Outrage at autistic boy’s ‘appalling’ award
A SPECIAL education teacher is in hot water for mocking a fifth-grader with autism by giving him a trophy for "most annoying male".
Rick Castejon said he was "blindsided" when the bizarre award was handed to his 11-year-old son, who is non-verbal, at a luncheon for Bailly Preparatory Academy in Indiana, USA last month, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported.
Students, parents and the principal were present when the trophy inscribed "Baily Pepartyory Academy Most Annoying Male" reportedly was presented at the end-of-the-year awards.
"We just weren't expecting it," Mr Castejon said.
"As a principal or teacher, you should never let this happen to any student."
The dad claimed the educator tried to play off the situation as a joke, which he found insensitive to his son's special needs, according to the newspaper.
"We just don't want any other kids to go through this," Castejon said.
"Just because they have special needs doesn't mean they don't have feelings."
Since news of the alleged heartbreaking incident broke, many have expressed their anger online - blasting it "offensive" and "appalling".
School officials confirmed they met with the family, and that disciplinary action would be taken against any faculty involved in the incident, the outlet reported.
"We acknowledge the potential impact that an experience like this could have on a child's mental wellbeing, self-esteem and overall level of comfortability in a learning environment going forward," Gary Community School Corporation emergency manager Peter Morikis said.
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and is republished with permission