These days, every child gets an award. It’s a problem that has made the next generation of people soft. But while these “participation awards,” are given out with good intention – so children do not feel left out – one school in Connecticut gave out an award that was just plain mean. Now the mother of the 13-year-old boy has come forward to complain about how her son got the “ADD Award.”
The Plainfield mother is outraged that the school would give out the insensitive award. Her son is clinically diagnosed with ADHD, so it is not a laughing matter. Nevertheless, the Plainfield teacher handed the boy the #ADDaward to Derek Cooper, which said:
“Most likely to get distracted by… look something shiny!”
Not only did his mother Tera Cooper find the award to be offensive and mean-spirited toward all children with ADHD an ADD, but she was also shocked at the teacher, a representative of the Plainfield Central School would think it was funny to give the award to Derek, her son.
“He had tears in his eyes. He’s embarrassed because he had to accept it in front of his entire class,” Tera Cooper told NBC Connecticut.
Although Tera has never met the offending teacher, she said the school and the school district know that Derek has been diagnosed with ADHD.
“He is on a 504 plan at the school, so she is aware of it. I don’t know if she thought it was funny, but it’s not funny. She’s the teacher. It’s supposed to be a safe place.”
The 504 plan is a special plan for children that includes changes in the educational curriculum. The plan is for children who are not qualified for special education but who do need some accommodations so they can learn. Section 504 is part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits any organization, especially a school, from committing discrimination toward a person because of a disability.
In response to the offensive award, Principal Scott Gagnon told NBC Connecticut said he was made aware of the problem and met with the student’s parents the following day.
“At that time, parents were assured that, along with our central office administration, this matter would be handled promptly as we are acting on good faith in the interest of the student and his family.”
While the principal was happy to address the issue, the Plainfield Public Schools Superintendent Kenneth Di Pietro preferred to remain silent on the matter, citing that this was an ongoing investigation.
But Di Pietro did release the following to NBC: “Our effort to respond immediately and follow up is certainly evidence that we as a district and personally take such matters seriously.”
Besides the ADD award, Derek also got one for being the most improved student in social studies, and one called the #BermudaTriangle” for being “most likely to borrow stuff, and it never coming back!”
The teacher clearly had a problem with Derek and made it clear through the sarcastic awards she gave him.
What do you think about the awards this Connecticut teacher hands out to her students?