In 2008, a general education teacher brought Alex, then five years old, to the front of the classroom at Morningside Elementary School in Port St. Lucie, Florida. He had just returned from a visit to the principal’s office when Ms. Portillo put Alex in front of the tribal counsel — Alex’s fellow five-year-olds. These kindergartners were asked to vote on whether Alex should remain in class. Alex was voted off the island, I mean classroom.
Yesterday, Alex’s mother was awarded $350,000 by the school district. After a one-year unpaid leave, St. Lucie’s own Jeff Probst has returned to teaching. Alex still has Asperger’s Disorder (sarcasm intended, as I know AS is a life-long disorder).
$350,000 is apparently the price tag for:
- Humiliation of a child (and family)
- A quick “fix” to behavior problems (Puts the costs of ABA in perspective!)
- A real-life lesson in intolerance
- Publicity for the extent to which a school district is untrained
- A year off in the world of a teacher
I, for one, would like the school district to do a matching-funds option to pay for some ASD training. Actually, I’d do it for the cost of my flight. Southwest.com tells me that’s about $200.