Posts Tagged ‘Autism’

Family of Autistic boy voted out of class by peers to file civil suit

June 8, 2008

The family of Alex Barton, a kindergarten student with Asperger’s syndrome will file a civil suit alleging discrimination and that Alex’s civil rights were violated.

Alex’s Morningside Elementary teacher, Wendy Portillo, allowed his classmates to tell him what they thought of his behavior, while he stood in front of the class, according to police reports of the incident. Portillo told investigators Alex had been misbehaving and had two disciplinary referrals that day.

The class then voted whether Alex should be allowed to stay in the class. Alex lost, 14 to 2.

Alex was officially diagnosed less than a week later with an autism-spectrum disorder, Barton said. He began the process of being tested for the disorder in February, at the suggestion of Morningside Principal Marcia Cully. Barton has said the teacher knew about the testing at the time of the vote.

Get ready to pay up, St. Lucie County School District.

Wendy Portillo of Port. St. Lucie, FL-Ignorant teacher has her kindergarten students “vote out” their classmate with Asperger’s Syndrome (a form of Autism)

May 28, 2008

You know, I try to keep it lighthearted here. But sometimes, a person commits an act so repulsive, so ignorant, and so unbelievably stupid that I can’t let it go. Case in point, Wendy Portillo, a kindergarten teacher at Morningside Elementary in Port St. Lucie, FL. Apparently, Portillo, hereafter to be referred to as “Classless Idiot,” lined up one of her students, Alex Barton,a 5-yr. old, in front of the classroom and had the classmates tell this boy what they didn’t like about him. Alex has Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of Autism. So, at the insistence of their teacher, Classless Idiot who apparently forgot how to be a role-model, let alone demonstrate even simple grace, the classmates voted as to whether Alex should stay in class. By a vote of 14-2, the students, also 4 and 5 yr. olds, voted Alex out of class.

Classless Idiot, surprisingly defended her actions. She apparently felt quite justified in humiliating a child with a recognized disability, and showing the other students how you can be woefully ignorant and cruel even as an adult. Here’s to Classless Idiot getting canned. I’ll vote for that.

Lest anyone start to defend the Classless Idiot that is Wendy Portillo, one must realize a few things. First, I’ve worked with developmentally disabled children and adults in both a volunteer and professional setting for 8 yrs. So, attempting to justify Classless Idiot’s actions because I don’t know what a child with Asperger’s is like is futile. Second, my wife, like several of our friends, is an elementary teacher. Her jaw about hit the floor when she read the story. Not only could she not imagine a professional actually doing that, she commented on how quickly they’d be fired at her school. Of course, she teaches at a charter school, so teacher accountability is actually an ideal that is practiced (No unions to defend the indefensible). Third, it’s called being a human being; more specifically, a human with a shred of understanding for the challenges that Alex undergoes on a daily basis.

Drop school officials a line here. If you scroll down to the bottom you can see “Ms. Portillo” as well as her email address. I’m sure she’d love to hear from you. Click here to email her. If that doesn’t work, I’ll list her email here, which is readily available through a Google search.

More here.


From Asperger Square 8
Write the St. Lucie County School Board at

The school’s principal is Marcia Cully: (772)337-6730

Edit: A more complete list of contact information, gathered by Ari Ne’eman of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN):

Morningside Elementary School Principal: Mrs. Marcia Cully (772) 337-6730St.

Lucie County Schools Superintendent: Michael J. Lannon4204 Okeechobee Road Ft. Pierce 34947-5414 Phone: 772/429-3925 FAX: 772/429-3916 e-mail:

St. Lucie County School Board Chair: Carol Hilson 772-519-0397

Vice Chair: Judith Miller772-528-4545

Please copy on any emails you send. ASAN asks that everyone use respectful language in addressing those listed.

Edit: Please visit this post at Autistic Nation. Christschool has provided form letters which can be used to address the school’s principal, superintendent, school board chairperson, state’s attorney, Department of Education and news media. Each letter details the legan and ethical violations commited, and calls for the resignation or dismissal of Wendy Portillo. The letters can be modified to make a more personal statement reflective of your own views.