Arizona Girl Given Fake Award For Best Homework Excuses; Mom Says Teacher "Humiliated" Her

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The mother of an 8-year-old girl presented with a "Catastrophe Award" for the best/most excuses for not doing homework believes her child was humiliated by her teacher.

Christina Valdez said her daughter, Cassandra Garcia, came home one day from class at Desert Springs Academy in Tucson, Ariz., with the paper award.

The document, which looks like a colorful card, says: "You're Tops! Catastrophe Award. Awarded to Cassandra Garcia. For Most Excuses for Not Having Homework!"

The teacher signed and dated the card, which included a smiley face.

The teacher announced the award in front of Garcia's entire third grade class, while other students laughed at her daughter, Valdez told KGUN-TV in Tucson.

When she called to complain, the principal "blew me off," Valdez added. "She said it was a joke that was played and that the teachers joke around with the children."

Valdez told KGUN that she didn't find any of it funny.

"I think it's cruel and no child should be given an award like this. It's disturbing," she said, adding that she was unaware of any problem with homework.

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The teacher didn't humiliate anybody. Was she embarrassed? Maybe. So what? Next time she will do her hw. Parents today are raising spineless children that feel that every time their feelings are hurt someone needs to pay. It's out of control, it's the fault of the parents and they're truly doing their children a disservice.


Bullying is the most overused word ever. You don't know what bullying is if you think this is it. The mother should put half as much effort into making sure her daughters hw is done instead of overreacting to this. Her daughter is not a delicate flower. She'll be just fine.


At the end of the school year teachers hand out awards. These awards are meant for fun. She was not the only one to receive an award. That's the party of the story left out. A child got an award to be most likely to sleep his life away. The kids laughed.
How about do some parenting and check her homework. Instead the mother is looking for $$$$$.


Ehh, the mom should be embarrased for publicly bringing up the fact that she doesn't pay attention to the fact that her 8 yr old isn't doing her school work..but the teacher is also wrong for promoting bullying by bringing it up infront of the whole class.the girl is 8 years old and was just seriously embarrased infront of everyone, so it should be brought to for the public eye to see a teacher is bullying. But lord does it make that mom look bad!


Ms Plowman was wrong to humiliate a child like this. It is NOT OK. It is not very much different from bullying. I urge all the adults in the forum to pause for a minute and wonder how they would feel if their supervisor or manager humiliated them with such an award for late deliverables at work in front of their co-workers. Not good right ? Then how is it okay to shame a young 8 year old girl who may not be singularly responsible for her situation ? The solution likes in having a one-to-one / private dialogue between the parent, teacher and student. Even if such a move fails to produce the expected results, the teacher STILL has no right to pull up a child in front of her peers. We should award Ms Plowman the teacher with 'INSENSITIVE TEACHER' / 'MOST LIKELY TO HUMILIATE CHILDREN' award in a PUBLIC FORUM


This is why theres so much bullying in schools. That entire class just learned 'its okay to publicly humiliate someone if everyone else finds it funny'


Hmmm, Parents of today - regardless of what their child does wrong it is always the fault of someone else.


This is the problem with today's society. If the embarrassment changes the behavior of the child the mother should be thankful. If no positive or constructive ways were enforced before this than I would have to agree that it was wrong. However, the child's parent cannot hold her accountable and apparently is failing in preparing her for the future. The teacher cares for the child's future. The teacher tries positive or constructive ways to enforce the behavior then fails. It is only natural to go the route of negative reinforcement. Although, this may be a bit extreme to call out one's flaws publicly, if it works then the child will have a better more positive future from this one negative experience. So go go teacher!


the teacher should have not done that! Talk to the parent if there is a problem.. Dont be a bully and pick a eight year old in front of her whole class.. Teacher should be a role model to their students... Not act like one! The teacher should be fired and i would put my child in another school..also make sure she is not having problems doing her home work....


Whether the student *deserved* it or not (and don't even get me started on mom), it's never okay to embarrass a child publicly.