Outrage as teacher gives autistic teen award for 'most annoying' student
An Indiana school has come under fire for giving a "most annoying" award to an autistic student.
The boy's father, Rick Castejon, revealed to The Times of Northwest Indiana that his son had been presented with the award at a ceremony attended by his teachers and classmates at Bailly Preparatory Academy in Gary.
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He was given a trophy, which was inscribed: "Bailly Preparatory Academy 2018-2019 Most Annoying Male."
The award ceremony was also attended by the school's principal, Carlita Royal.
The 11-year-old told his father that he did not want to kick up a fuss after being presented with the award at the time, so he left it on the table, but he was then told by one of the teachers not to leave it behind.
In the US, one-in-59 pupils will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the CDC reported.
Castejon said that his son, who is nonverbal, often rocks back and forth because of his autism - a condition which is school is more than aware of, having contacted him about his behavior numerous times.
"They called me all the time if he didn't want to work, would cry or would have a breakdown," Castejon said.
The school has subsequently apologized for issuing the pupil with the award and said in a statement to NBC-affiliate WWLP that "an apology was extended on behalf of the district to the family and disciplinary action was taken against personnel involved."
"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."