St. Lucie County Schools, Vote Wendy Portillo Out
Alex's mother, Melissa Barton, reported that he was so upset afterward that she had to withdraw him from school because he started screaming when he saw the building. Police investigated her report of child abuse, but no criminal charges were filed. The St. Lucie County Schools and the Department of Children and Families also are investigating.
There is no excuse whatsoever for a teacher, who ought to be setting an example of positive values, to instead teach a group of kindergarteners to bully and ostracize an emotionally vulnerable child. Wendy Portillo needs to be removed from that classroom immediately, so that she cannot abuse any more children. The St. Lucie County Schools must also be made aware of the need to review and strengthen the school district's policies on preventing bullying and other abuse, as well as training teachers about neurological differences. Contact information is provided below:
Morningside Elementary School Principal:
Mrs. Marcia Cully
St. Lucie County Schools Superintendent:
Michael J. Lannon
4204 Okeechobee Road
Ft. Pierce, FL 34947-5414
St. Lucie County School Board Chair:
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is asking all those who write to express their outrage to cc: firstname.lastname@example.org so that ASAN can keep track of the strength and sources of the response.
Update, May 26: There is an excellent post about Alex Barton and Wendy Portillo on Daily Kos, with hundreds of comments.
Update, May 27: The St. Lucie County School District has removed Wendy Portillo from contact with students while district officials conduct an investigation into her behavior. Also, here is another Daily Kos post with contact information for sending toys and cards to be forwarded to Alex Barton.