On January 19, middle school student Anthony Ruelas was in class when a classmate suddenly fell to the floor. The 15-year-old took matters into his own hands to help his friend – but he was punished for it.
It all happened here at Gateway Middle School in Killeen, Texas.
Eighth grader Anthony Ruelas was in class when a fellow classmate and friend began to have an asthma attack.
The teacher ordered all the students to remain in their seats and emailed the school nurse about the situation. The teacher was following Killeen Independent School District’s protocol.
During the asthma attack, the student, Tishica Fisher, fell out of her chair. That’s when Ruelas took action. He picked her up and carried her to the nurse’s office.
Two days after the incident, Fisher texted Ruelas to thank him for his help and to let him know that she is doing well.
School officials must have been pleased to see one student helping another, right? Wrong. Ruelas was SUSPENDED.
Ruelas’s teacher filed a discipline form that read: “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 carried the other student to the nurse.”
When asked for comment, Superintendent John Craft had this to say:
“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.” KCENTV also reports that it wasn’t long until the school accused Fisher of faking her asthma attack. Fisher claims she was asked by her teacher to “fix” the situation because a petition was circulating to get her to resign.
But they still suspended the boy for two days over the incident. His mom was like:
Ruelas’s mom acknowledged her son has been suspended before: “He may not follow instructions all the time, but he does have a great heart.” She also said that her son should not have used foul language toward a teacher. #fair
The story of the 15-year-old hero resonated around the world, prompting praise from as far away as the Netherlands.
Ruelas’s story has been shared thousands of times and people from all over the world have been sending the teen letters, emails, and social media messages praising him for his quick thinking.
He even scored a Congressional internship in Washington D.C. with U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas.
— Rep. Henry Cuellar (@RepCuellar) December 2, 2015
Credit: @RepCuellar / Twitter
“That story really got my attention, the way he was treated,” Rep. Cuellar told Ruelas’s mother. “If he’d like to do an internship here in Washington, we’d love to have him here in Washington.”
And the girl he carried to the nurse’s office that day is doing well.
“All I know is I blacked out, and I felt myself getting picked up by somebody,” Fisher told KCEN.
What’s the school doing? Sticking to their guns. They said Ruelas was suspended “because of an unrelated incident.”
“The District’s Crisis Management Plan directs the teacher to contact the campus principal and the nurse in case of a medical emergency. However, the student was suspended because of an unrelated incident. The district is unable to provide detail about individual students due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Check out the original news report below: