I Am Right Fuming Ripped!

News Story

It appears in St. Lucie a school and teacher have belittled a young man by using his classmates in a survivor reality tv style to “vote” him out of the classroom and tell him exactly how much they don’t like him. This is a kindergarten class, 5 year olds and one very cruel and mean spirited teacher. Why did they do this to this child? Because he’s autistic! Aspergers Syndrome.

I am a mother of two autistic children. One with SID (sensory integration dysfunction) and ASD\ND (autistic spectrum disorder with neurological deafness). I am horrified and disgusted at the treatment of Alex and his family. No one was reprimanded, no one lost their job, no one was charged. In fact, Alex is the one still paying for what the teacher did to him because his mother had to pull him out of the school due to the distress it caused Alex. He would scream every time he saw the school.

I wrote a letter to to principle, assistant principle and the offending teacher and I encourage you all to do the same thing as well.

Morningside Elementry School

cullym@stlucie.k12.fl.us
Mrs. Marcia Cully – Principle

gasgoignep@stlucie.k12.fl.us
Mrs. Patricia Gascoigne – Assistant Principle

portillow@stlucie.k12.fl.us
K Teacher – Wendy Partillo

My Letter:

I was appalled to read about the disgusting and cruel behavior of Ms Wendy Partillo toward Mrs. Barton’s son Alex just recently in the news. As a mother of two autistic children and a mother of five children I am sickened by the nonchalant attitude and downright cruelty displayed in the way Alex was treated by his teacher, school and the authorities who govern your school.

Where has compassion gone these days for the children? Where is the sense of best interests of the child disappeared to?

This whole situation smacks of bigotry and lack of understanding. It smacks of cruelty and downright disregard for the welfare and well being of the children in this kindergarten class, not just Alex.

Ms. Partillo you have taught your class how to be cruel to another human being. You have taught these 5 year old children how to hurt another person so profoundly and so deeply. You have no understanding or sensitivity to autism and what it means to have an autistic child. You have taught the cruelest lesson of all to Alex, that he can be made to feel less than human. That he is unworthy of the people around him because of his disability. You disgust me, I think you are cruel, a bigot and a downright disgusting poor excuse of a teacher. You need sensitivity training.

My two autistic children are around Alex’s age. One is 7 years old. He was born at 3 months premature and has been diagnosed with sensory integration dysfunction. This is on the low end of the autism spectrum. SID or sensory integration dysfunction is where a child or person cannot process sounds, smells, textures, shapes, colors – essentially stimuli the same way a person without SID can. They throw tantrums over a certain colors that over-stimulate them, textures and even smells that can physically gag them, causing food aversions. In some cases this food aversion can cause failure to thrive in younger children and infants. My other autistic child is ASD\ND or autistic spectrum disorder with neurological deafness. She’s 2 years old. She was born full term as a frank breech (feet first) and prolapsed cord that caused brain damage during birth.

As you can see, my vested interest in this situation runs deep and close to the heart and home. How can you have allowed this kind of cruelty? Out of misunderstanding of the disability? Educate yourselves then, ignorance is not an excuse. Lack of compassion? Find compassion by educating yourself, it’s no excuse. If you lack compassion you should not be teaching young children. You have no business teaching or being near young children.

Mrs. Cully and Mrs. Gascoigne – the two of you are just as much to blame and at fault for this disgusting situation. How dare you just blithely pass the buck and turn your back on the very children you should be protecting and nurturing within your school walls. What kind of a message are you sending to the rest of the school? The other parents? If this had been the school my children went to, I would have pulled all of my children out of your school immediately. If you can treat one child so coldly and allow one of your colleagues to do so without reprimand or consequences you would have no issues doing this to many other children. It’s time to stop passing the buck and sitting on your hands. Stand up for the true interests of the children.

None of you are worthy of Alex. Alex is a special little boy that you have all disgraced with lack of compassion, understanding and have beat down with bigotry and lack of knowledge. You emotionally abused him, you mentally abused him and you kicked him like he was a dog. He is a child, a human being, a beautiful and special sweet little boy and you are unworthy of him. What was done here was not democracy, it was a witch hunt using little 5 year olds to express an adults dislike and hatred of a little boy being in her class.

The Autism community is in an uproar and your story is spreading over the internet and phone lines like wildfire, this community refuses to see this type of behavior go unchecked and unnoticed or swept away and hidden. There will be reprimand and there will be the price to pay for this inhumane treatment of Alex and his family.

The three of you lack grace and compassion and do not deserve to be around children and teaching. I hope all three of you lose your jobs because you don’t deserve to be in these positions. Especially you Ms. Partillo, how dare you treat children like this – you sicken me and disgust me. You deserve to be barred permanently from teaching and have your teaching license revoked indefinitely.

The Natural Mama
Loving mother of two autistic children

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7 Responses to “I Am Right Fuming Ripped!”

  1. How disgusting. Great letter… you wonder if they’ll ‘get it’.

  2. Glad to hear your thoughts. I’m pissed too……as an “older Alex” (I’m autistic myself)…….

    The Integral

  3. It’s not just the Autism community that’s in an uproar.

    It’s most anybody with a heart.

    Personally I hope this ruins the bitch’s career.

    As as a former victim of bullying in school, my heart goes out to Alex. I’m glad he has a loving Mom. I wish him the best.

  4. Scott: well, that’s nice to know. I’m glad so many people are upset by this. We autistics have to deal with these kinds of shenanigans very, very often. For every story like this that comes out, there are so many more that go unreported.

    I was made fun of in school too…..I was mostly oblivious to what many kids were saying. I put walls around my emotions…..which in hindsight was one of the most (IMHO, at least) brilliant things I ever did in grade school.

    I did notice that as everyone got older and more mature, they started to show a bit more respect.

    Natural Mama: thanks for covering this story in your blog. I hope that more people embrace the idea of neurodiversity and respect the wishes of autistics not to be cured, but to be accepted.

    The Integral

  5. harmonymomma Says:

    I feel it is important to note that any child can learn if taught the right way. Dr. Maria Montessori did just that, she taught children who were, by todays standards, considered special needs and was able to bring them to a so called “normal” level of understanding. If she could do it that long ago, why can’t teachers of today do it? That is the question. If it was discovered that many years ago that even the less fortunate, even the children with special needs could learn, to the level of “normal” children and beyond, then why do teachers of today have difficulty teaching children of any level? The child is not lacking, the educator is lacking. My feeling is that if I can’t help a child achieve his/her fullest potential then I have failed…not the child…I have failed. As an educator I should be able to teach any child, no matter what their level or special circumstances. No matter what their level of understanding. I should have the knowledge and ability to teach them to the point of full understanding. If not…….then I have failed. NOT the child. Teachers need to understand this. And perhaps it is not their fault. Perhaps they are unaware of Dr. Montessori’s findings and other significant resources of education. But for this much time to have lapsed they should be independent enough to seek out better teaching methods, better understanding of the child, especially if caring for a special needs child. If you don’t have the knowledge at hand to help a child in your care, then care enough to learn what you need to know to help the child to the best of your ability. If you do anything less, you have failed as a human being. Children are innocent and deserve nothing less than our absolute best efforts. If this woman, or these women, no longer appreciate the great responsibility bestowed upon them, then they need to reconsider what their purpose is. Perhaps they would serve God and humanity better in some other capcity. They should contemplate this very seriously.

  6. cerebral syndrome…

    Meta: Login RSS Comments RSS Valid XHTML XFN WP January 31, 2008 Psychology,psychiatric, Autism, Crossing the Cruel Wires of Truth. Filed under: Autism Research spotlight— blog@ 7:…

  7. “If you don’t have the knowledge at hand to help a child in your care, then care enough to learn what you need to know to help the child to the best of your ability.”

    Harmony, I love this quote from you. It is exactly the way ALL teachers should be thinking. I give you big Kuddos for this. I appreciate your view as a teacher in this matter. I would hope that all teachers aspire to your ideologies of teaching. Whether it be a special needs child or not, all children deserve a teacher with such a large and golden heart like yours. I am impressed and touched you took the time to express yourself here, thank you!

    Intergral:

    I am pleased to share these topics, the more we push for awareness the less these things happen. Knowledge truly is power and without awareness we cannot bring to light what issues need resolving. The more we talk about these things and other pressing issues, the better we can understand each other and build a better future for all people in all neurodiverse levels.

    To neurodiversity Intergral! Cheers!

    Scott: Thank you, your words mean more than you could ever know. It is heart warming to know that not only the Autistic Community cares but all communities care about this. It is openly accepted and cherished. I’m sorry you went through the bullying, I know how that feels – I was the high school bookworm and punching bag growing up. The awkward tom boy who was even teased by friends most days. It is an awful, awful way to grow up but, honestly, it made me stronger and pushed me to strive forward more so than I think I would have if I had been one of the “popular” ones. Again, thank you!

    Jenifur: I don’t know if they “got it” but lets hope that someone, somewhere, somehow “gets it”.

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