At Morningside Elementary School in Port St. Lucie, Florkda, a teacher (Wendy Portillo) was fed up with disciplinary issues she had been having with 5-year-old Alex Barton, decided to let the other children in her class vote to decide if the child should be thrown out of class. Alex, who is in the process of being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, was made to go to the front of the class and listen while each of his classmates was invited to say what they did not like about the boy. Alex lost the vote at 14-2 and was sent to the nurse’s office for the rest of the day.
The child’s mother, Melissa Barton, has filed a complaint, but the state attorney’s office has said that the incident did not meet the criteria for emotional child abuse, so no criminal charges will be filed. The Port St. Lucie, Florida Police have documented the claim but are no longer investigating it. Ms. Barton is considering legal action.
Asperger’s syndrome is a type of high-functioning autism. Children with Asperger’s often exhibit anti-social or disruptive behavior. Because of his disability, Alex has had disciplinary issues. Since the incident, Alex has refused to return to school.
It is absolutely outrageous that a teacher would treat a special needs child this way. Children with disabilities should be treated with extra care and attention, not ridicule and embarrassment.
You can read more about this incident at Teacher lets Morningside students vote out classmate, 5.