ST. LUCIE COUNTY – Morningside Elementary teacher Wendy Portillo said she hopes to return to teaching after a unanimous vote by the School Board let her keep her professional contract with the county school district and the tenure protection it affords.
The School Board’s vote Wednesday came more than one year after Portillo led her kindergarten students to vote classmate Alex Barton, then 5, out of class for disruptive behavior. The child was in the process of being diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, a type of high-functioning autism, at the time.
“I’m overjoyed,” Portillo said after an emotional 90-minute hearing in which more than a dozen teachers and parents urged the School Board to relent in punishing her. “I’m happy that I’ll be able to go back to doing what I love to do.”