Nothing says “congratulations” like a good ol’ end-of-the-year awards ceremony. But a middle school teacher at Lance Cpl. Anthony Aguirre Junior High School in Texas decided to ruin that tradition with incredibly inappropriate superlatives. According to The New York Times, instead of giving normal awards like “most improved” or “most welcoming,” Stacy Lockett instead handed out certificates with phrases like “most likely to become a terrorist” or “most likely to blend in with white people.”
According to a video on Click2Houston, Lizeth Villanueva, the student awarded the “most likely to become a terrorist” award, said the awards included “Most likely to cry about every little thing, because [that student] is very emotional…There was another one about this kid. His was kind of like a joke because all his friends would call him, ‘Little homeless Indian.’ And [the teacher] told him, ‘Most Likely to Become Homeless in Guatemala.”
Joke or no joke, this is not the type of behavior that teachers should be modeling for young students, and the school confirmed to the Times that Lockett is no longer employed there. These kids are going to be experiencing enough racism and prejudice as it is—there’s no need for their teachers, who are supposed to provide a safe space to learn, to add on to the pile.
Although most families were horrified by Lockett’s actions, some parents, and even students, said they liked her.
Evelyn Ruano is one of them. “She’s a really great teacher,” she told Click2Houston. “The way she teaches her students, she makes it feel like it’s a second home for them.”