This story compelled me, given the tragic level of humiliation suffered by this little boy:
5-year-old Alex Bartonwas literally voted out of his kindergarten classroom. Alex Barton is in the process of being diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a type of high-functioning autism. According to his mother:
“[The teacher] took him and stood him in front of his classmates this week, asked every single child to tell Alex why we don’t like him… in his words, tell Alex why we hate him,” [his mother] explains.
After having each child ridicule the boy, she says the teacher continued belittling him. “Then they had a vote on if he deserved to stay in the class or not,” says Barton. Like a twisted reality show, Barton says in a 14-2 vote, his classmates voted the five-year-old out of the classroom.
Since his “eviction” from the St. Lucie Co. (Florida) class he has felt “sad” and has repeated the words, “I’m not special,” over and over to himself. The reasons students gave for disliking Alex included that he is “disgusting” and “annoying.” Since February, the young man has been in the process of being evaluated for Asperger syndrome.
His mother heard him saying “I’m not special” over and over.
Alex’s mother is fighting back and considering pressing legal charges. Melissa Barton filed a complaint with Morningside’s school resource officer, who investigated the matter, Port St. Lucie Department spokeswoman Michelle Steele said. But the state attorney’s office concluded the matter did not meet the criteria for emotional child abuse, so no criminal charges will be filed, Steele said.
You can also help support Alex Barton by writing to his school board.
f you have a blog, please write a little something in support of Alex Barton. Maybe he isn’t special. He shouldn’t have to be. He’s a five year old boy, a human being, worthy of respect.
Write the St. Lucie County School Board at firstname.lastname@example.org
The school’s principal is Marcia Cully: (772) 337-6730 at email@example.com
St. Lucie County Schools Superintendent: Michael J. Lannon4204 Okeechobee Road Ft. Pierce 34947-5414 Phone: 772/429-3925 FAX: 772/429-3916 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Lucie County School Board Chair: Carol Hilson 772-519-0397 HilsonC@stlucie.k12.fl.us
Vice Chair:Judith Miller772-528-4545 MillerJ@stlucie.k12.fl.us