Big Payday for Kid Voted Out of Kindergarten Class | NBC 6 South Florida

Big Payday for Kid Voted Out of Kindergarten Class

Autistic boy kicked out of kindergarten gets $350,000 settlement

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    Alex Barton, the autistic South Florida kindergartener who was cruelly voted out of class by his schoolmates a few years ago, is about to have more money than any of them.

    Melissa Barton, Alex's mother, reached a settlement with St. Lucie County education officials to pay her son $350,000 for his ordeal, according to tcpalm.com.

    The settlement was reached on Nov. 24 in Miami, and is awaiting a final approval. If approved, the family will get $200,000 immediately, followed by yearly payments when Alex turns 18 in 2020.

    It's a decent payday for Alex, who was kicked out of class "Survivor"-style in May 2008. His teacher, Wendy Portillo, put Barton’s fate in the hands of his 16 classmates after he was repeatedly disruptive in class. The students were allegedly allowed to go before Barton and tell him why they didn't like him.

    Melissa Barton said Alex was "forced to stand in front of his peers and be told why 'they hated him,' with such comments as [Alex] is 'disgusting' and 'annoying,' 'He eats crayons,' 'Lies on the floor,' 'He eats paper' and 'He eats his boogers."'

    The class voted 14-2 to give him the boot.

    Barton didn't return to the class and finished the year in homeschooling, and has since been diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger's syndrome, which may have caused his behavior.

    Two years later, Barton made the honor roll.

    Portillo was suspended for a year, but has returned to teaching in St. Lucie County and had her tenure reinstated.