While schools all around the world commend students for helping out others in need, a school in Killeen, Texas, apparently punishes its students for saving a fellow classmate’s life.
Anthony Ruelas, an eighth-grader at Gateway Middle School, was sitting in class when one of his friends began wheezing and choking. The young girl was having an asthma attack and reportedly remained in the state of distress for at least three minutes.
Instead of helping out the student, the teacher asked the class to stay calm and sent an email to the nurse’s office, awaiting instructions. However, when the yet unnamed girl fell out of her chair, Ruelas couldn’t bear to watch anymore. Therefore, doing what any other decent human being would do, the 15-year-old picked her up and rushed her to the nurse’s office.
In doing so, he broke school rules and was suspended.
“He may not follow instructions all the time, but he does have a great heart,” Ruelas’ mother, Mandy Cortes, told 11 Alive News, adding that when she picked her son from the school, the administration hadn’t explained what he had done so she was furious with him.
“I wasn’t trying to hear it,” she explained. “‘No, they already told me what happened, you walked out of class,’ and he was like ‘OK forget it,’ but I can tell, ya know, you know your kids, I could tell he was upset.”
Ruelas later revealed that he was tired of watching the teacher simply wait for the reply from nurse’s office while the girl suffered.
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“During fifth period another student complained that she couldn't breathe and was having an asthma attack,” the teacher’s referral read. “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.”
While his language might not have been right, it’s rather clear that his heart was in the right place.
Moreover, even though the school officials suspended the young man, they later called his mother to ask why Ruelas wasn’t in class.
“Especially with it being an alternative school, I feel like the kids hear enough of ‘They’re bad’ or their behavior,” Cortes added. “And for them to not be rewarded for really something that is brave, ya know, he is a hero to me.”
Meanwhile, the Killeen Independent School District released a statement saying they could not discuss the incident.
“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,” the statement read.
In a similar incident a week ago, an honor roll student in Dallas, Texas, was suspended and ordered to attend an alternative school after she gave a wheezing student her emergency inhaler. Unfortunately, in that case, the victim of the asthma attack was suspended too.
Watch the video below to find out more about Anthony Ruelas’ suspension: