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did you read (or hear ) about this

Posted by on Jun. 1, 2012 at 11:15 AM
  • 10 Replies

The mother of an 8-year-old Arizona girl whose daughter was presented with a "Catastrophe Award" for having the most homework excuses in the class fired back against those criticizing her for poor parenting.

Christina Valdez first told ABC affiliate KGUN-TV that her third grade daughter, Cassandra Garcia, received the controversial award from her teacher in front of her classmates at the Desert Springs Academy in Tucson, Ariz.

Since the story was first reported, it has sparked a heated discussion online, with thousands weighing in on both sides. Many took issue with the teacher, saying that the award was completely inappropriate, but even more lashed out at the girl's parents, asking why her mom and dad didn't know that their daughter was having problems with her homework in the first place and didn't check on her or take steps to help get her on track.

One commenter on the "Good Morning America" website said she deserves the "Out-of-Touch Mom of the Year" award and others told her to "step up as a parent."

Valdez said she brushed off the harsh comments and insisted that she made sure that her daughter's homework assignments were completed.

"It's not the case that I was MIA. I am there 24-7 with my kids and they do have a routine that they follow with homework and things they have to do around the house," she said, adding that she can only recall three or four times where her daughter's assignments were left uncompleted over the course of the school year. 

"There are a few assignments that weren't turned in and that I didn't know of because Cassandra didn't write them in the homework book," she said.

Her daughter had been enrolled in an after-school homework assistance program, where she completed the bulk of her assignments each day, Valdez added.

Valdez said she never imagined the story would "go viral" and that she just wanted an apology.

"All I ever wanted was just an apology, for the principal to acknowledge that [the award] wasn't acceptable … and they have not yet apologized," she  said.

A spokesperson from Desert Springs Academy could not be reached for comment for this story. The principal declined to comment to a KGUN reporter, who first covered the story.

Valdez said her daughter is still humiliated by the award, which looked like a colorful card and read: "You're Tops! Catastrophe Award.  Awarded to Cassandra Garcia. For Most Excuses for Not Having Homework." The teacher signed the card "Ms. Plowman," added the date - May 18, 2012 - and even included a smiley face.

When she contacted the school to complain, Valdez said the principal told her it was a joke and that, "Some teachers joke around with the students."

Some of Christina's classmates received awards for superlatives such as "Math Wizard" and "Class Clown," Valdez said, but she still didn't find anything funny about her daughter's award.

"If that's the joke, then give her a 'Miss Busybody' Award or 'Most Talkative in Class' or something in that category, not 'Catastrophe Award,'" Valdez said. "I'd rather her not receive any award and pout and complain. It's just ridiculous."

She said it was not the first time her daughter had been singled out by the teacher and reprimanded, but that she never received complaints from previous teachers about her daughter's performance.


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by on Jun. 1, 2012 at 11:15 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Strega
by on Jun. 1, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Ugh.. She just wants 15 minutes of Fame. I'm still willing to bet that her Daughter wasn't the only one who was given a wacky award. Hell, I remember them given out even back when I was in School, and it wasn't a big thing at all.

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MaryanneMac
by Maryanne on Jun. 1, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Now the mother is compliaing that people are saying she's a bad parent.  

Quoting Strega:

Ugh.. She just wants 15 minutes of Fame. I'm still willing to bet that her Daughter wasn't the only one who was given a wacky award. Hell, I remember them given out even back when I was in School, and it wasn't a big thing at all.


Strega
by on Jun. 1, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Yeah. She's put herself out there in the Press, she should've known it would happen. I have no sympathy for her. She could've kept trying to settle it quietly between herself and the School.

Quoting MaryanneMac:

Now the mother is compliaing that people are saying she's a bad parent.  

Quoting Strega:

Ugh.. She just wants 15 minutes of Fame. I'm still willing to bet that her Daughter wasn't the only one who was given a wacky award. Hell, I remember them given out even back when I was in School, and it wasn't a big thing at all.



Daisypath - (oQoi)

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MaryanneMac
by Maryanne on Jun. 1, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Some people just don't think.  And she's still waiting for an apology...not gonna happen.

Quoting Strega:

Yeah. She's put herself out there in the Press, she should've known it would happen. I have no sympathy for her. She could've kept trying to settle it quietly between herself and the School.

Quoting MaryanneMac:

Now the mother is compliaing that people are saying she's a bad parent.  

Quoting Strega:

Ugh.. She just wants 15 minutes of Fame. I'm still willing to bet that her Daughter wasn't the only one who was given a wacky award. Hell, I remember them given out even back when I was in School, and it wasn't a big thing at all.




Strega
by on Jun. 1, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Exactly. This certainly isn't the route to take to get an apology!

Quoting MaryanneMac:

Some people just don't think.  And she's still waiting for an apology...not gonna happen.

Quoting Strega:

Yeah. She's put herself out there in the Press, she should've known it would happen. I have no sympathy for her. She could've kept trying to settle it quietly between herself and the School.

Quoting MaryanneMac:

Now the mother is compliaing that people are saying she's a bad parent.  

Quoting Strega:

Ugh.. She just wants 15 minutes of Fame. I'm still willing to bet that her Daughter wasn't the only one who was given a wacky award. Hell, I remember them given out even back when I was in School, and it wasn't a big thing at all.





Daisypath - (oQoi)

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sheena696
by Platinum Member on Jun. 1, 2012 at 12:28 PM

I read about this in another group. I didn't see this article, but in my opinion, it looks bad not only on the parents, but the teacher as well. If a child is having issues with not turning homework in, why has the teacher not contacted the parents about it? If it was so bad that is warranted this little cutesy award, I would think it also should have warranted some type of communtication with the parents. It is easy for kids to forget homework and not write it down, but if it is happening constantly the teacher should have spoken up. I expect the best out of my kids educations and if something is wrong, the teacher better let me know. As far as this thing, I think it has spiraled out of control. I wonder how the news got wind of it anyway. 

MaryanneMac
by Maryanne on Jun. 1, 2012 at 12:40 PM

The mother called the news. (it must have been a REALLY slow news day) I agree that the teacher should have spoken up, she/he may have. The school and the teacher have not said anything publicly, just the mother.

Quoting sheena696:

I read about this in another group. I didn't see this article, but in my opinion, it looks bad not only on the parents, but the teacher as well. If a child is having issues with not turning homework in, why has the teacher not contacted the parents about it? If it was so bad that is warranted this little cutesy award, I would think it also should have warranted some type of communtication with the parents. It is easy for kids to forget homework and not write it down, but if it is happening constantly the teacher should have spoken up. I expect the best out of my kids educations and if something is wrong, the teacher better let me know. As far as this thing, I think it has spiraled out of control. I wonder how the news got wind of it anyway. 


jbyrd898
by Jessica on Jun. 1, 2012 at 6:40 PM

yea, I think the parents and the teacher could have done things differently

Liansmommie
by on Jun. 2, 2012 at 4:29 AM

Exactly, I think both her mother and her teacher failed her. I can't imagine how a chronic problem like that would get by her mom and was allowed to continue by the teacher.

Quoting sheena696:

I read about this in another group. I didn't see this article, but in my opinion, it looks bad not only on the parents, but the teacher as well. If a child is having issues with not turning homework in, why has the teacher not contacted the parents about it? If it was so bad that is warranted this little cutesy award, I would think it also should have warranted some type of communtication with the parents. It is easy for kids to forget homework and not write it down, but if it is happening constantly the teacher should have spoken up. I expect the best out of my kids educations and if something is wrong, the teacher better let me know. As far as this thing, I think it has spiraled out of control. I wonder how the news got wind of it anyway. 





Christiansmom44
by on Jun. 3, 2012 at 5:52 PM
I sit with Christian while he does his homework every night. I couldnt imagine not knowing that he hadn't done his homework for any amount of time. There's no excuse for that.
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