Kindergarten Survivor Goes From Outcast to Honor Roll

Alex Barton was voted out of his kindergarten class for having autism

Alex Barton's parents always knew he could excel in school. All it took was a little time - and not being cruelly voted out of class.

Barton, now 7, recently made the honor roll at Jupiter Academy in Palm Beach County, just a year and a half removed from making national attention after being outcast from his kindergarten class in a public school like a contestant on Survivor.

"His mom was not surprised, but very thankful that the teachers were able to give Alex the type of education he needed," said Paul Sopp, the family's attorney. "This just goes to show Alex could be educated if a proper educational plan was put in place."

Barton received straight A's on his report card, his mom Melissa Barton said.

"The difference is just unbelievable. It's day and night from where he was before," she said. "There are a lot of children out there that can excel but it really depends on the teachers they have and how dedicated they are. He feels like a part of a family in his classroom."

Wendy Portillo, the alleged mastermind of the class vote, called for the vote because Barton was disruptive in class, but it turned out the boy had a form of autism. Before the vote, Portillo told the students one by one to tell Barton what they didn't like about him.

The kids eventually voted to expel him,14-2.

Barton's parents pulled him out of the school after the incident and has filed a lawsuit against the Palm Beach School Board because of the incident.

The turmoil hasn't slowed Barton down, as evidenced by his academic achievement. And he is being taught by a first-year teacher to boot, Sopp said.

The second grader was home schooled last year and attends Jupiter Academy on a MacKay scholarship, which provides money for students with special needs to attend a private school, according to the Palm Beach Post.

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