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Student Given 'ADD Award' By Teacher, Mother Says

Newsweek logo Newsweek 6/28/2018 Maria Perez

a close up of text on a black background © Provided by IBT Media “We hope the school will learn that they need to be more sensitive to what students are dealing with and not make fun of them in what is supposed to be a safe environment."

A mother from Connecticut is shocked after her son was given the "ADD award" by his social studies teacher.

Tera Cooper first told NBC Connecticut her 13-year-old son was given a certificate by a teacher at Plainfield Central Middle School titled the #ADD award. The paper reads “Most likely to be distracted by…look something shiny!” with a zombie holding a balloon. The zombie is also holding a gold ribbon that says “good work.”

“He had tears in his eyes. He’s embarrassed because he had to accept it in front of his entire class,” Cooper told NBC Connecticut.

In an email exchange with Newsweek, Cooper said her son, who is in seventh grade, received the award on Friday, June 22 in his social studies class. She said her son went to take a nap when he returned from school, which was unusual for him. Cooper said she found the award along with several others from the teacher.

“As I was cleaning up the house I noticed the awards, he had three. That’s when I saw the #ADDaward I was shocked. I woke up him up and asked him off his teacher really gave this to him since her name was on it and he said yes. I immediately contacted the school via email and the principal set up a meeting the next day on a Saturday,” Cooper wrote to Newsweek.

Cooper said the unnamed teacher knows her son has been diagnosed with ADHD and that he is on a 504 plan, which is an educational plan that allows schedule accommodations for students with learning disabilities. Cooper also said that his teacher has singled him out for talking too much in class often.

“One incident that has me bothered that he did not tell me right away was that she put her hand over his mouth while they were in the computer lab to make him stop talking. He has mentioned that he gets singled out often for talking when others are talking too and that has been an issue,” Cooper told Newsweek.

Cooper said she was happy with the school's response at first because she was told the teacher would be out of school for two days, but "no one has apologized to him and we do not know what disciplinary action was taken."

In a statement to NBC Connecticut, Plainfield Public Schools Superintendent Kenneth Di Pietro said he could not comment during the investigation, but wrote in an email to the publication on Wednesday that “Our effort to respond immediately and follow up is certainly evidence that we as a district and personally take such matters seriously.”

Newsweek reached out to members of the Plainfield Public Schools Board of Education and Plainfield Central Middle School Principal, Scott Ganon, for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Cooper hopes the school will learn to be sensitive toward their students instead of making fun of them.

“We hope the school will learn that they need to be more sensitive to what students are dealing with and not make fun of them in what is supposed to be a safe environment by the person that is supposed to be the role model setting high standards on how to treat our peers,” Cooper told Newsweek.

Last month, a mother from Texas experienced a similar situation when her teacher's son texted her expletive-filled messages of her son's behavior. 

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