An Indiana Teacher Is Under Fire For Giving An Autistic Boy The “Most Annoying Male” Award

Photo Courtesy Of ABC News

Usually, during end-of-year celebrations at schools, teachers and students take a little time to not only congratulate one another for a rewarding school year but also to blow off a little steam after countless tests, assignments, and projects. But a teacher from Indiana took her end-of-year fun a bit too far by giving an autistic boy an award for “Most Annoying Male.”

Eleven-year-old Achilles Castejon and one of his classmates both received the awards for Bailey Preparatory Academy’s 2018-2019 Most Annoying Male award during their award ceremony for their fifth-grade class. Achilles is nonverbal and is pretty severe on the spectrum, sometimes having difficulties keeping his emotional reactions under control parents even shared he’s been a victim of bullying a few times.

When young Achilles received the award, he really had no idea what the trophy said — the prep school’s name was even misspelled — but he took it because of how happy he was to be receiving an award in the first place. When the Castejon’s saw the award, they weren’t sure what to make of it, according to People Online.


Mom, Estella, told an NBC affiliate that she had to take a double take at it and “[she] wasn’t sure if [her] eyes were reading correctly…” The award has been met with so much backlash, the Gary Community School Corporation emergency manager, Peter Morikis, informed the Times of Northwest Indiana that the teacher is being disciplined for her careless action.

The child’s parents tried not to make a fuss during the ceremony and they even tried leaving the trophy behind at the school but the persistent teacher reminded the family of their son’s tasteless trophy so they wouldn’t forget it. It’s one thing to be funny and lighthearted and give that award to a neurotypical child, but it’s a whole nother conversation to give that award to child nonverbal child with severe autism.

It makes it clear how the school feels about the child and even cheapens the calls the family has gotten from the school about the child’s behavior. The idea here is, we have to be a little more mindful about the jokes we make and realize they won’t always blow over well when it comes to certain audiences. You know, the first thing about comedy is knowing your audience!

In a statement, Morikis also said “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. We extend our deepest apologies to the impacted student, the family and anyone else who take offense to this unfortunate occurrence.”

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