Student suspended for helping classmate with asthma won't return to school, mom says

The Texas middle-school student who received a suspension after disregarding a teacher's order and helping out a classmate who was having an asthma attack won't be going back, the teenager's mother announced on Monday.

Mandy Cortes said she will home-school her 15-year-old rather than have him return to Gateway Middle School in Killeen.

Anthony Ruelas was suspended for a day last week when he disobeyed his teacher by picking up his classmate and leaving the classroom to carry her to the nurse's office.

The teacher had emailed the nurse when the girl began suffering the attack and fell to the floor. A disciplinary form explained that the teacher was awaiting a response from the nurse when Anthony uttered an expletive about not waiting and picked up the girl, Cortes said.

Ruelas told a local television station last week that his classmate was "wheezing and gagging for three minutes" when he decided not to wait for the nurse's reply.

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School officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. The Killeen school district last week issued a statement that read, in part, that the district "applauds the efforts of students who act in good faith to assist others in times of need."

Cortes said the girl later told her son that she's OK and that she doesn't remember being carried to the nurse's office.

The teacher's report on the incident 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 carries the other student to the nurse.”

"I was proud of him for the way he handled the situation," Cortes said, saying her son has a big heart.

Cortes said she's been frustrated with the school as Anthony has worked to overcome a learning disability and last week's suspension persuaded her to home-school him. She may try to enroll him in a public school next school year.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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