Thursday, May 29, 2008

Asshat of the Week---Wendy Portillo

This week's Asshat goes to Florida kindergarten teacher Wendy Portillo!

Since I've been tied up with other things, I haven't been checking the news very frequently. The ABFH sent me a link to this article, suggesting an Asshat be awarded. She's kept up with the story in more detail at her blog.

Portillo is the kindergarten teacher who made a young boy (who was in the midst of the tedious process of getting an autism diagnosis) stand in front of the class and instructed the other 5-year-olds to tell him what they didn't like about him. And then had them "vote him out of the class" Survivor-style.

What in the???? Lord of the Flies would be more accurate, in my opinion.

Since this story broke, in the wake of hundreds of emails, the school district has suspended Portillo from contact with students until they can investigate.

Their stance?

Teachers often aren't given any special training to deal with autistic students until a child in their class has been identified as having a disability, said Bill Tomlinson, the district's director of special education.

So freaking what? When would that behavior be appropriate any where? With ANY student? It wouldn't.

Grrrrr. Somebody needs to vote that megalomaniac into another career. Preferably one with adults who wouldn't hesitate to break a foot off in her ass if she attempted to pull that crap with someone who wasn't a 5-year-old.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but why does it matter whether this young boy has autism or not - surely you don't do that to the self esteem of ANY child??

Attila The Mom said...


Melissa said...

How? What? *sputters uncontrollably and curses a little*

Beth said...

I hope that little five year old is okay (or will be okay) after having been subjected to such cruelty.

Traceytreasure said...

This made my blood boil when I saw it on the news. This was wrong on so, so many levels that I'm speechless. That poor, sweet little boy has my heart. He's just precious. I'm not sure that the Asshat Award is harsh enough for that teacher. How can she call herself a teacher? What has she taught that sweet little boy?
(insert scream here)

Brenda said...

I was furious when I saw this story on the news and I can't believe the courts and police declined to believe this was a criminal matter. They should post the teacher's photo under a warning sign that she's been mentally abusive to a child.

RC said...

something like that would be definitly don't forget something like that.

Anonymous said...


what the FUCK is wrong with her?!?!

-cleans up dirty mouth-
My bad, my bad. I'll behave now.

mrsb said...

Not only has she potentially damaged that poor little boy, she's damaged the other children in the class who've been shown that it was okay to torment someone "different".

That "teacher" should have to pay for counseling sessions for the entire class full of students.

Thank heavens the parents were paying attention and picked up on what she was doing and got the proof of it. That "teacher" is just pathetic.

Anonymous said...

This made me so angry. My heart just went out to that 5 year old. Training or not, there is a thing called kindness, sensitivity and being a decent human being. No excuse for this...none.

carmachu said...

Have to go with doesnt matter whether the kid had autism or not. That inapproriate period. WTF is wrong with her?

Jennifer McKenzie said...

I've seen this on another forum and was absolutely appalled.
There is a post floating around with addresses and names to send letters so that this woman is not allowed to teach or is at the very least reprimanded for this behavior.
Disabled or not, children suffer this kind of ostracism ANYWAY. Why would a teacher perpetuate that kind of bullshit?
*shakes head*

Jennifer H said...

Oh, seriously. What does it matter that the boy might be autistic?

Horrible behavior.

Stinkypaw said...

That's just plain mean, autism or not, no kids (nor adults) should have to go thru that!

Anonymous said...

Wendy Portillo was in trouble again in 2010 for failing to properly deal with a partially deaf child. WTF is wrong with these people? Why are they teachers at all?!