End-of-the-year ceremonies are usually a time to celebrate students' achievements, but one seventh grader got an incredibly offensive award from her teacher instead. Lizeth Villanueva's teacher at her Texas junior high school gave her a "most likely to become a terrorist" award as a joke on Tuesday, but Villanueva and her mother didn't find the joke funny at all.
“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.”
Her mom had to read it over a few times before fully realizing what it said. "I read it again, and I'm like, 'What is this?' That's when my daughter told me it was supposed to be a joke," she told the Post.
The unnamed teacher at Anthony Aguirre Junior High School in Channelview, Texas reportedly said the awards were supposed to be funny, but Lizeth told KPRC it made her uncomfortable being in the same room as the teacher. "It was not a joke," the 13-year-old said.
The "mock" awards were handed out in Lizeth's AVID class that prepares students for college.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Anthony Aguirre Junior High School apologized for the "insensitive and offensive fake mock awards" given out after the school's official award ceremony, saying the awards don't represent the school's ideals.
Regardless, Lizeth hasn't been back to class since her teacher told her she was "mostly likely to become a terrorist." She told 12 News she wants the teacher to be fired. The district said the teacher involved would be disciplined and the incident investigated, but Lizeth's mom said she doesn't expect much to happen.
Other students in the class were also given "mock" awards, but it's unclear what "jokes" they bestowed up the young teens.