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January 2011



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By Robin Hansen

Wendy Portillo, a Florida teacher was suspended from teaching for one year after it had been discovered that she subjected her kindergarten class to a survivor style lesson.  

In 2008 she allowed her kindergarten students to vote a child with autism out of their classroom. The boy, 5-year-old Alex Barton, was humiliated. Only a few classmates spoke up to defend little Alex.  The story made headlines.  Portillo was staunchly defended by her peers and many others who said Portillo simply made a mistake.  Others felt little Alex deserved such treatment.   For a while, it looked like Portillo might loose her credential but instead she only got a suspension.  However it looked like Alex Barton’s supporters had it right all along. 

Now, in the latest case, a report from the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights found evidence that Portillo and two other teachers discriminated against a girl with a hearing impairment at Allapattah Flats K-8 School in Port St Lucie.

The teachers were supposed to wear a microphone whenever the girl was in their classroom, so she could hear them. But the girl claimed sometimes they did not wear it.

Allegations listed in the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights report:

  • “That one teacher never wore the microphone and screamed and yelled at the student to pay closer attention.”
  • One teacher  wore the microphone, but did not turn it on, and “laughed sarcastically in the face of the student”.
  • Federal investigators found, “The weight of the evidence establishes that the microphone was not being used by all three teachers consistently every day”.

The district has been ordered to provide re-training for Portillo and the other two teachers. However the mother has already removed her daughter from the school. 

One can only hope that these teachers get their credentials revoked,  especially Portillo.  However, like the school staffer who killed Cedric Price, they can easily get another credential in another state.  

For more info: click here.

Source:  http://www.examiner.com/special-education-in-national/teacher-who-kicked-5-year-old-autistic-out-of-class-now-refused-to-wear-mike-for-deaf-child

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