The mother of an 8-year-old Arizona girl who was presented with a "Catastrophe Award" for apparently having the most excuses for not having homework believes her child was humiliated by her teacher.
Christina Valdez said her daughter, Cassandra Garcia, came home one day from class at Desert Springs Academy in Tucson, Ariz., with the paper award.
The document, which looks like a colorful card, contained the following message: "You're Tops! Catastrophe Award. Awarded to Cassandra Garcia. For Most Excuses for Not Having Homework."
The teacher signed the card "Ms. Plowman," added the date - May 18, 2012 - and even included a smiley face.
The teacher announced the award in front of the entire class, and the other students laughed at her daughter, Valdez said in a Thursday interview with ABC TV affiliate KGUN-TV in Tucson.
When she contacted the school to complain, the principal "blew me off," Valdez added. "She said it was a joke that was played and that the teachers joke around with the children."
But Valdez told KGUN that she didn't find any of it funny.
"I think it's cruel and no child should be given an award like this. It's disturbing," she said, adding that she was not aware her daughter had a problem with homework, and that the girl had been enrolled in an after-school homework assistance program.
Desert Springs Academy's principal declined to comment to a KGUN reporter, the affiliate reported.