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Mom says special needs child 'voted' out of classroom


Last Update: 5/29 12:13 pm

Click the video player to the right to watch the full report.

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL -- A Port St. Lucie mother says her five-year-old son with special needs was voted out of his classroom by his peers at the behest of the teacher, who has since been reassigned.

Five-year-old Alex Barton will be starting his summer vacation early.  His mother doesn't want him to to return to school after what allegedly happened in class at Morningside Elementary Wednesday afternoon.

"I'll never be able to send him to school again without worrying if something is going to happen," says Melissa Barton, Alex's mother.

She admits he's had behavior problems, and can be difficult at times.

She says he's undergoing tests to determine if he suffers from Autism and other disorders.

But, she claims a Wednesday incident pushed the lines of discipline into the realm of abuse.

"(She) 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," she 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.

"I never thought she would subject my child to such mental abuse," says Barton.

Barton filed complaints with the Department of Children and Families and police.  She says the teacher overstepped her bounds.

After conferring with the State Attorney's office, police found no grounds for charges, but the school district is investigating the incident and these teaching practices.  Barton suspects other students may have suffered as well.

"If other parents who have this teacher or have had this teacher, come forward talk to your kids because this is wrong," says Barton.

The St. Lucie County school district is investigating the incident and released a statement Tuesday afternoon that reads:

"The St. Lucie County School District received a complaint about a kindergarten teacher, and is investigating the incident to determine if there is any violation of policies, procedures or ethics. The teacher has been reassigned outside of the classroom at the district offices until further action is determined."




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