Cassandra Garcia showed KGUN9 her completed homework assignments. (Photo/KGUN9 News)

Arizona school plans to apologize for “catastrophe award”

The director of Desert Springs Academy in Tucson, Ariz. plans to apologize to the mother of Cassandra Garcia, who received a “catastrophe” award by her teacher.

“Desert Springs is a good school and we apologize,” says director Mary Statola. “We, as a school, are going to send a letter of apology,” she adds.

Eight-year-old Garcia received a “catastrophe” award in front of her laughing third-grade class for “most excuses for not having her homework.”

Many people on the KGUN9 Facebook page are questioning whether this was a bullying act or a joke.

“Clearly this is a power differential between a child and a teacher,” said psychologist Sheri Bauman to KGUN9. “So the teacher has the advantage in that case. So that certainly meets that [bullying] characteristic,” she told KGUN9.

“It’s difficult to say if their intent really was to humiliate or make an example of one child in order to motivate others,” said Bauman.

Christina Valdez, Garcia’s mother, said the teacher had ridiculed her daughter a number of times during the year, according to KGUN9.

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