A school in Texas has sparked controversy after suspending a 15-year-old student for ignoring his teacher's orders and saving his classmate from an asthma attack.
Anthony Ruelas received a two-day suspension from Gateway Middle School after he picked up his female classmate and rushed her to the nurse's office. The girl said she was having the asthma attack but her teacher barred anyone from leaving the classroom and instead emailed the school nurse and waited for a reply.
Fox News Latino reported Ruelas then decided to ignore his teacher's request, saying: "We ain't got time to wait for no email from the nurse." The teen carried his classmate to the nurse's office, getting her the help she needed.
The classmate made a full recovery but the teen's act failed to stop school officials at the Killeen Independent School District school from handing down a punishment and Ruelas was suspended for two days, The Washington Post reported.
Ruelas told reporters: "I was like what? I'm suspended for this? Like, I was trying to help her."
Ruelas's mother, Mandy Cortes, told reporters that she was frustrated by the school's response. "Especially with it being an alternative school I feel like the kids hear enough of "they're bad" or their behaviour," she said. "For them to not be rewarded for really something that is brave, you now, he is a hero to me."
According to the Post, Killeen Independent School District Superintendent John Craft released a statement that said the school district could not comment on the incident. Craft added: "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."
As if the suspension was not enough, Cortes told KCEN that the school called her on 20 January asking why her son was absent from school. She was forced to remind them that they had suspended him. Asked if he would do the same thing again, knowing the results, Ruelas said: "Most definitely."