May 24, 2008


I first heard about this situation on another blog,
I have included the whole article on my blog as well. This really upsets me! I have close friends that have children who are autistic, PDD-NOS, and have Sensory Processing Disorders. I would be raving lunatic if this was to happen to my Kristofer! As a parent you trust that you can send your child, whether special needs or not, to school and the teacher will at least protect them from being bullied! In this case, not only where the students being bullied but the teacher was the leader of it! If the school board does not fire this teacher then that school board needs to be removed from their positions! This is a huge case of bullying! It's hard enough dealing with a child with special needs, the fighting a parent has to do to make sure their child receives a quality education is hard enough. Many of us with special needs kids do our best to protect them but in this case I could never imagine this happening! The teacher does not need a slap on the wrist but needs to be fired! If my child was in this class and was made to participate in this kind of thing I would still be upset! We teach our children to love your neighbor as yourself. We teach our children that no one deserves to be made fun of! This is just....well you read the article and if you blog make a point to spread this around. The more people that know what is happening the better!

St. Lucie teacher has students vote on whether
5-year-old can stay in class
By Colleen Wixon

Originally published 01:50 p.m., May 23, 2008

Updated 04:30 p.m.,

May 23, 2008

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 said they were going to take a vote, Barton said.

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

Barton said her son is in the process of being diagnosed with Aspberger's, a type of high-functioning autism. 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. His teacher, Wendy 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 on 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 said Alex is reliving the incident. They said he was "disgusting" and "annoying," Barton said. "He was incredibly upset," Barton said. "The only friend he has ever made in his life was forced to do this."

The child's mother 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. Port St. Lucie Police is no longer investigating, but is documenting the complaint, she said.

Steele said the teacher confirmed the incident did occur.

St. Lucie School's spokeswoman Janice Karst said the district is investigating the incident, but could not make any further comment.

Vern Melvin, Department of Children and Families circuit administrator, confirmed the agency is investigating an allegation of abuse at Morningside, but said he could not elaborate.


Michele said...

Oh my goodness- why can not some teachers help those that need it- this will affect this child- I am so blessed with loving teachers with Marcus- I think I would go nuts if they did this to him-
Just need to pray for our teachers and what this means as a child.

Angela DeRossett said...

I posted additional info about this story as far as how/where to write. Thank you for posting for awareness!!!

Anonymous said...

This teacher should be fired!!! I am a seasoned teacher of 20 years and I can proudly say that I have numerous parents each year request that their child be placed under my care, especially ones with disibilities. I am horrified at this story!! We do not allow bullying at our school and to think a teacher would be the biggest bully of all is upsetting. She does not have a true teacher's heart and should find another profession. I hope the parents continue to press the issue and exhaust all possible means of removing the teacher from the classroom. Teachers play a huge role in how a child feels about themselves; she doesn't need to be given another chance to emotionally hurt another child.