Teachers suspended after “Most Likely to Become a Terrorist” award

Offensive “joke” certificate given to 13-year-old Texas honors student

A Texas school district issued an apology on Friday after it was reported that a 13-year-old student got an award declaring her “Most Likely to Become a Terrorist”. According to the Channelview Independent School District, the teachers involved in giving out this and other “insensitive and offensive” awards in a mock ceremony at Anthony Aguirre Junior High have been disciplined. Lizeth Villanueva, an honors student, says that the teacher “said that some people might get offended, but she doesn’t really care about our feelings. She was laughing about it.” Villanueva also told the local news station that made the story go viral that the teacher also invoked the terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester as part of the joke. “It doesn’t look like a joke to me,” Ena Hernandez, Villanueva’s mother, told reporters. Other awards given out in the ceremony included “most likely to cry for every little thing” and “most likely to become homeless”. As the school district’s spokesman Mark Kramer tried to spin it, the ceremony was a “poor attempt to poke fun” and “wasn’t well thought out”. Hernandez says that the school’s principal, Eric Lathan, personally apologized. However, Hernandez still wants the teachers fired, fearing that they will continue to promote an attitude of tastelessness. As for Villanueva, she says she hasn’t been to school since the incident due to feeling “uncomfortable” in that atmosphere. Villanueva also said that the teacher should “get fired, at least, or something.”

As for the community, the local story received over one thousand shares and even more in comments on Facebook, blasting the teachers for this kind of humor. For example, Iranesha Alexander, whose younger sister attends the school, said, “If it was on the other foot, they wouldn’t be laughing.” There were a small contingent who defended the teacher, such as Claudia Landaverde, whose daughter attended classes taught by the offender. “I have only good things to say about her. She is amazing. She teaches her kids. She has them on schedule. All of her kids are college bound.”

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