GARY, Ind. (CBS Local) — An Indiana father says he was “blindsided” when his autistic son was recently recognized as the “most annoying male” at a school luncheon.
Rick Castejon said his 11-year-old son was given the award last month at Bailly Preparatory Academy in Gary during an annual end-of-year ceremony and luncheon for fifth-graders. He said the award was presented to his son by a special education teacher in front of his child’s classmates, parents and the school’s principal.
“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.”
The Times reported that the parents attending the event at a Golden Corral restaurant fell silent as the boy received the trophy, which was inscribed “BAILEY PREPARATORY ACADEMY 2018-2019 MOST ANNOYING MALE.
The Gary Community School Corporation emergency manager Peter Morikis apologized for “this unfortunate occurrence” and said disciplinary action was taken against the personnel involved. Morikis did not elaborate but Castejon said the emergency manager told him that his son’s teacher could be suspended for two weeks and possibly fired.
Castejon said his family was already planning to move to Valparaiso for next school year, but is speaking out so other students don’t go through a similar experience.
“We just don’t want any other kids to go through this,” Castejon told The Times. “Just because they have special needs doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings.”