If you don't yet have on your angry hat, you might want to go get it: A kindergarten teacher in Florida allowed her students to "Vote Out" their about-to-be-diagnosed autistic classmate, Alex Barton. WTF doesn't even cover it: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2008/may/24/30gtteacher-lets-students-vote-out-classmate-5/
This is exactly why we parents of special needs children need to advocate for inclusive attitudes in our schools. Inclusion considers that all students are full members of the school community and are entitled to the opportunities and responsibilities that are available to all students in the school. No one gets to vote ANYONE out.
Inclusion is not always appropriate for all children; my own son attends a segregated special ed school because his needs cannot be met any other way. But when special ed students attend a regular school, it is critical to demonstrate that every last student is a full member of the campus community; otherwise, the special ed kids get segregated, and discriminated against. Starting as young as age five, the age of Alex Barton's classmates.
A good start towards fostering inclusive attitudes is a fun project like SEPTAR’s Drawn Together, in which special needs kids and their typical classmates collaborated on collages and paintings. I did not work on Drawn Together, but if you want more information on how to start something like it at your own school, I can put you in contact with our resident inclusion/art geniuses.
A painting from the Drawn Together project
Inclusive attitudes. They are critical, and unless they are actively cultivated, our children's peers will have the same attitudes as the kids in Alex Barton's classroom, and they will carry them through to adulthood.
(Alex Barton info via LeftBrain/RightBrain via Whitterer on Autism.)