Teacher who held vote to kick autistic child from classroom loses appeal

Published: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 6:46 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 6:46 a.m.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. A teacher who held a vote to kick a 5-year-old autistic student from his kindergarten classroom lost her appeal for reinstatement.

An administrative law judge Tuesday upheld the St. Lucie School Board's decision to suspend Wendy Portillo for a year without pay and remove her tenure.

The school district determined that Portillo violated the state's code of ethics for teachers and school board rules in May 2008 when she allegedly asked the class to vote whether the boy should stay in the classroom. The student, who was in the process of being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, had been referred twice to the principal for discipline problems.

He lost the vote 14-to-2.

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