Unbelievable School “Award” Leaves Parents Furious

For many parents, the month of June was a flurry of end of year recitals, performances, and award ceremonies at their child’s school.

It is a time to celebrate accomplishments and create special memories to cherish.

But for one family, an award presented to their child has left them outraged and dumbfounded.

Rick Castejon recently attended an award ceremony at the end of the school year at Bailly Preparatory Academy in Gary, Indiana.

He was there to support his 11-year-old son, Akalis, who was completing the fifth grade.

As other students were called up to accept small trophies labeled “Most Improved” or “Funniest” student, Akalis was thrilled when he was called up for an award like his friends.

But for Rick, the award his son received left him speechless.  Akalis was dubbed “Most Annoying Male” student.

Now, any parent would be confused and disgusted by this, but for Rick, it went much deeper.

Akalis is on the autism spectrum.  He is non-verbal and often exhibits behaviors like shaking or rocking back and forth and is in a special education class at the school.

As the ceremony came to a close, Rick Castejon left his son’s “award” behind, determined to deal with the situation privately so as not to cause a scene in front of his son or other parents who were celebrating their children’s accomplishments.

But the teacher who issued the award found Castejon and handed him the “forgotten” award.

“You’d think one would know and understand the conditions of autism and have more patience to deal with children who suffer from autism,” said Akalis’ mother, Estella, who was unable to attend the ceremony according to ABC News.

While this special education teacher may have thought the award was funny, it is no laughing matter to Akalis’ parents.

They went to the school the next day, demanding an apology from the principal and the offending teacher.

School administrators, and even the local school board, were shocked, issuing a statement that the teacher’s behavior would not be condoned.  They apologized to Akalis, his parents, and anyone else upset by the award.

But they have yet to hear anything from the teacher, who is facing disciplinary action.

It is impossible to believe that in this age of “inclusion” where those in the education profession have to be so careful about what they say and do that any teacher would be this reckless and insulting.

Fortunately, says Rick Castejon, Akalis didn’t understand what the award meant and remained happy to be included.

But for his parents, the community, and other American parents who have heard the story, it is inexcusable.

“[Akalis] just wants to be like everyone else. He is like everyone else, the difference is he cannot express himself like every other person does,” said his mom, reports ABC News.

It remains to be seen just what sort of disciplinary action was taken against the teacher who initiated the award, but one thing is clear.

She has no business ever working as a special education teacher again.

Whether or not Akalis understands that he was the victim of a form of bullying by someone who was supposed to help him, his parents do.

For them, this is an award ceremony they will never forget.  But unlike the other parents at the school that day, it is not a memory they will cherish.

What action do you think the school board should take against the teacher who initiated this offensive award?  Leave us your comments.