A middle school teacher in Houston has once again came under fire for an offensive awards ceremony she held for some of her college prep students this past week, as a second student came forward to expose a certificate she was given that is being called racially insensitive.
The Associated Press, USA Today, Dallas Morning News and other nationwide publications began buzzing on Thursday, May 25, when the family of 7th-grade student Lizeth Villanueva of Anthony Aguirre Junior High School reached out to the media to tell of how she was granted a "most likely to become a terrorist" award, upon completing the AVID College Readiness program on Tuesday. On Friday a student by the name of Sydney Caesar went public to back Villanueva's story, by airing an unflattering award she too had received.
"Most likely to blend in with white people,” the certificate handed to Caesar by Ms. Stacey Lockett read. Ms. Lockett, who is also said to be Black, is reported to have awarded Caesar the distinction months after she administered a 'black quiz' to the student in order to gauge how strongly she identifies with being Black, she says. Caesar was so embarrassed and upset about the certificate that she skipped out on school the following day, her mother Latonya Robinson told local news outlets.
The Channelview Independent School District has since confirmed that Ms. Lockett was suspended for the remainder of the year, and issued an apology to parents of Anthony Aguirre JHS, that states: "The Channelview ISD Administration would like to apologize for the insensitive and offensive fake mock awards that were given to students in a classroom. Channelview ISD would like to assure all students, parents and community members that these award statements and ideals are not representative of the district's vision, mission and educational goals for our students."