A Gary father is expressing disbelief this week after his fifth-grader, who is autistic, was given a trophy naming him the “most annoying male” for the school year.
Rick Castejon said the award was given to his 11-year-old child at a fifth-grade grants lunch meeting for Bailly Preparatory Academy students a month ago by a teacher in front of students, parents and the school’s principal Carlita Royal.
“We were blindsided. We just weren’t expecting it,” Castejon said. “As a principal or teacher, you should never let this happen to any student.”
Gary Community School Corp. crisis director Peter Morikis affirmed the incident in an announcement Monday, saying he met promptly with family after learning of the incident and that disciplinary action was taken against the personnel involved.
He said: “The Gary Community School Corporation does not condone this type of behavior and will continue to put the safety and well-being of our students first,” Morikis said in a prepared statement to The Times. “We extend our deepest apologies to the impacted student, the family and anyone else who take offense to this unfortunate occurrence.”
As a part of a normal end-of-year awards ceremony, guardians fell quiet as the trophy was displayed to the 11-year-old student at a May 23 school honours lunch get-together at the Merrillville Golden Corral, Castejon said.
It’s inscribed “BAILEY PREPARATORY ACADEMY 2018-2019 MOST ANNOYING MALE.”