Education Law

Texas eighth-grader suspended after leaving classroom with student who was having asthma attack

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A 15-year-old Texas boy has been suspended from school for two days for carrying a classmate having an asthma attack to the school nurse.

Anthony Ruelas, an eighth-grade student at Gateway Middle School in Killeen, was reprimanded for violating a teacher’s order not to leave class, the Washington Post, KCEN-TV and Fox News Latino report.

The girl told classmates she was having trouble breathing, and after struggling for about three minutes, she fell to the floor, according to reports. The teacher emailed the school nurse, but told students to remain calm and stay in their seats.

Ruelas said he realized his classmate needed help, so after she fell, he picked her up and carried her to the nurse’s office.

“We ain’t got time to wait for no email from the nurse,” a teacher’s report quotes him as saying.

Mandy Cortes, Ruelas’ mother, said she was proud of her son, but frustrated by the school’s response.

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

School district superintendent John Craft said in a statement he could not discuss Ruelas’ suspension, citing students’ rights to confidentiality under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. But he said the district “applauds the efforts of students who act in good faith to assist others in times of need.”

The stricken girl texted Ruelas later that day to let him know she was OK.

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