An Indiana father has spoken out after a female special-ed teacher last month gave his 11-year-old son, who is autistic, a “most annoying male” trophy.
The teacher presented the trophy to the boy at a fifth-grade awards luncheon for Bailly Preparatory Academy in a Golden Corral restaurant in Gary. Students, parents and the school’s principal, Carlita Royal, were on hand for the May 23 event.
Rick Castejon, the father, told The Times of Northwest Indiana that parents fell silent as his son accepted the trophy, which was emblazoned with the words: “BAILEY PREPARATORY ACADEMY 2018-2019 MOST ANNOYING MALE.”
“We were blindsided. We just weren’t expecting it. As a principal or teacher, you should never let this happen to any student,” he said, explaining that his son is nonverbal and can easily become emotional. “We just don’t want any other kids to go through this. Just because they have special needs doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings.”
According to Castejon, he tried to leave the trophy on a table at the end of the event rather the causing a scene. But the unnamed teacher came over and reminded him to take home the award.
Gary Community School Corp. emergency manager Peter Morikis confirmed the incident on Monday in a statement to The Times, saying that disciplinary action was taken against the personnel involved. He did not provide further details.
“The Gary Community School Corporation does not condone this type of behavior and will continue to put the safety and well-being of our students first,” Peter Morikis said. “We extend our deepest apologies to the impacted student, the family and anyone else who take offense to this unfortunate occurrence.”
Castejon said that in a meeting with him, Morikis had mentioned suspending or firing the teacher. He noted that she was absent from a fifth-grade graduation ceremony several days after the awards luncheon.
The father added that he was satisfied with Morikis’ response, but had come forward in an effort to protect other special needs students from experiencing similar treatment.
“Most annoying male” in the age of feminism
American Enterprise Institute scholar Christina Hoff Sommers has long warned of what she calls “The War Against Boys.”
Writing in The Atlantic in May 2000, Sommers argued that contrary to feminist conventional wisdom, it it boys rather than girls who are being discriminated against at school and in American culture.
“This we think we know: American schools favor boys and grind down girls,” she said. “The truth is the very opposite. By virtually every measure, girls are thriving in school; it is boys who are the second sex.”
The idea that schools and society grind girls down has given rise to an array of laws and policies intended to curtail the advantage boys have and to redress the harm done to girls. That girls are treated as the second sex in school and consequently suffer, that boys are accorded privileges and consequently benefit—these are things everyone is presumed to know. But they are not true.
The research commonly cited to support claims of male privilege and male sinfulness is riddled with errors. Almost none of it has been published in peer-reviewed professional journals. Some of the data turn out to be mysteriously missing. A review of the facts shows boys, not girls, on the weak side of an education gender gap. The typical boy is a year and a half behind the typical girl in reading and writing; he is less committed to school and less likely to go to college. In 1997 college full-time enrollments were 45 percent male and 55 percent female. The Department of Education predicts that the proportion of boys in college classes will continue to shrink.
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