An awards ceremony for a fifth grade class at Hickman Elementary School in Dallas, Texas has become a topic of debate as one Texas grandmother has spoken out against the school for giving away awards based on race.
While a few students received awards centered around attendance or citizenship, it was the awards given to two students by African American and Hispanic based organizations that angered grandmother Rene Morris.
“It sickened my stomach,” said Morris of the awards. “I can’t believe an organization wants to give money to a school district insist these awards be given publicly. With all the diversity that this school has, I’m shocked the teachers aren’t smart enough to see that this is wrong and they’re proud of that.”
According to Garland Independent School District spokesman Chris Moore, the awards that Moore are referring to are the Goldie Lockie Excel Award granted by the Garland Chapter of the NAACP and the Garland Association for Hispanic Affairs’ Image Award, both of which are meant to recognize good students for their behavior.
Morris’ main complaint was that these students had already received recognition at a private ceremony for their achievement’s, but that the district had failed to recognize hardworking students like her grandson for his accomplishment of making the honor roll.
“I was given the excuse that the district can’t afford those awards,” Morris said.
“All it is is a piece of paper. If they can’t afford the honor roll certificates, I’m sure the parents can come up with some money to give out those awards.”
The school district says that they see no harm in recognizing the two students for their awards and that this is the first time in six years that they have received a complaint.
“Hickman is one of the most diverse in terms of student make-up, and we want to celebrate diversity,” said Moore.
“We want to know people’s concern so we can try to find a consensus to keep our parents, students, community members happy,” said Moore. “We truly are trying to embrace and celebrate the diversity of this district, not point out differences.”
Reiterating her argument, Morris simply says “I don’t think a child should be having an award because of the color of his skin.”
Do you think this Texas grandmother has a point? Or is she over-analyzing an awards ceremony meant to celebrate the children’s accomplishments?