Will Harris says his classmates are always making fun of his pointed ears with hurtful names like "Elf" and "Leprechaun." So the last thing the 11-year-old needed was more attention from his peers.
But all eyes were on Harris this week when the fifth-grader was put on display as a sort of human show-and-tell for his school's fourth-grade science class, he said.
Harris has Stahl's ear, a congenital deformity which causes points to form on the ears.
He said twice in one day, teachers asked him stand in front of their fourth-grade classes so everyone could look at his ears during a lesson on genetics and family traits.
"They [teachers] told me to back around so everyone could see … to turn around," Will said on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.
Harris said having everyone staring at his ears during the lesson left him deeply embarrassed.
His mother, Jodee Harris, noted there isn't even medical evidence to back up the teachers' claims that Stahl's ear is an inherited trait. So she said the lesson was as pointless as it was inappropriate.
"I feel like the school's job is to teach and educate my child, not put him on display in front of his peers and ridicule him," Mrs. Harris said.
While officials from the Rice Independent School District acknowledge the incident occurred, they claim the teachers meant no harm.
Assistant Superintendent Judith Pritchett agreed the teachers' decision to use Harris during their lessons was a result of bad judgment, but she added there was no ill intent to try to exploit him.
Mrs. Harris said she is taking her beef with the teacher's actions to the Rice school board next week. She added she wants to make sure that the school understands it shouldn't be using sensitive young children to teach lessons about science.