Tuesday, May 27, 2008

this totally ticks me off and is so very sad for this little boy......

Port St. Lucie teacher sidelined after letting kindergarten class kick kid out

May 27, 2008

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A kindergarten teacher has been reassigned after she allowed her students to oust a fellow 5-year-old from the classroom because of his disciplinary problems.

Morningside Elementary School teacher Wendy Portillo was removed from classroom duties until further action may be determined, according to St. Lucie County School district spokesman Janice Karst said this week.

Last week, Portillo held a vote in her classroom in which the students "voted out" 5-year-old Alex Barton, who is in the process of being tested for Asperger's Disorder, a type of high-functioning autism, said his mother, Melissa Barton.

After each classmate was allowed to say what they didn't like about Alex the teacher said they were going to take a vote, Barton said. They said he was "disgusting" and "annoying," Barton said.

"He was incredibly upset," she said. "The only friend he has ever made in his life was forced to do this."

By a 14 to 2 margin, the students voted him out of the class.

Barton, who said she is considering legal action, said Alex began the testing process in February for an official diagnosis under the suggestion of Morningside Principal Marsha Cully.

Alex has had disciplinary issues because of his disabilities, Barton said. The school and district has met with Barton and her son to create an individual education plan, she said. A veteran of 12 years of teaching, including nine at Morningside, Portillo has attended these meetings, she said.

Barton said after the vote, Alex's teacher asked him how he felt.

"He said, 'I feel sad,'" she said.

Alex left the classroom and spent the rest of the day in the nurse's office, she said.

Barton said when she came to pick up her son at the school last Wednesday, he was leaving the nurse's office.

"He was shaken up," she said. Barton said the nurse told her to talk with the child's teacher, who told her what happened.

Alex hasn't been back to school since then, and Barton said he won't be returning. He starts screaming when she brings him with her to drop off his sibling at school.

Thursday night, his mother heard him saying "I'm not special."

Barton filed a complaint with the school resource officer, who investigated the matter, said Port St. Lucie spokeswoman Michelle Steele said. But the state attorney's office concluded the matter did not meet the criteria for emotional child abuse, so no criminal charges will be filed, Steele said.


Old Lady Lincoln said...

The parents should sue and that teacher should not be allowed to teach until she takes some classes on how to handle children with problems and being a little more compassionate.

Betsy said...

I've seen this on Fox news yesterday and today. Yes, pathetic....and best wishes for that little guy!

Jack and Joann said...

Poor little boy. He may be disruptive in the classroom but for heaven's sake he is only five years old! Every teacher must make every student in her classroom feel welcomed and accepted. If I were running for president, there would be a push to educate not only teachers but the general public on the special needs of special students. All the current candidates for president just spout general statements about how I support education reform. What exactly do they mean by that?