Alex_barton_3May 28 Update. The teacher, Wendy Portillo, has been reassigned.

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. Read the article

It's been a tough week for people with autism. Particularly children.  In this story, a Kindergarten teacher created a perverse show and tell, at the expense of a student. They ought to call this town Port St. Lucifer.

PORT ST. LUCIE — Melissa Barton said she is considering legal action after her son's kindergarten teacher led his classmates to vote him out of class.

After each classmate was allowed to say what they didn't like about Barton's 5-year-old son, Alex, his Morningside Elementary teacher Wendy Portillo said they were going to take a vote, Barton said.

By a 14 to 2 margin, the students voted Alex — who is in the process of being diagnosed with autism — out of the class.

Read the full article HERE. And add your comments on their site. There are over 375 already.


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I am an adult who was shamed in class and sent to the principal's office more than once as a first- and second-grader. My third grade teacher made disparaging comments about me to the whole class. Those experiences terrified me and made me frightened and distrustful of adults. For years I hated school, though I was exceptionally bright and highly verbal. As an adult, I have never completely gotten over the impact of those incidents. Reading about this mindless cruelty brings it all back vividly, even now.

As the mother of a son with autism, I can well imagine the hurt and shame felt by this little boy whose problems are neither his choice nor his fault.

That so-called "teacher" should be made to stand up in front of a group of her colleagues and listen to comments like those posted here and then be subjected to a vote on her own fitness as a teacher and as a human being.

There is no earthly rationale to explain this kind of barbaric emotional cruelty to a child, any child!


ok first and formost...HOW DARE THAT WOMAN EVEN BE ALOUD TO BE TEACHER...that is the most disgusting thing i have heard in a long time. That teacher should be sued outta her ass. I sware things like this make me think that sometimes children would be a better fit as a teacher then an adult. My heart and soul go out to that little boy and his family. To that teacher...seriously go fuck urself!!!!!

Marilyn Abdilla

This teacher should be suspended from the Florida school system. Course, here in Florida the teacher's union back's them up regardless of what they are charged with. In Venice Fl where I live, a special ed's teacher was reported many times since Jan.,2007 for hitting, kicking and other punishment to disabled children (elementary). Parents and class room aides reported her but the principal did not report it to the authorities as required. Finally, this past Jan or Feb. the police stepped in and she was arrested. Big deal..suspended with pay ( salary of $73,000.00 a year) and Attorney General has not yet decided on her charge. Also the teacher's union stepped in and said they would cough up attorney fee's for her.


Reassigned? I hope to the boiler room. --But doubt it, they most likely just sent her off to torture more kids in a different school. Nice.


First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the sick, the so-called incurables, and I didn't speak up,
because I wasn't mentally ill.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left
to speak up for me

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

If these news articles are correct, this teacher has been promoting, or at least allowing, bigotry and prejudice against a minority group in her classroom. What are the school/local/state regulations on this? How would the school system/district attorney react if this same vote had been performed for a female, black, gay, Muslim, or blind student? For any of these other minority groups, there would be criminal charges, which I do not advocate, but this teacher definitely needs to be removed from children's education in every way, shape or form.

This child did not choose to be autistic, any more than another child would choose to be black or gay, and the use of peer pressure to sow the seeds of prejudice against him is despicable The students in this classroom were forced into a situation where they had to either go along with the rest of the group, or face becoming the next outcast. The two children that did not vote this child out should be publicly honored for their integrity. The rest of the students, AND THEIR FAMILIES need an intensive sensitivity program put in front of them BEFORE THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR, to help them understand why this type of behavior is wrong!

If, as this teacher believes, this student was not able to handle the environment of a fully integrated classroom, then the school system bears a large part of the responsibility, as its special needs program is unresponsive and insufficient. The school system is required to provide wheelchair accessible facilities for children that need them, they are required be inclusive of children all religions, ethnic groups, sex, sexual orientation and physical ability. Why is this child's inclusion dependant upon a vote of 5 year olds, called for by a teacher?


The world is not properly equipped or educated to handle situations such as this one in an appropriate manner. This child is now scarred for life. I remember one time when I was 5 years old back in the late seventies a kindergarten teacher's aid yelled at my friend asking if he was retarded because he accidentally urinated in his pants. I know that comment hurt because it hurt me. Those two children that did not vote him out are the ones that will become leaders later on in life. I am really hurt for this little guy. My boy is the same age as he is and I can only imagine the hurt and pain that his parents are going through. This teacher needs to be made an example out of how not to treat a child with special needs. I wish they would tell us her phone number so that we can post it everywhere. That way us parents can call her and leave a message and say to her what we don't like and then make a vote to BAN her from ever teaching again. I wouldn't even let her train my dog. Shame on you Wendy Portillo!!!!


Here's a link to view video of local TV Coverage.



Theresa Cedillo

Dear A@T - excellent point - I'd love to meet those two kids too.


sick of the dark ages

this is the teacher's email



This link was posted on the Yahoo Evidence of Harm listserv today.

For those of you who've been following the Alex Barton situation in Florida, here's a website that's collecting greeting cards with messages of support.

Alex is Special


Teresa Conrick

I am a teacher and if this happened in any school that I know of, the community would have swept in and had the teacher suspended. The union would have been involved and there would be an investigation as both sides geared up to prove guilt or innocence. Because this child is autistic, it looks like the community is not doing a damn thing. I guess the acorns have not fallen far off from their uncaring and narcissistic families. A sad fact about many adults and the children they raise...

I hope the fellow teachers at this school are giving this woman a reason to look for a job outside teaching next Fall....


Actually this whole thing really bothers me. As a kindergarten teacher for ten years I can see problems that are not being discussed in these threads. The mother seems to be making a huge mess for her child who needs her protection the most. I have had similar classroom situations which have been handled differently but on a similar note. I have had groups of children discuss problems with one another. None of us were in this teacher's classroom so we don't know exactly what happened. Perhaps the mother is making a huge mess out of something not even that sinister. I think releasing your child's photo to the news media like that is sick.


i only think its fair to stick up for this child
and ALL of our children by contacting the school.
this in unacceptable behavior for a teacher.

for those interested, here is the administration info:

K Fuller Yuba City

This young boy's parents need to turn to the written discipline policy. The teacher's and the school district should be held to those rules as well as the students. I wonder if she even realizes that she has made a grave error. The only person suffering the consequenses of her stupidity is the innocent child. I wonder how many of the classroom children will take this lesson of intollerence throughout their whole lifetime. Where is the school board? Where are the ADA activists? I hope that the parents of all the children in that class step up to defend this little boy.


Words fail me. That's saying alot. I wrote the intro, but managed to keep what I really wanted to say in check. Un-fing-believable. Port St. Screwme.....


Cheers to the two 5 year olds with enough sense to vote against the mob. Please appoint one principal and let the other teach the kindergarten class.


Port St. Lucie is named after the Catholic Saint Lucie who is the patron saint of those who are blind. How appropriate!


You can't handle our kids!

Hmm, teachers can't handle the kids. Clergymen can't handle the kids. Pediatricians wrote off the kids long long ago. Seems as though the parents are the only ones who are dealing with their beloved progeny 24-7.

Society can't handle our kids when they are 5 and 13, what will they do when they are full blown adults? Mayhem on the streets? Maybe people ought to begin thinking like "it takes a village to raise a child" and start offering some support here. The moment "they" add more pathogen strains to shots the situation will likely only worsen. Right now here, would be a good time to begin speaking up. The rugs under which the kids are being shoved are getting to be too small, the kids are spilling out AND getting older.

60 minutes was complaining about the attitude of the millenials (1980 - 1995) in the workplace. Wait till the 1995 onwards NT kids hit the workforce. Attitude apart and vaccine strains within, they will have autism in peers to contend with as well. For all the people going, its none of my business and thank God it not us, fairly soon it will be. Face to face and by your pocketbook.


I emailed the teacher, principal, and everyone on the school board with my opinion on this. I haven't heard back, not that I expect to... it just makes me sick that this person is teaching children. Not teaching ABCs, teaching intolerance for anyone different or with special needs. Not good. Not good at all.

Theresa Cedillo

This is such a very sad statement of our society today and the attitude some have towards children and adults with autism. It's especially offensive coming from a teacher. What is she trying to "teach"? Intolerance? Also, the state attorney's office better wake up if this is not considered emotional abuse by both the teacher and this young child's peers.


I'd like to meet the 2 kids that voted he should stay. It takes maturity beyond their years to hold out against that kind of social pressure. It's how I hope my children would have voted. Wonder what else this teacher thinks is ok to do to children if she thinks this is a good idea.


How sad for that little boy and his family. This is frustrating on so many levels. The despicable mentality of the teacher who could orchestrate such a "vote." The malleable children who now need to be deprogrammed out of negativity toward the disabled. How such a huge misstep will affect their perception of authority figures remains to be seen.

Holy WTF, Batman!!

Wow...I'm just....wow! I am genuinely speechless.

"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."

Doesn't constitute as emotional child abuse? WTF?!?!?! Oh, what, because he's autistic, he doesn't have feelings?

(Language quickly degenerates into a long stream of expletives).


This is despicable!!!

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