Alex Barton: An Update
If you are following the story of Alex Barton, the kindergarten student who was voted out of his class survivor-style , you may be interested to know that his teacher has been officially reassigned. Big whoop, right? Morningside Elementary teacher Wendy Portillo has been reassigned outside the classroom and further action may be forthcoming, according to St. Lucie County School District spokesperson Janice Karst. One can only assume that with all the public outcry for Ms. Portillo’s termination, the school board may have little other option than to excuse her at this point.
Let’s examine this for a minute. What exactly does it mean to be reassigned outside the classroom? Is this like stuffing envelopes? So, unless the school needs to pay someone a teacher’s salary to do light office work, are they wasting money? What could the school board be waiting for here? Suspend her without pay until the axe is dropped, right? Can justice be found with such a circus frenzy surrounding the case?
The story has exploded in the media with countless bloggers and media outlets editorializing the event (ahem). This has been the lone positive of this story so far--Aspberger’s Syndrome awareness. Entire online communities are rallying together to aid the cause of young Alex, and strangers across the world have sent letters of encouragement to the Barton family. Online petitions have been signed to send the message to terminate Ms. Portillo. To say the story is viral is an understatement. I think the firestorm will only settle when Ms. Portillo’s license has been revoked and parents, not only in Florida but across the country, can finally exhale knowing one more unfit teacher has been removed from circulation. “She has no business being near children at all.” That’s what Melissa Barton thinks, and I for one agree. What do you think? Have we too quickly condemned Wendy Portillo? Has the St. Lucie School District acted too slowly? Are we sick of this story and consider her firing a foregone conclusion?