Eighth-grader Anthony Ruelas was suspended for refusing to wait for the school nurse to come to the classroom to assist another student who was having an asthma attack.
The incident happened at Gateway Middle School in Texas’s Killeen Independent School District (ISD). A girl in Ruelas’s class was wheezing and told her classmates that she was having an asthma attack. The teacher instructed all the students to remain in the classroom while she emailed the school nurse to come to assist the asthmatic student.
After waiting several minutes for the school nurse to reply to the teacher, the girl collapsed onto the floor, at which point Anthony reportedly said, “F*** that – we ain’t got time to wait for no email from the nurse.”
Even though the teacher had instructed the students to remain in the classroom, 15-year-old Anthony Ruelas picked up his ailing classmate and carried her to the school nurse.
On Wednesday evening, Anthony got a text from the girl who had suffered the asthma attack, thanking him for taking her to the school nurse, and stating that she was okay.
According to a statement issued by the district superintendent John Craft, one would think that Anthony’s heroism would be applauded:
“…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.”
But Anthony wasn’t applauded. He was suspended by the school for two days.
Students have been suspended for these sorts of things in the past. At a school in Virginia Beach, Virginia, a girl witnessed a fellow student using a razor to cut his arm. She took it and threw it away and told him that cutting his arm wasn’t the right thing to do. She felt she needed to let school officials know what was going on. When she relayed the incident to them, they suspended her for 10 days with the possibility of expulsion. The school had a strict no-weapons policy, and this student had admitted to handling a very dangerous weapon. The disciplinary measures were reconsidered after backlash from the public.
In another incident, a 16-year-old Florida student wrestled a loaded .22 revolver from another student who was pointing it at someone else’s chest on the school bus and threatening to shoot him. But because the 16-year-old was “involved in an incident” with a weapon, he was suspended for three days, even though his actions likely saved the lives of others.