student suspended for helping friend having asthma attack

Texas Student Anthony Ruelas Suspended For Helping Classmate During Asthma Attack

A Texas eighth grade student has been suspended after he ignored his teacher’s orders and helped a classmate who was having an asthma attack.

According to Fox News, 15-year-old Anthony Ruelas, who is a student at Gateway Middle School, which is an alternative school in the Killeen Independent School District (ISD), watched his fellow classmate “wheezing and gagging for three minutes” before he decided to intervene. His teacher, Ruelas said, emailed the school nurse and told the other students to remain calm until the nurse arrived. However, Ruelas’ classmate continued to get worse and even fell on the floor gasping for air. Anthony realized his friend needed help, so he decided to pick her up and carry her to the nurse’s office.

Below is the teacher’s report of the incident.

“During 5th period another student complained that she couldn’t breathe and was having an asthma attack. As I waited for a response from the nurse, the student fell out of her chair to the floor. Anthony proceeded to go over and pick her up, saying ‘f—k that, we ain’t got time to wait for no email from the nurse.’ He walks out of class and carries the other student to the nurse.”

Despite his intentions, the school made the decision to suspend Anthony even though he said he feared for the girl’s life.

After hearing of his suspension, Anthony said, “I’m suspended for this? Like, I was trying to help her.”

Mandy Cortes, Anthony’s mother, said her son had been suspended before, so she just assumed he had walked out of class. She didn’t really know what happened until she saw that Anthony was visibly upset, the Washington Post reports.

“I wasn’t trying to hear it,” Mandy said. “I was like, ‘No, they already told me what happened — you walked out of class.’ And he was like ‘Okay, forget it.’ But I can tell — you know, you know your kids — I could tell he was upset.”

When Mandy realized that her son was only trying to help out a fellow student, she said she was proud of him and very disappointed with how the school handled the situation. She is now considering homeschooling Anthony.

“Especially with it being an alternative school I feel like the kids hear enough of ‘they’re bad’ or their behavior,” she said. “For them to not be rewarded for really something that is brave, you know, he is a hero to me.”

“He may not follow instructions all the time, but he does have a great heart,” she added.

The school district said they are currently investigating the incident and released a statement regarding what had happened.

“The District is unable to provide details related to the matter as it pertains to information involving student discipline and/or health records. In an effort to protect students’ rights to confidentiality granted under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the details of the investigation and/or disciplinary actions may not be provided by the district at this time. The Killeen ISD maintains the safety of our students, staff and campuses as a priority and applauds the efforts of students who act in good faith to assist others in times of need.”

Anthony said he was more concerned with his friend’s health situation than his suspension.

When asked if he would do the same thing if the situation happened again, Anthony said, “Most definitely.”

Luckily, the student, who has not been identified, was okay and texted Anthony later that day to tell him that she was fine.

What do you think about Anthony Ruelas being suspended for helping another student? Leave your comments below.

[Photo via Shutterstock]

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