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Teachers give 'Most Likely to Become a Terrorist' award to 13-year-old girl


Texas teachers have been disciplined, though the Houston-area school district won’t say how, for giving a 13-year-old girl a mock award: “Most Likely to Become a Terrorist.”
CHANNELVIEW, Texas — A number of teachers in a Texas school district are being disciplined after naming a student “most likely to become a terrorist.”
Lizeth Villanueva, a seventh grader, received a certificate during a mock awards ceremony Tuesday at Anthony Aguirre Junior High in Channelview, Texas, near Houston. Lizeth said the teacher who signed it handed out certificates to a number of students while other teachers watched and laughed.
“They just found it as a joke, ” said Lizeth, 13.
The awards were given out a day after the suicide bombing at the end of the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.
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“She said that some people might get offended, but she doesn’ t really care about our feelings, ” Lizeth said. “She was laughing about it.”
It’s no laughing matter to Lizeth’s mom.
“I read it twice. I’ m like, ‘What is this?!’ ” said Ena Hernandez.
Hernandez said her daughter is in an advanced academic program and has never had a discipline problem.
“It doesn’ t look good at all, especially coming from a teacher, a grown-up woman, ” Hernandez said. “It doesn’ t look good because everything that’s going on right now.”
Hernandez said the principal, Eric Lathan, personally apologized during a meeting at the school.
“I just think it’s going to stop, it’s going to end there, ” Hernandez said.
The Channelview Independent School District would not confirm the names of any teachers because it’s a personnel matter, but a spokesperson said those involved are being disciplined in accordance with policy.
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In a statement, the school district said, “The Channelview (Independent School District) 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 students.
“The teachers involved in this matter have been disciplined according to district policy and the incident is still under investigation.”
Lizeth has an idea of what she would like to see happen to the teachers.
“Get fired, at least, or something, ” she said.
She hasn’ t been back to class since receiving her certificate.
Contributing: The Associated Press. Follow Jason Miles on Twitter: @JMilesKHOU
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