Posted by: Fern | May 28, 2008

Survivor In The Classroom

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.

Melissa Barton filed a complaint with Morningside’s school resource officer, who investigated the matter, Port St. Lucie Department 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.

My jaw is on the floor at this one, now I’ll admit I’m not the mellow one in our marriage, Dan is very laid back and I tend to get fired up and angry over things, but despite that I’m very much a pacifist… that said, if this was my son I would have not hesitated in going into that classroom and flattening that teacher.

I just can’t believe that this social exclusion and outright bullying cannot be considered emotional abuse and this woman is allowed to continue practising. No matter what kind of behavioural issues this child had relating to his autism, public humiliation is certainly not the way to go.

Via ParentDish.


  1. oMG that is disgusting!

  2. That’s horrific 😦

  3. I’m all for a little healthy banter. But this clearly is bullying! I know we live in a cotton wool coated, bubble wrapped society today, but come on, it’s about time someone stood up and took a stand against this kind of issue.
    Autism or not, can you imagine, not only being voted out by classmates, but knowing it was the teacher (you know, the gardian, the one who should support you) who instigated it!

  4. Thats really bizarre! What sort of teacher in their right mind would even contemplate doing such a thing? Ms Portillo and the other school authorities supporting her actions need to be fired and removed from the school system … obviously handling children appropriately and sensitively is too much for them.

    How this didn’t equal emotional abuse staggers me. I’m normally very critical of the litigation culture in the US (and here in Australia), but in this case, I hope his mum sues the arse off the school, teacher, education dept etc.

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