Superlative awards usually given at the end of the year are intended to be a fun way to put a spotlight on students for their skills and personalities. Two middle school teachers at a school in Georgia, however, demonstrated how hurtful these awards can also be.

How was the award hurtful?

An eighth-grade girl who has been diagnosed with ADHD was given an award for “Most Likely to Not Pay Attention.” The mother of the young girl described the award as both “humiliating” and “derogatory.” The mother couldn’t believe this award had been given during an assembly in a room full of people.

He mother revealed to a local news outlet that the original award her daughter was intended to win was called the “most likely to ask a question that has already been answered.” The mother, however, noted the original award wasn’t any better than the one her daughter actually received.

Experts are describing it as offensive

George Sachs is the name of a psychologist in New York who specializes in both ADHD and ADD. This psychologist stepped forward to describe the award as both “demeaning” and “offensive.” He also noted that drawing attention to the girl’s ADHD in the form of an award was “unhelpful” and “discriminating.” Sachs explained that many individuals who struggle with ADD and ADHD have self-esteem issues because of their disability.

So, giving this child such an award could just make her self-esteem worse.

The school responded quickly

Fortunately, the Memorial Middle School had a fairly quick response to the award that was given. According to a spokesperson from the school named Cindy Ball, there were two teachers involved in the award being given to the young girl.

The school district has confirmed that neither of these teachers will be returning to the school. The school’s official response was that they do not condone or tolerate any actions that result in the humiliation of a student.

The story is getting a lot of attention

People on social media platforms – such as Reddit – are having a pretty explosive response to the story.

For the most part, it seems as though they want the mother and daughter to know they are not alone. A child with ADHD being picked on by both teachers and peers is extremely common. Unfortunately, both the teachers and peers do not usually realize how harmful their choice of words can be. For the most part, everyone is hopeful that this story can shine light on how hurtful words and teasing can be – especially for someone who is already struggling with a disability.