(Meredith) - An Indiana father said he was in disbelief when a teacher gave his 11-year-old son, who is autistic, an award for "most annoying male."
Rick Castejon told the Times of Northwest Indiana that a special education teacher presented the trophy last month during an awards ceremony for fifth-graders at Bailly Preparatory Academy in Gary.
Parents who attended the event fell silent as the boy received his award.
“We were blindsided. We just weren’t expecting it,” Castejon said, according to the newspaper. "As a principal or teacher, you should never let this happen to any student."
The dad said he didn't want to make a scene and tried to leave the award on a table, but his son's teacher lightheartedly reminded him not to forget it.
Gary Community School Corp. emergency manager Peter Morikis said he met with the family after learning of the incident. He did not comment on the teacher's employment status but said "disciplinary action was taken against personnel involved," according to the Times.
Castejon said his family already had plans to move to another city prior to the incident. He does not intend to send his son to a Gary school next year.
The father is speaking out now because he said he doesn't want this to happen to another child.
“We just don’t want any other kids to go through this,” he said. “Just because they have special needs doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings.”