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Autistic Boy Voted Out of Class Receives $350,000 Settlement

Melissa Barton, the mother of an autistic boy who was voted out of class by his fellow kindergartners, is still hopping mad despite winning a $350,000 settlement against the Palm Beach County school system. The kindergarten teacher, Wendy Portillo, had the bad manners to ask students to explain to 5-year-old Alex why they didn't like him and then allowed them to vote on whether he would be allowed to remain in class. The boy, who is autistic, was voted out of the class, leading his mother to cast her own vote in the court of law. Now Barton is gunning for Portillo's tenure, since the teacher, who is back at work, is alleged to have discriminated against a hearing-impaired girl, along with two other teachers. Apparently they abused the girl by refusing to use microphones that would magnify their voices so the girl could hear. Instead they are alleged to have screamed at the girl, telling her to pay attention, and "made fun" of her deafness.

Portillo and company need more than their tenure revoked. Teachers bullying disabled children is unacceptable and should be a fireable offense. It's an arrestable offense in some places. If the teachers are proved guilty, firing should not be far behind. Now do you understand why we need bullying laws? It's not just for children who bully but also for adults. People wonder where children are learning to be such venomous bullies. They're learning it at home and at school from the so-called adults. Shaking our heads over here at The Root.



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