Saturday, May 31, 2008

Teacher had Class VOTE to remove their fellow childmate OUT!

Posted by Hannah at 3:56 PM

Morningside Elementary teacher Wendy Portillo had a vote last week with her class to teach a child a lesson about how his behavior effected his classmates. She felt that maybe if he heard this from someone else besides adults he may grasp the situation better, and respect others in a more proper fashion.


According to Slate:

Alex, who is autistic, was taken to the assistant principal, to whom he promised he would "not kick students, throw crayons, eat crayons, crawl under the table, kick the table of other students ... [or] disrupt the class," according to a police report. (See excerpts below and on the following six pages.) The assistant principal tucked in Alex's shirt, put his "shoes on the right feet and tied them," and sent Alex back to class. During Alex's absence, his teacher, Wendy Portillo, "gathered the students to talk with them" about the youngster's misbehavior.

When Alex returned, Portillo, who has been teaching in Port Lucie for 12 years, directed the youngster to the front of the room and "asked him to listen to what the children didn't like" about him. According to Alex, the children complained that he "eats paper, picks boogers … and bites his shoelaces," and Portillo herself said, "I hate you right now. I don't like you today." (Page 2). Portillo next "polled the class" about whether to let Alex back in (Page 4). Alex lost the class vote, 14-2, and spent the rest of the school day in the nurse's office. That night, Alex "did not eat dinner [and] would not sleep in his own bed." (Page 2).

The day after Alex's kindergarten show trial, his furious mother contacted the police school resource officer to report Portillo for child abuse. The police officer interviewed Alex ("Mrs. Portillo is very mean," Page 2); the teacher ("the students in class were all her priority," Page 3); and several child witnesses (Pages 5 and 6), and in the end concluded there was no "probable cause" for criminal child abuse (Page 6). The St. Lucie County Public School District is still investigating whether any department regulations were violated.






CBS News had this interview with Alex's mom:



In this video the mother stated that after the classroom took a vote 14 to 2 to kick the student out of her classrom, and she said the child, "How do you feel?" The children said he felt sad. She asked him where he was going to go, and the child mentioned the principals office. The teacher said, "They don't want you there!"

Another portion was that his best friend in the class was also asked if Alex should say in the class, and his friend said he wanted him to stay. The teacher then called on that friend a second time, and I'm sure the poor child felt pressured and finally decided to go along with the crowd.

As a parent of a disabled child this interview made me cry. I have been in situations myself in which I felt all I was doing was defending my child's rights as a human, and adminstrators attempted to strip it away.

There are places popping up all over the place showing support for this child, and attempting to show him how special he is! They are sending cards, and having facebooks made. The child is still struggling as he recounts how the different children in that class were asked to one by one tell Alex WHAT they didn't like about him! Then voting to have him removed. The principal telling the mother that the teacher felt she didn't do anything wrong.





It amazes me the cruelity that people can place upon others. We are talking about a child in kindergarden. How do you think this will effect his view of school from this day forward? I can only imagine!

Adventures In Frickintardistan

TheDeeZone

Have some lively dicussion about this child.

My prayers are with you Alex, and with you as well Ms. Portillo. I don't think you realize how much you took from this child, and I don't CARE how much of a handful he was.


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7 comments:

Katherine Gunn on 1:20 PM said...

This actually got a passing mention on Fax News yesterday. All I can do is shake my head at some people's ability to be so callous.

Hannah on 2:07 PM said...

I can understand the frustration this teacher may have with a child that clearly needs to be in another program, but if you know the reasons behind the behavior...why in heavens name would you think humilation would work?

I know in our case changing classes, getting an IEP, etc took months to complete. Sounds like they were doing just that, and to me the teacher got impatient with the student instead of the system.

She set this child up for ridicule for others, and that isn't going to improve the autism...it will make it worse to seem to me.

dennisthemennis.co.uk on 7:24 AM said...

We should be ashamed of ourselves as human beings the way we treat one another. I am truly amazed.

Hannah on 9:28 AM said...

I understand what you are saying. I was amazed as well.

Sandra on 9:26 PM said...

I have a nephew who is disabled. He suffers from Prader Willys Syndrome. He just graduated from Pre-School and will be starting Kindergarden in the fall. My sister is already working with IEP as he will be in a regular classroom. I think these children should be placed with teachers who have alot of patience and who are knowledgable in the child's disability. It breaks my heart to think that this teacher could have been so cruel to such a young child who obviously "could not help it"

Anonymous said...

Having a child with ad/hd (combined type), anxiety, depression, social phobia and separation anxiety I am really mad right now after reading what this teacher did to this little boy. She should be fired from her job and also have criminal charges pressed against her for child abuse. Knowing what my 10 yr old goes through at school with the teacher kicking her out of class and making comments to her in front of other kids about how many days she misses for psychologist and other doctor appointments, which she has no control over, makes me mad on a daily basis. Then the school tells me that she doesn't qualify for an IEP after there have been several doctors, counselors and psychologists who all say that she does qualify for an IEP. The schools do not want to help our kids, they are hurting the kids that we are trying to help. It makes me mad and sad at the same time that she has to go to school on a daily basis to go through stuff like this. All I can suggest to the little boys mom is to keep fighting for your son. It's a long battle and the school will fight you all the way, especially if the first teacher doesn't like your child. It's sad that they do this. If they didn't want to help children, then why are they teachers?

Hannah on 10:07 AM said...

Making comments is inappropriate for this teacher. I would go to the principal, and if they don't help I would go over their head. I have been there myself.

I remember years back there was a family that placed an audio device in their child's backpack. When that school wasn't moved by what was heard? They went to the press, and all of a sudden their tune changed.

For myself? The school wanted a meeting with me due to problems they 'saw', and it was of their own making. Since they never listened to me? I agreed and brought my lawyer with me. Suddenly, he wasn't such an issue anymore when placed in the position they were trying to place me in. It was the best couple hundreds bucks I ever spent.

For myself only? When the schools were in news recently, and I heard their chants about how this is FOR the KIDS? Well lets just say from my experience in that school? My compassion for them just wasn't all that strong.

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