Lizeth Villanueva wasn’t laughing when her teacher handed her a “most likely to become a terrorist” award as a joke at the end of the year.
“I was upset and very mad when I saw the award,” her mother Ena Hernandez told The Washington Post. “I was surprised because my daughter has been doing well in the honors program.”
The Salvadoran American seventh-grader who has been in the academic honors program for two years said that the teachers laughed as the awards were signed and handed out to two honors classes. “[The professor] said that some people might get offended, but she doesn’t really care about our feelings,” she told a KHOU, a local news station. “She was laughing about it.” Villanueva hasn’t returned back to school since the incident, as she “feels uncomfortable.”
The 13-year-old wasn’t the only student at Anthony Aguirre Junior High in Channelview, Texas to get a mock end-of-the-year award. Another student, Sydney Cesar, received a “most likely to blend in with white people” award.
The school district responded to the incident with a statement saying, “”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 student.”
They also added that the investigation is still ongoing and the teachers involved have been disciplined.