Posts Tagged ‘Teachers’

Zero Tolerance Policy on Display: Boy Suspended for Using Broken Pencil Sharpener

September 11, 2008

Boy suspended for using broken pencil sharpener

“We’re always going to do something to make sure the child understands the seriousness of having something that could potentially harm another student, but we’re going to be reasonable,” he said.

HILTON HEAD ISLAND — A 10-year-old boy here has been suspended from school for having something most students carry in their supply boxes: a pencil sharpener.

The problem was his sharpener had broken, but he decided to use it anyway.

A teacher at Hilton Head Island International Baccalaureate Elementary School noticed the boy had what appeared to be a small razor blade during class on Tuesday, according to a Beaufort County sheriff’s report.

It was obvious that the blade was the metal insert commonly found in a child’s small, plastic pencil sharpener, the deputy noted.

The boy — a fourth-grader described as a well-behaved and good student — cried during the meeting with his mom, the deputy and the school’s assistant principal.

He had no criminal intent in having the blade at school, the sheriff’s report stated, but was suspended for at least two days and could face further disciplinary action.

District spokesman Randy Wall said school administrators are stuck in the precarious position between the district’s zero tolerance policy against having weapons at school and common sense.


How to lose your job as a high school basketball coach

June 1, 2008

A Mason High School assistant basketball coach is the focus of police and school investigations after photos surfaced this week that appear to show him participating in a “beer pong” drinking game, allegedly held at his home with party guests who may have been under 21.

In the age of digital cameras, cell phones with cameras, etc., it’s sort of humorous that people “allegedly” place themselves in these situations. More details here.

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.