The Texas teacher who allegedly doled out the questionable “most likely to become a terrorist” mock award to a seventh grade student no longer works for the school district, say officials.
Late Tuesday, the Houston-area Channelview Independent School District issued a brief statement about the development. It read: “We have concluded our investigation and the teacher responsible is no longer employed by the district.”
However, it remains unclear on what terms the teacher and the school district parted company. A Channelview ISD spokesman would not say if the teacher was fired or resigned, according to KHOU. The school district official also did not identify the name of the teacher.
Breitbart Texas reported that Anthony Aguirre Junior High School seventh grade student Lizeth Villanueva received the unflattering “most likely to become a terrorist” certificate as part of a mock awards ceremony held in an AVID advanced college prep class on May 23, during the last week of the school year. According to Villanueva, the teacher said she meant the fake certificates to be funny, also handing out similarly odd end-of-year awards to other students with the disclaimer that “it might hurt [students’] feelings.”
Villanueva’s mother, Ena Hernandez, was furious and saw no humor in the inappropriate award, sharing that her daughter never had a discipline problem at school. Hernandez also expressed upset at the seeming lack of discretion by the teacher, awarding Villanueva such a dubious distinction one day after the Manchester, England terrorist attack that left 22 dead and more than 60 hospitalized.
Reportedly, other Anthony Aguirre Junior High AVID students came forward about insolent mock honors they received from the same teacher on the last week of the school year. They included “most likely to be homeless,” “most likely to cry for every little thing,” and “most likely to blend in with white people.”
At the time of the incident, Channelview ISD released an apologetic public statement, calling the fake awards “insensitive and offensive.” The school district acknowledged several teachers who participated in the fake ceremony were reprimanded. “The teachers involved in this matter have been disciplined according to district policy,” said the district, noting the incident remained under investigation. Channelview ISD spokesman Mark Kramer called the mock awards a “poor attempt to poke fun” and that the activity “wasn’t well thought out.”
Subsequently, an online petition, “Fire Teacher Who Gave Student ‘Most Likely to Become a Terrorist’ Award!,” was started. To date, it has received nearly 21,000 of the 25,000 signatures it seeks. People from across the United States and in other countries signed the appeal which demanded that Channelview ISD fire the teacher immediately.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) also called for the firing of the unidentified teacher. “We want her fired,” said Mary Ramos, a member of LULAC Texas District VIII, KHOU reported. “We’ll do whatever we have to do,” she added.
For now, it appears that only this one teacher is no longer affiliated with Channelview ISD. No further details were provided by the school district.
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