teacher was suspended. School ends this week. Hernandez met with the junior high's assistant principal, who apologized. Hernandez said what the teacher did was unacceptable, considering recent events like the bombing in Manchester, England.
"Suspension is not enough," Hernandez said.
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