Vicious Teacher Leads Bullying of Disabled Child

Teacher lets kinder­garten stu­dents vote 5‑year-old “out of the 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.

The teacher, Wendy Por­tillo (portillow@stlucie.k12.fl.us), has acknowl­edged that the inci­dent hap­pened. She had been par­tic­i­pat­ing in the child’s IEP team since Feb­ru­ary, so she knew that Alex was being eval­u­at­ed for a dis­abil­i­ty (most like­ly Asberg­er’s syn­drome, from the infor­ma­tion in the arti­cle).

There isn’t be any excuse for any adult treat­ing any child that way, but a teacher to encour­age chil­dren to ostra­cize a dis­abled child? That’s even worse.

The school dis­trict has refused to fire Por­tillo, but claims that she has been moved to non-class­room duties. That isn’t near­ly enough.