Parents of students at Anthony Aguirre Junior High School have come forward with stories about receiving offensive awards from a teacher. Sydney Caesar says her award says, “Most Likely to Blend in with White People.” Now, Lizeth Villanueva received one that declared “Most Likely to Become a Terrorist,” according to Fox 26 Houston.
A photo showing Caesar, who is Black, holding her certificate began circulating on social media last week.
“Where is the common sense in that? I mean, how can you think that is okay to say it in the first place and then right after a major event has happened. It just doesn’t make any sense”, says Cesar’s sister Lauren Easton.
Caesar’s mother, Latonya Robinson, attests that the photo was real and that the outrage felt by the public is more than justified.
“For that child to either be called a terrorist or she’s not black enough, basically now the students are taking that and that’s her label for the rest of the school year,” she said.
Superintendent of Channelview ISD sent FOX 26 a statement that says:
The Channelview Independent School District would like to emphasize that a recent incident where insensitive and offensive mock awards presented to students are in no way associated with the AVID College Readiness System or the AVID Center. Channelview ISD does not support this type of recognition under any circumstances and the placement of the AVID logo on these certificates was an error. At no time was the AVID program itself involved in this unfortunate incident.
The AVID System is an outstanding college readiness model that has led to continued high levels of student achievement in Channelview ISD. AVID’s system has benefited hundreds of thousands of students worldwide since 1984. Working together with the AVID Center, Channelview ISD’s AVID system provides intensive support to students with tutorials, positive peer groups, and college-readiness skills.
Channelview ISD would like to reassure the community that this incident does not reflect the many good things going on in our district. The district does not condone the incident that occurred and we are taking this matter very seriously.”