Anthony Ruelas was suspended from Gateway Middle School in Killeen, Texas, on Jan. 19 because he disobeyed a teacher and carried a female classmate, who was suffering from an asthma attack, to the school nurse (video below).
"I was like what?" the 15-year-old student told KCEN. "I'm suspended for this? Like, I was trying to help her.”
Anthony said that while the girl was suffering, their teacher was waiting for the school nurse to email her regarding the situation and had told everyone to stay in their seats.
"I broke the rules, but she needed help, she needed help,” Anthony recalled.
When Anthony returned to class, he found out that he had been suspended for one day, notes KWTX.
The teacher wrote about the incident on a referral form: “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.”
“I don't think he should have used that language, but as far as getting suspended for walking out of class, he could have saved her life,” Mandy Cortes, Anthony's mother, said.
John Craft, Superintendent, Killeen Independent School District, refused to comment specifically on the situation, and cited "student discipline and/or health records" under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
The Salt Lake Tribune reported in 2012 that FERPA "was originally intended to ensure only parents and students had access to academic records, such as report cards and transcripts," but is being used by some schools to cover up information and hide investigations from the public.
In a strange twist, the school called Cortez on Jan. 20 and asked where her son was. Cortez had to remind the school that they had suspended him for one day.
The classmate, whom Anthony carried to the nurse, texted him on Jan. 20 to thank him.