Melissa Barton says Morningside Elementary teacher Wendy Portillo had her son’s classmates say what they didn’t like about 5-year-old Alex. She says the teacher then had the students vote, and voted Alex, who is being evaluated for Asperger’s syndrome — an autism spectrum disorder — out of the class by a 14-2 margin.
After the boy misbehaved last week, teacher Wendy Portillo “decided to bring him in front of the class and let the other kids tell him what they didn’t like about him, kind of ridiculed him,” Michelle Steele, a police spokeswoman, tells the Palm Beach Post.
The newspaper says students then voted 14-2 in favor of having the boy removed from Portillo’s classroom.
“He was incredibly upset,” Melissa Barton, the boy’s mother, says in an interview with the Port St. Lucie News. “The only friend he has ever made in his life was forced to do this.”
A school spokeswoman says Portillo has been removed from the classroom pending the outcome of an internal review.