“We were blindsided. We just weren’t expecting it. As a principal or teacher, you should never let this happen to any student,” said the boy's father.
A couple from Indiana are furious because their 11-year-old son with autism has been given an award for being the 'most annoying male'. This, from a special education teacher. According to a report by People. Estella Castejon, of Gary, was shocked to know that her son Achilles and another student received the 'Bailey Preparatory Academy 2018-2019 Most Annoying Male' award during an event for fifth-graders on May 23. The story was originally reported by NBC affiliate, WMAQ. This is not something you award a child, irrespective of their medical condition.
“When I saw it, I had to take a double take at it,” said Estella. “I wasn’t sure if my eyes were reading it correctly … I’m not sure of their intention, but it’s hurtful for anyone to get let alone a child who doesn’t even understand what it says.” Estella and her husband Rick Castejon added that their son is non-verbal and that he can get emotional sometimes. WMAQ also mentioned that Achilles had been bullied.
Teacher gives boy with autism given ‘most annoying’ award. I have no words for the stupidity of this teacher but clearly an investigation to see if there were other forms of disability discrimination and a big fat lawsuit are what’s needed! 😡 https://t.co/0goz50x7S8— Areva Martin, Esq. (@ArevaMartin) June 5, 2019
The boy's parents claim he probably did not understand what was written on the trophy but wanted to keep it anyway because "it was a nice, shiny star.” Peter Morikis, Gary Community School Corporation emergency manager told the Times of Northwest Indiana that appropriate disciplinary action had been taken against the teacher. The Gary Community School Corporation does not condone this type of behavior and will continue to put the safety and well-being of our students first, said Morikis in a statement.
"Boy with autism receives 'Most Annoying' student award from school."https://t.co/uJHAAurUbk— Talkback (@TalkbackNclude) June 5, 2019
Teachers need to be educated as to how to cater for children with autism. This highlights ignorance & lack of sensitivity & inclusivity. Annoying that this "award" was even given.
During the annual event, the award was announced in front of parents, students and the school’s principal, Carlita Royal. It was reported that the audience fell silent when the award was announced as they had no clue how to react to such a situation.
The teacher should NOT be teaching special ED if this is what she does. It's not "in fun." And I'm not sure the school really cares.— DanyK (@danniK80) June 4, 2019
School apologizes after boy with autism given 'most annoying' award https://t.co/A5O3VhWWhD via @myfox8
“We were blindsided. We just weren’t expecting it. As a principal or teacher, you should never let this happen to any student,” said Rick. He added that kids with autism “just want to be liked, they just want to have fun, be treated like normal people. That’s all.” After the awards were announced, they did not want to create a scene, so they left the trophy behind, but the teacher tried to play it as a joke and urged the family not to forget the trophy and leave it behind.
No kid should get an award to demean or degrade them in any kind of way. Schools are for learning and getting an education. Stop all awards!!!!— Monica (@amazed_am_i) June 4, 2019
“We just don’t want any other kids to go through this,” said Rick. “Just because they have special needs doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings.” No one seemed to understand why someone would pull off such a stunt. Suzanne Smith wrote: This is way worse than what happened to my son with autism. At his summer camp which as a whole is a wonderful organization, it was just the seasonal help that fell short. They gave him a paper award that said "the loudest" I actually cried cause I'm like he can't help being loud. They could have said "the most enthusiastic" that would have sounded better.
I cannot even imagine. The teacher should be FIRED and never allowed to teach again. Honestly the teacher would still be picking up their teeth if this happened to my child.— KristineH128 (@KristineH128) June 5, 2019
Samra Carroll Franklin added: I will never understand why anyone, especially a special education teacher, would think that this is okay. Heartbreaking for this child and family. Miranda Miller said: As a mother of a young son with autism this is not okay. My husband and I fight for that little guy every day, my son works so hard day in and day out. For a teacher to give this to a special needs kid or any kid for that matter is absolutely 100% unacceptable.
This is why bullying is at epidemic proportions. It’s not just kids who bully kids...it’s (some) teachers bullying kids too.— Cluckie Duckie (@POBrat) June 5, 2019
Jennifer Noonan Guida sadly added: I saw on the news the boy didn’t realize and was happy about the trophy. That teacher crushed the hearts of the parents and his family and now anyone that knows. The teacher is a perfect example of ignorance and inhumanity. I hope the teacher’s pic goes viral. Jean Maselek commented: I’m special needs and I know I’d be very upset about receiving that as well my parents as special needs kids work very hard to be part of their communities as this person should not be working with special needs children.
The teacher and principal should be punished for this. Why even think that’s ok to give out during an official assembly. Unacceptable anywhere but Trump America and just wrong!— gizmoyahoo (@gizmotenino) June 5, 2019