Autistic 5 year old voted out of class!

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, May 29, 2008.

  1. Principessa

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    Students vote autistic 5-year-old out of class
    by Sandy Maple May 27th 2008 5:05PM

    It sounds like somebody has been watching too many reality shows. Namely, Wendy Portillo, a teacher at Morningside Elementary in Port St. Lucie, Florida. She turned her kindergarten classroom into a cruel version of Survivor by allowing her students to vote a fellow student out of the class.

    The banished child is 5-year-old Alex Barton, who is in the process of being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning type of autism. Not uncommon to his condition, Alex has had some behavioral issues and as a result, spends a lot of time in the principal's office.

    After returning to Ms. Portillo's classroom after a recent visit with the principal, his teacher decided to punish him with humiliation. She had Alex stand at the front of the class while his fellow students listed off what they didn't like about him. After informing him that they found him "disgusting" and "annoying", the class was instructed to vote on whether or not Alex should be allowed to stay in the class. By a 14 to 2 margin, they voted him out.

    Alex hasn't been back to school since then, but his mother, Melissa Barton, says he is still reliving the incident. The night after it happened, she says she overheard him saying "I'm not special" over and over.

    Incredibly, an investigation by the state attorney's office concluded that Alex's treatment did not meet the criteria for emotional child abuse and no charges have been filed. I don't know what the criteria for emotional abuse is, but if this doesn't meet it, what does? My heart breaks for all the children involved in this incident.


    IMO - The teacher needs to be fired and all of those students need sensitivity training. This is worse than Lord of the Flies because there was an allegedly trained educator heading this grotesque pack mentality.

    The flip side of the coin is that elementary education majors are not taught to deal with anything but "normal" students. Regardless of thiss ract she was WRONG!
     
  2. TurkeyWithaSunburn

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    I was watching yahoo, or cnn video news about that.. the teacher has been reassigned to currently NOT working with children (thank god) pending investigation, etc.
     
  3. Shelby

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    I'll play devil's advocate here and say maybe the teacher did the kid a favor by giving him a taste of what it's going to be like in the real world.

    Oh, but that's just mean isn't it?
     
  4. Alex Chambers

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    The teacher's behavior is repulsive. So now that the boy is humiliated, is is condition improved? How does this help amend his behavior or help him fit into his class? It doesn't. Some frustrated, inadequately trained teacher stooped to the level of her students and, worse, used them as an instrument through which she could heap upon this boy her animosity towards him that she could not have otherwise done in a more direct fashion. She shouldn't be allowed near children. Even if the autistic boy's parents don't have a criminal case, I hope they file a civil action against the teacher/school/county/whoever.
     
  5. lucky8

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    the child has not been diagnosed with autisism, yet
     
  6. WifeOfBath

    WifeOfBath New Member

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    if he's "in the process" of being diagnosed, it probably just means there are formalities that have to be performed-- testing and the like. i have a son who is speech delayed and in order to get him to go to preschool for his speech delay so it's official, he's had to have multiple tests over the last few months many of which are completely unrelated to his speech.

    regardless, there's no way in hell that a teacher should be allowed to lead her students into bullying. it doesn't matter if the child is autistic or not. if the child is difficult enough that he can't be in a classroom, there are other avenues she could have pursued.
     
  7. dong20

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    I understand your viewpoint but I wasn't aware that intentionally and openly victimising and traumatising autistic (or otherwise disadvantaged) people was deemed acceptable in the 'real' world either. If we accept it as 'inevitable' so casually, what does that say about us?

    I wouldn't blame parents for holding a vote of their own.
     
  8. lucky8

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    i agree, completely. it should have been handled much differently. i just think people are blowing this way out of proportion, like usual. okay, so the kid may have asperger's, but even at that, it isn't THAT bad of a disease as to where people need to include, "o by the way, this kid has a learning disorder." i like how this article forgets to mention that doctors have also been testing the child for other disorders, such as ADD and other impulse contol disorders. it just irritates me when the media labels people who learn differently to use it as a way to make a news story. im sure similar things happen everyday in this country, but no one pays any attention unless the child is "different." doing this to any 5 year old, disabled or not, will negatively effect them for years.
     
  9. luklakls

    luklakls New Member

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    Do people not realize this is KINDERGARTEN. kids do not hold "grudges" at 5 years old.
    Voting him out of the class is nothing that will damage him for the rest of his life.It's basically time out.
    If anything he will forget about it an be playing with the kids later on.
    Little kids get in fights and throw toys an crack skulls an the neck day theyre friends again.
     
  10. lucky8

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    so if this child was molested instead, he would probably just forget about it?
     
  11. dong20

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    Is five years old still Kingerdaten?

    That aside, this action wasn't condoned and perpetrated by a five year old on another five year old.The probable lack of lasting repercussions isn't a pretext for the actions (as reported) that transpired. If such open discrimination had occurred in the workplace to adults it would be illegal and grounds for litigation, so what makes it OK in a classroom?

    You seem to be missing the point, somewhat.
     
  12. ManlyBanisters

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    His behaviour may well be disgusting and annoying for the other children, but that was an apalling way for the teacher to handle the situation. I feel there is a strong possibility that memory, and the associated feelings, will stay with that kid for life.

    On a positive note, the fact that 2 kids voted to keep him in class suggests there are two wonderful families out there who have taught their 5 year olds not to bend to peer pressure. I'm not not saying the other families are bad - but those two make the story slightly less sad.
     
  13. Mem

    Mem
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    Was he wearing a beret? Did his easel fall over? Did he spill his paint? :biggrin1:

    In all honesty the teacher was the one acting like a child.
     
    #13 Mem, May 29, 2008
    Last edited: May 29, 2008
  14. luklakls

    luklakls New Member

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    There is a large gap between molestation and getting put out of a class.
    If in middle school or highschool the teacher ask the class do we want him in here?,would you still be mad for the teacher allowing the class to vote?

    What were the kids discriminating against?
    If someone in your workplace starts running around yelling throwing stuff. an then jumps on the floor kicking and screaming...and he just happens to be mentally handicapped.
    Are you discriminating against him because he is handicapped?
    Or do you just not want him disrupting you.
    either way you would probably kick him out or fire him.
    _______________________
    Even at 5 years old its not a big decision to say:
    He is bothering me-I don't want to be around him
     
  15. lucky8

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    There's also a large gap between 5 years old and 15 years old...
     
  16. Mr. Bungle

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    To a 5 year old? Nah, at least wait til maybe he's... 6 and a half... :wink:
     
  17. luklakls

    luklakls New Member

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    Exactly..so what point are you trying to make by comparing this story to ignoring molestation?
     
  18. ZOS23xy

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    Hmmm. Still sounds pretty abusive to me. Mean spirited, yes, but not really required. Reality therapy should be for people who are quite a bit older.
     
  19. ZOS23xy

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    Yes they do. 5 years old is a good age to imprint something on your soul and memory that you will never forget. Believe me, I know. Kids will hold grudges at the age of five because their parents will tell them too.

    Sorry, you're wrong.
     
  20. luklakls

    luklakls New Member

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    No one has said the teacher told these kids to hate the other student.
     
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