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.
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.