Regarding Alex Barton

I first learned of Alex Barton’s situation at Sugar & Sprouts Blog. Thanks sugarsprouts!

After reading this heartbreaking story about an autistic kindergarten student who was publicly humiliated by his teacher and voted out of class by his classmates, I sent the following email to the St. Lucie County School Board:

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to express my sadness and outrage regarding the abuse of Alex Barton, a five year old kindergarten student at Morningside Elementary School.

I don’t understand a lot about autism, but I know a thing or two about common decency and what Wendy Portillo did to Alex Barton was anything but decent.

No child should be subjected to the humiliation, shame and bullying that Ms. Portillo advocated and encouraged in her kindergarten class. If what she did doesn’t meet the criteria for emotional abuse, I’d like to know what does, and perhaps the criteria needs to be changed.

Not only was Ms. Portillo’s behavior toward Alex unthinkable and cruel, she also set an extremely poor example for the other students by modeling and encouraging this type of hatefulness and bullying. I think she should apologize to Alex and his family, the other students and their families, and then issue an apology to the general public for her violation of common human decency.

If Ms. Portillo is ever allowed back inside a classroom, it should only be after extensive training and counseling relevant to the situation.


Watch the video of Melissa Barton’s interview with CBS News.

If you would like to voice your concerns, please visit A Room Of Mama’s Own for a complete list of contact details, including an email address where you can send a message of support to Alex and his family.

7 responses to “Regarding Alex Barton

  • sugarsprouts

    I’ll be getting on that email today. Thank you for supporting this boy, his family, and all who face not just autism, but fear and discrimination based on misunderstanding and bigotry.

  • Lottie

    Thanks for your nice comments, sugarsprouts.

    When my son was in second grade, one of his classmates had Downs Syndrome. While it was sometimes difficult, and there were moments when class was interrupted and focused solely on the little girl with DS, I’m glad my son had the experience. It was a lesson in tolerance, compassion and understanding that he carries with him still. That kind of lesson is just as valuable (if not more so) as any lesson we can learn from a text book.

    He would have learned all the usual school work regardless, but spending a year in the classroom with that little girl taught him things he may never have learned, otherwise.

    Everyone has value and something to offer other people. Every moment can be a learning experience if we let it be. Alex Barton’s teacher not only dropped that ball, she then kicked it across the room and right out the door.

    Didn’t mean to go off on it again. It’s just very disturbing. I’m sure you understand.

    Thanks again for stopping by! Please feel welcome any time.

  • Mike

    Ugh! That teacher should’ve been fired too fast to clear her desk… That’s just disgusting.

  • Lottie

    I read an update that said she had been placed on administrative duty pending an investigation.

  • Human Decency — Teachers Exempt? « Gary William Murning Online

    […] more on this story and relevant contact addresses, click here. Posted by Gary Murning Filed in Blogging., Current Affairs., Friends. Tagged: abuse, alex, […]

  • James Bower

    Great blog, reading it through RSS feed as well

  • Lottie

    Thanks for reading, James. I haven’t been nearly as active as I used to be, but I’m trying to get back in the swing. 🙂

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