Student award ceremonies are supposed to be an uplifting and congratulatory way for students to celebrate their accomplishments from the school year, but this Texas middle school decided to have a "mock award ceremony," where some incredibly offensive awards were given out. Lizeth Villanueva, a 13-year-old student at Anthony Aguirre Junior High in Houston was "shocked" when she was named "most likely to become a terrorist" at the ceremony.
"It was not a joke," Lizeth told Click2Houston. "I do not feel comfortable with this."
The award was included among other "joke" honors, like "most likely to cry for every little thing" and "most likely to become homeless." These were given out to students in an honors program that prepares the kids for college.
— Aguirre Junior High (@AguirreBulldogs) May 23, 2017
This came just one day after the horrific terrorist attack in Manchester where 22 innocent lives were taken. "That's not something to joke around with," Lizeth said, and we couldn't agree more.
The school has since issued a statement on Twitter, explaining that there are plans to launch an investigation following this "insensitive and offensive fake mock awards."
"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," Principal Eric Lathan wrote. "An investigation will be launched into these events."
Official Statement from Building Principal in response to fake awards: pic.twitter.com/BoZGRJajx4
— Aguirre Junior High (@AguirreBulldogs) May 24, 2017
Lizeth's mother, Ena Hernandez, was furious. "We're really upset about it coming from a teacher," Ena told the Houston station. "That program is supposed to be for advanced kids. It is kind of hard to believe that she's doing that. A teacher giving this to a 13-year-old. How is she going to feel when she grows up later on?"
The school has reportedly suspended the teacher responsible for the award for the remainder of the school year, which ends this week, and the school did not say if she would be back next year.
"Suspension is not enough," Ena said.