This month, a seventh-grade teacher at Aguirre Junior High School in Texas “awarded” a student, Lizeth Villanueva, the superlative certificate “most likely to become a terrorist” as other teachers laughed along.
— Jason Miles (@JMilesKHOU) May 25, 2017
Following an investigation, the teacher – who is still unidentified – no longer works for the school district, according to officials.
“We have concluded our investigation, and the teacher responsible is no longer employed by the district,” the Channelview Independent School District said in a statement.
Villanueva, the student who received the certificate, said, “I was bothered. I don’t like it.”
Another student, Sydney Caesar, who is black, received a certificate of her own that read “most likely to blend in with white people.”
— Lindsey Henry FOX 26 (@LindseyFOX26) May 26, 2017
Caesar’s mother told a local news station, “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.”
The fact that teachers, of all people – those who are supposed to serve as role models for our children – are behaving instead like outright racists and bigots signals that our country is headed in the wrong direction. While this particular teacher was too cowardly to reveal his or her identity to the press, it didn’t seem to be an issue to call out an innocent child as a “terrorist” or castigate another for her skin color. Emboldened by Trump, however, deplorable events like these have become commonplace in today’s America.
Thankfully, at least in this small corner of America, justice was served.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.