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Gary Teacher Awards Student With Autism 'Most Annoying Male' Trophy

CHICAGO (CBS/AP) -- An Indiana school district has apologized after a teacher awarded an 11-year-old student with autism a trophy naming him the "most annoying male" of the school year.

Gary Community School Corp. confirms that a special education teacher at Bailly Preparatory Academy in Gary gave the boy the trophy May 23 during a fifth-grade awards luncheon attended by students, parents and the school principal.

The boy's father said his family was blindsided.

Gary Community School Corp. issued an apology to the boy and his family in a statement Monday. Emergency manager Peter Morikis called it an "unfortunate occurrence" and noted that the district was taking disciplinary action against the school employees involved.

"Upon being made aware of the incident at Bailly Elementary School, a meeting was immediately scheduled with the child's parent/guardian to discuss what had transpired. An apology was extended on behalf of the District to the family, and disciplinary action was taken against the personnel involved. Further, we acknowledge the potential impact that an experience like this could have on a child's mental well-being, self-esteem and overall level of comfortability in a learning environment going forward. The Gary Community School Corporation does not condone this type of behavior and will continue to put the safety and well-being of our students first. We extend our deepest apologies to the impacted student, the family and anyone else who takes offense to this unfortunate occurrence," wrote Morikis.

Morikis declined to comment on the employment status of the workers.

Copyright 2019 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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