Teacher Gives A Student "Most Likely To Become A Terrorist" Award At School

Photo: Twitter
student awarded most likely to become a terrorist award

As a mom and a teacher, I'm HORRIFIED.

America, we have a bullying problem, and part of the problem involves adults bullying children.

Take today's latest victimization story hitting the news and social media: Lizeth Villanueva, a Houston, Texas resident, and a 13-year-old student bullied by a teacher.

She was bullied today while at school, but the bully wasn't another child. It was her teacher who felt that a tongue-in-cheek joke at the expense of her student's feelings was worth all the laughs.

Lizeth, who is a Salvadoran-American enrolled in the school's 7th-grade academic honors program, was awarded during a ceremony at Anthony Aguirre Junior High for all her hard work and effort in school, a "mock" Most Likely To Be A Terrorist Award in front of two classes and three teachers.

No, this isn't a joke. In fact, no one but the teachers seemed to find it funny. 

In addition to revealing a poor sense of crass humor mingled with a bit of abuse of authority, the student says the award was in especially poor taste after the deadly terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in England,  a crisis that not only shocked the world but is still wounding a nation.

As a former teacher and as a parent, I am more than appalled at this level of comfort a teacher has with her student's to exhibit her poor taste in humor. But to do so at the expense of a child's feeling is more than I can bear, and trust me, I'm trying to hold back my frustration.

A teacher's role in the life of a child is to protect, teach, and model what it means to be a citizen, life-long learner, and mentor to others.

As much as I hate to admit it, there's a false belief among teachers that perpetuate the belief that a child in the classroom almost becomes "your child" for that year. The trouble with this level of thinking is that it opens the floodgates to making poor decisions on how to relate to the children, and in some cases, crosses the line from teacher to bully.

RELATED: How I Conquered My Adult Bully Like A Grown-Ass Woman

No, that child never is your child, teachers. That child is a child with a heart and a home with a love of their country and their family who is entrusted to your care and concern in a government and state-funded school with the sole purpose of one thing: teach and equip for a bright future. 

But, I digress. 

According to other news reports, two other honors classes received "fake" awards, which included a 'most likely to cry for any little thing,' given to a girl, and another that was for 'most likely to be homeless' presented to a male student while two other teachers in the room laughed at the rude joke.


Since the incident, Lizeth's mother reports that her daughter has not gone back to school. Who can blame her? Children are sensitive to how their teacher perceives them, and when they think the aren't liked, it's harmful to their sense of self-worth.

A teacher's job isn't to bully them, discipline, or even be their friend. Your job is to be a teacher who inspires, encourages self-esteem, and increases hope. 

This is a huge job. This is a job that requires all you will have to give, but it is a teacher's one and only job. It's the job that millions of parents depend upon the school districts around the country to provide.

It's why so many families who aren't in the teaching profession argue in favor of teacher salary increases and thank God for the role a teacher has in their child's life. Imagine the let down they must feel when teacher bullying takes place.

RELATED: 3 Things To Do IMMEDIATELY If Your Child Is Being Bullied

Lizeth told reporters that the teacher made clear that "she was not interested in her student's feelings," which makes the situation even more emotionally abusive.

So, when things like this, and other stories of adult teachers bullying students, or hurting their child emotionally in other ways, it's emotional abuse that hurts—a lot.

Not to mention, this isn't the America we want to live in. 

Since the incident the school district released this apology on their Twitter account:

The mother of the victim, Ena Hernandez hopes the teachers are fired. 

When the student was interviewed about the incident and asked if she accepted the apology given by the school district Principal Eric Lathan, her answer was, "No."

Teachers, you have the power to change the world with education, teach children to love and respect one another starting with modeling it first.