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Autism Entertainment/culture Medicine

Kindergarten is not Survivor or Big Brother

Someone needs to teach the teacher here that kindergarten is not reality TV:

(CBS) A Port St. Lucie, Fla., mother is outraged and considering legal action after her son’s kindergarten teacher led his classmates to vote him out of class.

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.

The stupid, it doesn’t just burn, it goes supernova! What’s going on here, training future generations to be reality TV contestants?

Further research reveals that this incident appears even worse than the above article makes it sound:

PORT ST. LUCIE — A 5-year-old kindergartner was “voted out of” his classroom at Morningside Elementary on Wednesday when his teacher asked his classmates to take a vote on whether they wanted him in class, police say.

Teacher Wendy Portillo told the boy, who is known to have disciplinary issues, to stand in front of the class that day, according to police.

“The teacher 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,” said officer Michelle Steele, spokeswoman for the Port St. Lucie police.

Portillo then had the class take a vote on whether to boot the boy out of the class and send him to the principal’s office.

The class voted 14-2 to send the boy out for the day, Steele said.

When his mother found out, she contacted the school’s resource officer, Steele said. The officer interviewed Portillo, who admitted she had asked the class to vote, according to police.

The teacher said the boy had been sent to the office earlier that day, and when the office sent him back to class, Portillo asked her students whether they were ready for him to return, Steele said. Portillo said she asked the class to vote because they are learning about taking tallies, police say.

If the two accounts above are accurate, Wendy Portillo is one teacher who should not only be fired, but never allowed to work with children again. There’s just no excuse for a teacher humiliating a child, particularly a child with a developmental disorder, in this way. None.

(Hat tip: Ed Brayton.)

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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