By: Krystle Crossman
Two teachers at Sulpher Springs Middle School in Texas are being questioned for some awards that they have been handing out to children who receive special education. They have been doing this for years and flying under the radar but now parents are speaking up about the offensive awards that the teachers are handing out. At the top of the certificate that they pass out is the title “8th Annual Ghetto Classroom Awards”. When one student came home with the award for “Huh?” their mother questioned their methods. The “Huh” award was for the student who was the most confusing student in class.
Jerrika Wilkins, the mother of the 14 year old boy who brought home the award stated that he was very put off by it and it made him feel like he was inferior. She said that he really wants to do well in school and by getting an award with “ghetto” on the top of it for showing the most confusion in class his confidence is shaken because it makes him think he isn’t doing as well as he thought. Wilkins took a photo of the certificate and posted it on social media where it gained a lot of attention within the community, including that of Superintendent Michael Lamb. Upon learning about these awards Lamb stated that he was shocked and dismayed.
While it appears that the principal of Sulpher Spring Middle School, Jenna Williams, had signed the bottom of all of the certificates they were actually forged. She had no idea that students were receiving these for eight years. She stated that she did not endorse these in any way. She brought in the Wilkins family and apologized to them for any pain that this incident may have caused. The family was grateful for the apology. The two teachers that have been passing the certificates out stated that they were not meant to disrespect anyone and they were supposed to be in good fun. Wilkins stated that she found it disheartening that the teachers didn’t seem to understand why giving a child a “ghetto” award was offensive. The situation is still being looked into by the school district and there is no word yet on whether action will be taken against the two teachers or not.