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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

5-year-old, voted out of class, goes global

29fbartonnc685_t220 By now, you've probably heard the story of young Alex Barton, the Port St. Lucie autistic kindergartner whose teacher, Wendy Portillo, allowed her students to vote Alex out of the class because of his constant disruptions.

If not, you're probably not the media junkie we thought you might be.

His story, naturally, has gone viral on the Internet because of its shocking and salacious nature. And not surprisingly, his family has received letters of support from around the globe (not to mention invites to appear on talk shows), the Port St. Lucie Tribune reports.

The paper's business columnist, meanwhile, wants more details before he'll take a side, and he finds they aren't as easily accessible as one might like. So far, Alex's mom seems to be doing all of the talking.

"Of the hundreds of online comments, both on our Web site and others (including one at the Chicago Tribune), many people are demanding Portillo's head. They want her fired — or worse. Many think she should never stand in front of a class of students again," Anthony Westbury writes in his piece, What's really going on in that classroom? "They might be right, but I'm not willing to bury the lady until I've heard the other side."

It's a classic "she said-no comment" case. Like the rest of the world, we'll be waiting for an answer, too.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:43am]


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