It seems as if a few Texas teachers need to go back to school to learn that a joke is supposed to be funny. However, in shockingly poor taste, some Channelview Independent School District teachers reportedly laughed during a mock awards ceremony as they handed out certificates, including one that dubbed a 13-year-old student “most likely to become a terrorist.”
“They just found it as a joke,” seventh-grader Lizeth Villanueva told KHOU.
Lizeth got the certificate earlier this week at Anthony Aguirre Junior High. She said that one teacher signed the certificates—which included superlatives like “most likely to cry for every little thing” and “most likely to become homeless”—while other teachers looked on and laughed.
“She said that some people might get offended, but she doesn’t really care about our feelings,” Lizeth said. “She was laughing about it.”
The award was given out just one day after the arena terrorist attack in Manchester, England.
“I was upset and very mad when I saw the award,” Lizeth’s mom, Ena Hernandez, told the Washington Post. “I was surprised because my daughter has been doing well in the honors program.”
According to the Post, the seventh-grader has been in the school’s honors program for two years and has never been a discipline problem.
“It doesn’t look good at all, especially coming from a teacher, a grown-up woman,” Hernandez added to KHOU. “It doesn’t look good because everything that’s going on right now.”
According to the news station, the principal of the school personally apologized during a meeting at the school. The district, however, declined to confirm the names of any of the teachers present, citing a “personnel matter.” The school released a statement saying that those involved have been disciplined according to district policy and that the incident was still under investigation:
“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.”
Hernandez wants to see the teachers fired or else, she said, “they will continue doing the same thing.”
Meanwhile, Lizeth hasn’t been back to school because she “feels uncomfortable,” the Post reports.