Alex Barton

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
- Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

When I was a young person I was small, round and freckly. Any one of these attributes alone, would have been unremarkable, but together they combined to put me in a particular class of people, undesirable people, or maybe it was the spectacles? My fairly ordinary appearance shaped how I experienced life, a crash course in social skills before the term had even been coined.

I was fortunate. My father was in the Navy which meant that we never had to endure any one school for very long, as there was always another posting hanging in the wings to bring relief. The crunch came with boarding school where my education was stabilized from 11 until I was 18. Like many marginalized children, not in the 'in crowd,' I made it to adulthood relatively unscathed. That was all back in the bad old days when people were more narrow minded, ancient history. These days people are more enlightened, open minded and accepting of differences great and small. We enjoy an ‘inclusive’ mentality and marginalize the judgmental tendencies.

Other people are far less fortunate than me. Their experiences defy comprehension.

Today I learned of a young man who was ostracized publicly, his name is “Alex Barton.” This little chap is definitely small but he is neither round nor freckled. He looks perfect. He is perfect. He is the perfect fit for his loving family. Sadly, he is not a perfect fit for some of his peers, primarily his teacher who orchestrated his ousting and planted stigma in the young minds of many. I learn that other “autistic people” have had similar experiences. Many others are flabbergasted at such behaviour.

Strangely, or rather coincidentally, a pal sent me this quote yesterday:-

“Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” Mathew 25:33-40.

Another chum sent me this e-mail. She is no longer small and round, and I grew up to be much bigger than I ever imagined.

Tequila and Salt

This should probably be taped to your bathroom mirror where one could read it every day.

You may not realize it, but it’s 100% true.

1. There are at least two people in this world that you would die for.
2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.
3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.
4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don’t like you.
5. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.
6. You mean the world to someone.
7. You are special and unique.
8. Someone that you don’t even know exists loves you.
9. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.
10. When you think the world has turned its back on you take another look.
11. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.

So………..

If you are a loving friend, send this to everyone, including the one that sent it to you.
If you get it back, then they really do love you. If life hands you Lemons, skip the lemonade,
ask for Tequila and Salt and call me over!

Best wishes from me and mine to all the Bartons.

“Left Brain Right Brain”

and

“Action for Autism.”
Many thanks to “Bev” for pointing us all in the right direction and to “Niks Mom” as we all gather together.
Alex might benefit from going to “Adam’s” school, where inclusion is a positive goal that many more of our children should enjoy.

“Drive mom Crazy” also gives as an adults perspective.
“Abfh” posts on this today too, as well as providing a very handy telephone number “here” in case you’re not the writing type.

Here are some more jolly good links that we may be able to pass around the blogosphere as an updated list from “Last Crazy Horn,” and numbered for ease of use [what would we do without efficient chums?]:-

  1. Whitterer on autism
  2. Leftbrainrightbrain
  3. Action for autism
  4. Asperger Square 8
  5. Maternal Instincts…Flying By the Seat of My Pants
  6. The Joy of autism
  7. Drive mom crazy
  8. Whose Planet Is It Anyways?
  9. Odd One Out
  10. Cogitamus
  11. Odd Time Signatures
  12. Stop. Think. Autism
  13. Along the spectrum
  14. Andrea’s Buzzing About
  15. Foggyrock
  16. The Diaper Heads
  17. Memoirs of a chaotic mommy
  18. Life with Joey
  19. The Rettdevil Rants
  20. ASAN
  21. Livs Journey
  22. Big white hat
  23. Ballastexistenz
  24. Aspie-editorial
  25. Being ammey
  26. The Anthill
  27. Thinking in Metaphors
  28. Lone Wolfs Den
  29. Jonathan Turley
  30. Lyndon
  31. Retired Waif
  32. Lorem Ipsum
  33. Digital Journal
  34. Disability Studies, Temple U.
  35. Mommy life
  36. Panic’s Deep Thoughts
  37. Are You Going To Be This Way The Rest Of The Time I Know You?
  38. Charming Bitch
  39. The Adventures of Leelo and his Potty-mouthed Mom
  40. DC Metro Moms
  41. Enter the Jabberwock
  42. Incertus
  43. Eric Berlin
  44. Awalkabout
  45. The Gimp Parade
  46. Man, or Maniac?
  47. Autism Vox
  48. Apple Tree
  49. Club166
  50. A Room of Mama’s Own
  51. The Strangest Alchemy
  52. Suspect Device: The Blog
  53. Huzzah!
  54. Beartwinsmom
  55. Pipecleaner Dreams
  56. The Squiggly Line of Thought
  57. Highboldtage
  58. Dvorak Uncensored
  59. Social Skills and Asperger’s Syndrome
  60. The Quaker Agitator
  61. Bohemian Booklover
  62. The Church of the Apocalyptic Kiwi
  63. How This Old Brit Sees It
  64. Stirring the Pot
  65. Disaboom
  66. Midlife and Treachery
  67. Celebritique
  68. Sanabitur anima mea
  69. To Be Great Is To Be Misunderstood
  70. I Can Only Imagine
  71. Up On Eagle’s Wings
  72. A Life Less Ordinary?
  73. Kaleidoglide
  74. Cripchick
  75. Daily Kos (full of a lot of information)
  76. Marla Baltes
  77. Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop
  78. Perseveration.org
  79. Fatherhood Examiner
  80. EditorMom
  81. It’s Atypical Neurolognorosis I Tell Ya
  82. Wheelie Catholic
  83. Free Falling
  84. The Lawdog
  85. Sheila Schoonmaker

Or you could pop along to my jolly good pal “Last Crazy Horn” as see her sterling work in situ at “Odd One Out.”

P.s. We’ve been battling asthma over here with the boys, so I’ve not been as vigilant as I should have been. If we’ve missed you out drop me an e-mail / leave a comment / post a link.
“Here” is a link explaining why some people choose to “homeschool” from “Mrs.C.”

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27 Comments

  1. lime:

    i am livid. that teacher should be fired, her credentials removed and she should never be permitted to work with children again. that she would rally the class against this boy in that way is just beyond my comprehension.

  2. Robin:

    I am absolutely horrified. My heart goes out to Alex and his family. I am beyond words at the cruelty of this so-called teacher’s abuse of her posiion and agree completely with lime – she should be stripped of her credentials immediately and should never EVER be allowed to work with children again. I don’t care what the law says – if that isn’t emotional abuse I don’t know what is!

    I can’t comprehend the mind of someone who would do such a thing to a child… *heavy sigh*

  3. daedalus2u:

    All the children in the classroom were abused. It is wrong beyond words to use 5 year olds as props to abuse another child.

    The other children in the classroom need to know that the teacher did a very bad thing to the child but also to them by involving them in her abuse.

  4. Almost American:

    Horrendous! Yes, the teacher should be fired and never allowed to teach again! As a teacher for over 20 years, I cannot imagine what was going through that teacher’s head! As Daedalus said, all the children in that class need to know that what their teacher did was wrong.

  5. Jocelyn:

    There are about twelve things here I could respond to, not the least of which is how amazed I am every time the poetry of a biblical verse suprises me.

    I find that article frustrating–something bad clearly happened there. I don’t dispute it. However, the fact that that teacher, when such a controversy is being roused up around her, is not being disciplined or put on temporary suspension…well, it makes me think some part of the reporting is missing. I note this only because teachers are pretty easy fall guys, are treated reactively, so the implication that this teacher did something so horrible with no ramification at all makes me suspicious of the article’s slant.

    That said, I am, with all others, horrified that this poor boy had to suffer through such a thing. Horrified.

  6. lastcrazyhorn:

    I think they’ve got my feelings pretty well clarified, so I shall continue on and post about the latter half of the post.

    I disagree with these two:

    3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.
    4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don’t like you.

    3. Not true. People hated me all of the time through school because I was odd, strange, complex and bizarre (to them). They hated me because I was different. They did not admire me. They did not want to be like me. They did not emulate me in any shape, way or form, except to cause pain.

    and

    4. Also not true. A smile from me causes loathing in some people. It causes them to change directions in their paths, to steer clear, to move to the opposite side of the road, because I–a freak to them–dared look at them, that I dared interact; therefore soiling them with my evil and weird presence.

    Overreaction on my part? Let me introduce you to some memories.

  7. Leanne:

    I agree that the teacher should never teach again. I also agree that the other children in the class need to be taught (quickly) that what happened was very wrong. I can only begin to imagine how scared and sad that little boy must have felt (and probably still feels). I took a lot of bad stuff as a kid but nothing quite so…publicly humiliating.

  8. farmwifetwo:

    I watched them remove a child from my youngest son’s classroom. I watched them deliberately make him “melt” during an outing.

    They knew how do deal with this. They know how to cope with this behaviour and help him.

    He had neither my children’s dx’s nor the paperwork, nor the parental support.

    He was removed and for Gr 1 is in a special class in another school.

    The school got what they wanted… and it wasn’t him. They could have made the effort and chose not to.

  9. Mary (MPJ):

    This story just broke my heart. I’m planning to blog about it too, but it takes my sorry old brain a while to process things like this into words. (Which also explains my lack of ability as a commenter!)

  10. lastcrazyhorn:

    BTW, I’ve got a post up about this too (and I provide email addy’s in mine): http://lastcrazyhorn.wordpress.com/2008/05/25/the-golden-rule/

  11. Bipolarlawyercook:

    Thanks for the reminders.

  12. excavator:

    Thank you for the post, Maddy, though I am sure sorry for the reason for it. I followed the link to the story and someone had posted a link to the principal’s e-mail. I sent her a message to tell her I felt that not only had Alex been abused, but the children in the classroom badly used. I would be furious if my child had been made a participant in this barbarity.

    Andreasbuzzingabout (I’m sorry, I don’t know how to link to her) has a very powerful post around this incident.

    I’m very sad about this.

  13. lastcrazyhorn:

    I’ve got a list of all the posts I can find on this topic in my latest post (listed above in comment 10).

  14. Leanne:

    Re:your p.s. I hope the boys’ asthma is ok. I know that can be really, really scary.

  15. Rachel:

    I am speechless. What was the teacher thinking?

  16. Cyndi:

    I am really not a violent woman, but if I was driving down the street and saw her nearby I would run her down with my car! I’m going to write to that child and tell him how special he is!!!

  17. Madeline:

    Now that Cyndi, is an inspired idea – the latter not the former of course!

  18. Gloria:

    That nasty horrible teacher needs to be fired. How heart breaking. I have a beautiful grandson who is also 5. He looks so much like Alex. I wept in front of the T.V. this morning. I just couldn’t believe how mean that teacher is and what she put all the children through.

  19. Corys mom( a child with Aspergers):

    He is beautiful.
    There is something very
    different about this guy.
    He may be quite awkward.
    But he is never shy.
    He is very intelligent,
    in a whole new light.
    Different is true,
    he may or may not impress you.
    Ive seen the looks, the angry glares.
    Go ahead and judge him,
    dont even give him a care!
    Did you ever stop to think?
    Someone is watching you,
    someone in grief.
    This disease hurts,
    this disease is wild!
    This is not some crazy person.
    This is my Aspergers child!!!

    written for my beautiful son Cory!!

    by Paula Bennett

  20. People are people. Go figure. « Sanabitur Anima Mea:

    [...] has been widespread disgust about this on the blogosphere. Some of the best posts are here, here, here and here. If you don’t have time to read them all, I would like to highlight this part of [...]

  21. odd time signatures » Blog Archive » Beyond the Rant - Protesting Alex Barton:

    [...] can also find a listing of posts at Whitterer on Autism in support of Alex and his [...]

  22. odd time signatures » Blog Archive » Beyond the Rant - Protesting Alex Barton:

    [...] can also find a listing of posts at Whitterer on Autism in support of Alex and his [...]

  23. odd time signatures » Blog Archive » Beyond the Rant - Protesting Alex Barton:

    [...] can also find a listing of posts at Whitterer on Autism in support of Alex and his [...]

  24. lastcrazyhorn:

    I’ve got 74 listed now. Just let me know and the code is yours. :)

  25. AS mom w/an AS son:

    Something similar happened to me 20-something years ago in kindergarten before the world was familiar with Asperger’s. My 7y/o son went through something similar when he was in kindergarten. If it hadn’t been for the wonderful and supportive school we found in a another district, we’d be having to homeschool him because his social functioning is that of a 3y/o. I think any teacher who can do something like that to any child should be stripped of the ability to teach on all levels, local state, national. And I think the school district should be fined heavily.

  26. Angela at mommy bytes:

    I heard of this story from kirtsy and found it totally despicable. I hope the Bartons win their case and find solace. It is fantastic that the blogosphere is responded with such support.

  27. Melissa Barton:

    Hello,

    It has been over 1 month since Wendy Portillo abused my son. She is still a teacher and is still on the payroll.

    I urge everyone to once again take a stand against discrimination.

    Please one more time write and call the Port St Lucie School Board here is a great link to get you started.

    http://www.stlucie.k12.fl.us/

    If we let this slide, the next time it will be worse.

    I am building a website dedicated to parents, children and adults who suffer from abuse through discrimination by disability. The site will be up within the next few weeks, http://www.justiceforalexbarton.com

    Please come by and say hello.

    Sincerely,

    Melissa Barton