Thursday, May 29, 2008


This is disgusting and quite frankly, that teacher should be admonished for her behavior and encouraging this behavior from the kids in her classroom.

Students vote autistic 5-year-old out of class

It sounds like somebody has been watching too many reality shows. Namely, Wendy Portillo, a teacher at Morningside Elementary in Port St. Lucie, Florida. She turned her kindergarten classroom into a cruel version of Survivor by allowing her students to vote a fellow student out of the class.

The banished child is 5-year-old Alex Barton, who is in the process of being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning type of autism. Not uncommon to his condition, Alex has had some behavioral issues and as a result, spends a lot of time in the principal's office.

After returning to Ms. Portillo's classroom after a recent visit with the principal, his teacher decided to punish him with humiliation. She had Alex stand at the front of the class while his fellow students listed off what they didn't like about him. After informing him that they found him "disgusting" and "annoying", the class was instructed to vote on whether or not Alex should be allowed to stay in the class. By a 14 to 2 margin, they voted him out.

Alex hasn't been back to school since then, but his mother, Melissa Barton, says he is still reliving the incident. The night after it happened, she says she overheard him saying "I'm not special" over and over.

Incredibly, an investigation by the state attorney's office concluded that Alex's treatment did not meet the criteria for emotional child abuse and no charges have been filed. I don't know what the criteria for emotional abuse is, but if this doesn't meet it, what does? My heart breaks for all the children involved in this incident.

I'd like to vote this teacher out...better yet, I'd like to break my foot off in her ass.

P.S. - for Girlcottboys - and for anyone else who can't and/or doesn't read carefully...this article was written by Sandy Maples. Then again I never said I wrote it and prefaced it as such! (Don't want to hurt any feelings now)


Blogger GirlcottBoys said...

Even more upsetting is the fact that you didn't give Sandy Maple credit for writing this piece on

1:16 PM  
Blogger J R Estelle said...

Hi Girlcottboys. Thanks for commenting. Even more upsetting is that a) I prefaced the article with a verbiage that indicates I DID NOT write it, and I DID NOT imply that this is my original work, only that it disgusted me and b) I know it was on because the company I work for works very closely with AOL, you know..the company that OWNS

Come back and comment when you read things more carefully.

Thanks again for stopping by.


1:25 PM  
Blogger Big Pissy said...

girlcottboys: Seriously??!?!? you find THAT more upsetting?

JR: my daughter teaches kindergarten....I cannot IMAGINE a teacher treating a child in such a manner. :(

1:32 PM  
Blogger Dr. Krista said...

I don't care who wrote it... or who's offended... A little boy was used as a pawn in a big girls chess game of "life" and he lost. Why isn't anyone standing up for this child? Come on ~ let's get together and write a petition or something...

8:25 AM  
Blogger hotdrwife said...

Wow. I don't know about you, but if I'm getting my panties in a wad, it's over what was written, not by whom.

4:12 PM  

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