Gary parent Rick Castejon says the 'Most Annoying Male' award was given last month to his 11-year-old son, who has autism, at a Bailly Preparatory Academy awards lunch.

It's bad enough some Gary public school personnel showed an extreme lack of judgment in allowing a "most annoying" award to be presented to a student with autism.

At its best, the year-end student awards ceremony demonstrated tone-deaf and shameful negligence.

But the educators behind the ceremony also showed a lack of command of basic grammar and spelling — including misspelling the name of the school on at least one trophy presented to a student.

Bailly Preparatory Academy — and the entire Gary Community School Corp. — should be dripping with embarrassment.

The first in this series of blunders became a national story after The Times education reporter Carley Lanich broke the story in recent weeks.

Outrage rightly spread as people learned teachers had presented an 11-year-old boy with autism a "most annoying" trophy in a superlative award ceremony to end the Bailly school year.

Three teachers since have been fired, and the school district has announced the process has begun to fire the school principal as well.

But insult is added to injury when considering other aspects of the awards program.

Other award categories included "Most Friendliest" and "Most Sleepiest."

The problem there is one of grammar — something that should have been elementary for teachers who are supposed to be instructing students in becoming literate citizens.

The words "Friendliest" and "Sleepiest" already are superlatives by themselves, meaning they convey the highest degree of friendly and sleepy. Putting the word "most" at the beginning was a grammatical gaffe.

Shouldn't educators, charged with instilling literacy in students, execute their craft better than this?

Then came a spelling error of the most basic variety.

Each day, Bailly teachers and administrators are no doubt surrounded by signs, marquees and other clear evidence of how to spell the very name of the school at which they work.

Yet on at least one of the year-end trophies, Bailly was misspelled "Bailey."

There's no saving grace to any of this, and it shouldn't surprise anyone.

Gary schools already are under the auspices of a state-appointed emergency manager following years of fiscal mismanagement and plummeting education performance and standards.

Now the Bailly fiasco — and all of its embarrassing asides — can be added to the list.

Students and their parents certainly deserve and should be demanding better.

But such blunders shouldn't instill confidence that better is reasonably possible in the Gary public school system.

The entire Region should feel insulted.

(0) entries

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.