A Texas middle school teacher has lost her job after she was accused of giving students offensive mock awards, such as “Most likely to become a terrorist” and “Most likely to blend in with white people,” according to the Houston Chronicle.
The school district on June 7 released a short statement to the news media that said, “We have concluded our investigation and the teacher responsible is no longer employed by the district.”
It is not certain whether the teacher, who taught at Anthony Aguirre Junior High School near Houston, was fired or resigned.
The name of teacher also has not been publicly disclosed, but the name of the person who signed the award certificates during a mock end-of-the-term awards ceremony on May 23, according to news reports, is Stacy Lockett.
Seventh-grader Lizeth Villanueva told a number of news outlets that she was given a certificate that read “Most likely to become a terrorist”
She told TV station KHOU that the teacher who signed it handed out certificates to a number of students while other teachers watched 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.”
Another student, Sydney Caesar, told Fox26 Houston she received an award that read “Most likely to blend in with white people.”
Her mother says, "Everyone doesn't believe that this is real but yes, this certificate shows that this is real."
==> https://t.co/vnuZ9j84dH pic.twitter.com/PGEUVs7WVT
— FOX26Houston (@FOX26Houston) May 28, 2017
“For that child to either be called a terrorist or she’s not Black enough, basically, now the students are taking that and that’s her label for the rest of the school year,” her mother, Latonya Robinson, told the TV station.
The incident occurred in a class associated with the AVID program, a national nonprofit that prepares students for college. A statement from the San Diego-based company called the matter a “reprehensible action of a single teacher” that did not reflect its values.
Shortly after the incident, the school’s principal, Eric Lathan, released a statement to the community that said the mock awards were not representative of the school’s values.
In a period in which social media has made it easier to report unusual incidents, a number of incidents involving teachers making comments deemed outright offensive or at the least culturally insensitive to students have been reported.
In April 2014, for example, an Ohio teacher who told a young African-American student that America didn’t need to have another Black president was fired.