Autistic boy, 11, presented with 'most annoying male' trophy by teacher
“You should never let this happen to any student”
Content Editor / June 05 2019
The father of an 11-year-old autistic boy said he was “blindsided” when his son was presented with a “most annoying male” trophy in front of students, parents and the principal at a school luncheon.
“We just weren’t expecting it,” Rick Castejon told the Times of Northwest Indiana. "As a principal or teacher, you should never let this happen to any student.”
Parents fell silent as the trophy was presented to the young student at the end-of-year awards ceremony, Mr Castejon said.
The trophy is inscribed with: Bailey Preparatory Academy 2018-2019 Most Annoying Male.”
Mr Castejon said he tried to leave the award on a table at the end of the lunch, but was approached by his son's teacher reminding him not to forget it.
He said the teacher acted as if she were trying to play the incident off like a funny joke.
The distraught father said that teachers had frequently called the family home to express concern about his son’s behaviour.
The 11-year-old is nonverbal, occasionally rocks back and forth and can become easily emotional – all normal, typical behaviours for a child with autism.
“They called me all the time if he didn’t want to work, would cry or would have a breakdown,” Mr Castejon said.
“A special needs education teacher should know how to handle these things.”
The school has extended an apology to the family and have taken disciplinary action against the educator in question, however they have not confirmed whether the teacher will lose her position.
The family are moving soon and their son will no longer be attending Bailey Preparatory Academy.
Mr Castejon said he was happy with the school’s response to the incident but wants to ensure other students with special needs never experience the same kind of treatment.
“We just don’t want any other kids to go through this,” he said.
“Just because they have special needs doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings.”
Nicola Conville has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years across a wide range of print and online publications. Her areas of expertise are parenting, health and travel. She has two children; Lucy, age eight, and Nathan, age five.