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Student suspended for carrying friend to the nurse's office


MercyA
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He definitely did the right thing and zero tolerance policies are once again getting in the way of common sense. The rule was on the books and he broke it and is now suspended, but it was an emergency and he had the guts to act more urgently. But even if every adult in the situation knows that their hands are tied. Stupid.

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He definitely did the right thing and zero tolerance policies are once again getting in the way of common sense. The rule was on the books and he broke it and is now suspended, but it was an emergency and he had the guts to act more urgently. But even if every adult in the situation knows that their hands are tied. Stupid.

 

This.  He was back at school today.

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This reminds of something in Atlas Shrugged, a book I generally dislike, but this always stayed with me.  Remember the train full of explosives that was sent into the tunnel because no one dared to take the responsibility to stop it?

 

We don't want a society like that, and that's where we are going with this kind of rank stupidity.  Common sense is getting so rare I'm starting to think of it as a superpower.

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This reminds of something in Atlas Shrugged, a book I generally dislike, but this always stayed with me.  Remember the train full of explosives that was sent into the tunnel because no one dared to take the responsibility to stop it?

 

We don't want a society like that, and that's where we are going with this kind of rank stupidity.  Common sense is getting so rare I'm starting to think of it as a superpower.

 

This.

 

 

And then the school called and asked why he wasn't there. What a mess.  

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The more I think about this the madder I get.

That teacher should be fired.

Not getting emergency help for a student who is dying in front of her is inhuman.

Society expects parents to turn their children over to schools to be educated, and parents should have reason to believe that their children are safe there.  This is literally insane.

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I think that the teacher should have done more.  However, depending on how heavy the girl was, and how far it was to get to the nurse's office, carrying her may not have been the best action.

 

I think that a student should have been sent to the nurse's office -- Run! -- and the nurse could have brought the appropriate medication.  If there was a phone in the room, 911 should have been called.

 

 

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Not to defend the kid's suspension, but I was struck by the article's description of Gateway Middle School as a "alternative school" and looked it up.  Apparently it is a school for students who have had serious disciplinary problems and therefore has more stringent security and rules than does a typical middle school

 

Again, not that this justifies the school officials' actions, and heaven knows that the fact that they called the next day to find out where he was does not inspire confidence in the Killeen Independent School District's Disciplinary Alternative Education Program, but I suspect that this context explains why the teacher was so insistent that all the students remain in their seats.

 

 

 
Edited by JennyD
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Yeah, the fact that the teacher emailed the nurse strikes me as strange. I know that in my public/private school teaching days, I'd have been on the phone to the nurse/office/911 first. Furthermore, I'd also have sent another student to the nurse's office.

That being said, we don't really know the school's side of the story. So I kind of hesitate to judge too harshly without having their side of the story. 

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That being said, we don't really know the school's side of the story. So I kind of hesitate to judge too harshly without having their side of the story. 

 

If this is exactly what the teacher's written referral said, what could the school say that could possibly justify her actions? The teacher may have had reason to believe the girl was faking (I don't have any reason for believing that, but while trying to think of other possible explanations that's all I could come up with). But even if that were the case it's reasonable to say this was poorly handled and deserves a full investigation, the teacher should be held accountable for any negligence, and if she was just following school policy the policy should be changed. 

 

“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--- 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.â€

Edited by Word Nerd
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Not to defend the kid's suspension, but I was struck by the article's description of Gateway Middle School as a "alternative school" and looked it up.  Apparently it is a school for students who have had serious disciplinary problems and therefore has more stringent security and rules than does a typical middle school

 

Again, not that this justifies the school officials' actions, and heaven knows that the fact that they called the next day to find out where he was does not inspire confidence in the Killeen Independent School District's Disciplinary Alternative Education Program, but I suspect that this context explains why the teacher was so insistent that all the students remain in their seats.

 

 

 

 

I felt that since it was an alternative school it was even more horrible they didn't recognize his actions as something good. Those students are probably used to hearing they are bad or wrong but in this case it appears a student tried to do something right and good. These students are young enough to be helped and turned around but hearing you're bad even when you tried to do good isn't helpful for them. 

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Anthony proceeded to go over and pick her up, saying ‘f--- that we ain’t got time to wait for no email from the nurse.’ 

 

Am I the only one who thought of this??

 

No, you're not the only one!

Edited by MercyA
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Yeah, the fact that the teacher emailed the nurse strikes me as strange. I know that in my public/private school teaching days, I'd have been on the phone to the nurse/office/911 first. Furthermore, I'd also have sent another student to the nurse's office.

 

That being said, we don't really know the school's side of the story. So I kind of hesitate to judge too harshly without having their side of the story. 

 

Completely agree. I'm a school nurse. This is NOT the norm. I think there is more to the story, especially based on the superintendent's reaction. Too bad the school can't comment because I think it's one sided. Perhaps she wasn't in as bad of shape as he describes. Who knows. 

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I agree with everyone else.

 

But what strikes me is that this merited a 2-day suspension at an alternative school.  Where I live at least, you go to an "alternative school" because you've been kicked out of regular school.  You would think a kid would have to do something pretty bad to get suspended from alternative school.

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I assume they couldn't let any of the kids be unsupervised due to the nature of the school.

 

But they need to be able to make exceptions for things like this.  Even if he made a mistake, it was an honest mistake and he should be counseled rather than punished IMO.

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He did the right thing. Sometimes it's better to do the right thing, despite the rules.

 

This is why emergency care items should be in classrooms, not locked in nurse's offices. Inhalers and epipens need to be accessible.

 

I'm not sure if the girl had a prescribed inhaler, but it sounds like she most likely did, as she recognized it as an asthma attack and the situation resolved (apparently) once she got to the nurse's office.

 

I hope they give that teacher, and all the teachers in that school, some better training. Asthma can be fatal.

Edited by Spryte
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As the parent of an asthmatic kid I'd be livid the teacher was waiting on an email instead of helping my kid. The one year of school we did I insisted he be allowed to self carry his inhaler and epi pens. I was on campus so any time he had an issue his teacher sent him to me. Once she heard his wheeze before he even realized it. Thankfully he had a good teacher.

 

I understand they have to have stricter rules in an alternative school but suspending this kid was wrong.

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Ok, tentatively poking in a head to be devil's advocate:

 

You are a teacher with a class full of children who have been kicked out of school for: bullying a student,  selling drugs, being arrested for stealing a car, assaulting a student, bringing a gun on school bus ( When I was a ps teacher, these are the kind of things that students were in an alternative school for.)  So, someone falls out of a chair... are they faking and do you as the teacher believe her and then take her to the nurses office leaving the students by themselves ( to lock you out of the room or whatever...)

 

Just saying it may not be quite as cut and dried as you might think...

 

These kids are still human.

Humanity over discipline every. single. time.  Even when actually faking.

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Here's a crazy idea. How about letting a teenager have their inhaler on them at all times?

 

"cause then they might do something really crazy like the recent article where a kid shared their inhaler with a friend who was having an attack.  And then got in trouble for sharing a controlled medicine.  Because you know it's more important to follow rules than care for a fellow human being.

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I agree, but if the teacher has been tricked before..   I can see myelf carrying her to the nurse regardless but really worrying if I'm being taken advantage of and hoping the remaining kids won't catch the room on fire...   My first year teaching I had a doozy of a load( 5 pregnant 8th graders, a got removed for bringing a gun to school, a 16yo drug dealer in my class, etc.)  I had 6 classes with 30 kids in each...    I had a policeman outside my door if I needed him...   I wonder if this school had that...  I might have yelled for the policeman and carried the girl to the nurse.

 

Oh, I'm sure I'd be skeptical, because I know I'm often skeptical of my own children in certain scenarios.  But that doesn't need to prevent action.

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I agree, but if the teacher has been tricked before..   I can see myelf carrying her to the nurse regardless but really worrying if I'm being taken advantage of and hoping the remaining kids won't catch the room on fire...   My first year teaching I had a doozy of a load( 5 pregnant 8th graders, a got removed for bringing a gun to school, a 16yo drug dealer in my class, etc.)  I had 6 classes with 30 kids in each...    I had a policeman outside my door if I needed him...  

 

How very sad and scary.  

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Ok, tentatively poking in a head to be devil's advocate:

 

You are a teacher with a class full of children who have been kicked out of school for: bullying a student, selling drugs, being arrested for stealing a car, assaulting a student, bringing a gun on school bus ( When I was a ps teacher, these are the kind of things that students were in an alternative school for.) So, someone falls out of a chair... are they faking and do you as the teacher believe her and then take her to the nurses office leaving the students by themselves ( to lock you out of the room or whatever...)

 

Just saying it may not be quite as cut and dried as you might think...

I already addressed this above.

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I do feel for the teacher in this case if she was following protocol.  No matter what she did, no matter if she saved a life or not, she could get fired.  The boy got suspended for a couple of days, during which he probably didn't want to be there anyway.  It would be worse for the teacher to get fired IMO.

 

I don't have an asthmatic child, so I don't know much about protocols.  It keeps coming up in the news though - kids getting in trouble for helping, kids being in severe distress because meds weren't allowed near the kid.  I would like to think schools are putting these kids' safety first when they make the rules, but it seems really illogical to me.

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This doesn't surprise me. When I was in middle school I had a math teacher 2 years (no I didn't flunk, it just worked out that way). Well one day, I was in there and she started having an diabetic emergency. She was slurring her speech, and acting very strange. A couple of the students like me, that had her the year prior knew she was having an emergency (others were laughing as they didn't know what was wrong with her, which was making her mad), but we were all afraid to do something as she thought she was normal. Finally a kid in the back went out of the classroom to get help despite her yelling at the kid. Help came and all was fine, however I am sure that if that happened today, he would be in this boy's shoes. 

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My dds have always been allowed to carry their inhalers in school. Middle and high schools in two different states. In our current one, my doctor said they weren't allowed but the school said differently.

 

While I don't think a student should be suspended for sharing an inhaler, it could be dangerous. One of my dds is allergic to medication in a certain inhaler and had a horrible, painful reaction the one and only time she was given it. Her next reaction could be worse.

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Waiting on an EMAIL?  Insane.  The boy did the right thing.

 

Even if someone were worried about faking, isn't it better to deal with a possible life-threatening situation first, and worry about the other consequences later?

 

I had a friend in Jr. High and High School who had asthma...she always carried her inhaler with her, and I saw her needing to use it a few times.  It makes me upset every time I see someone talk about inhalers or epi pens being locked up, since those are things that are needed NOW, not when someone gets around to answering an email!

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When the media reports on a story like this from the schools, I'm always aware that there's another side of the story.  This story sounds really awful, but it's also being told by the parents, and there's a lot of information missing that could have changed the story.

 

1) It's possible that the nurse had replied before the student deteriorated so that the teacher knew she was on her way.  I can see a situation where a teacher emails "Jane is asking to leave to go to you, not sure if it's legit but her Behavior Plan says she's not allowed to leave unaccompanied. Should I call security to walk her to you?" and nurse emails back "She's got really severe asthma, I'll come to you! Leaving right now!"  So the teacher knew that help was on the way.  I know that at my old school I could see if someone was online, and when they read an email, so I wouldn't assume that an email was necessarily slow.  

 

2) It's possible that while she was "out of her chair" there were pretty clear cues that she wasn't in crisis.  There's a pretty big difference between a kid who falls limply out of their chair, and one who flops to the floor yelling about how they can't breathe while clearly breathing.  We have no idea which one it was.

 

3) It's possible that there were specific reasons why the teacher felt that the kid carrying the other kid was unsafe.  Stairs would be at the top of that list.  Even when I worked with tiny kids, we were instructed to avoid carrying a kid on the stairs because of the potential danger of a fall.  Unless the kid is literally blue or not breathing, it's way safer to wait for a nurse to bring an inhaler (see top point about us not knowing whether the teacher knew the nurse was on the way), or to wait for someone with an elevator key to escort the kid to the nurse, than it is to have a middle schooler carrying someone up or down a flight of stairs.  

 

Or maybe the story really went down in the way the mom here implies it went down, with a kid who was blue and not breathing, and a teacher who had no idea if help was coming and didn't care enough to pick up the phone.  I've seen enough of those situations to know that there are people who don't do right by kids in the public schools, just like there are parents who home school and don't do right by their kids either.  

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The referral clearly states the teacher was waiting for a response from the nurse and that the kid said they didn't have time to wait for an email.

 

A "response" could be an email reply, or it could be a nurse responding by coming to the room, or by sending someone to get the student.  

 

It doesn't say the teacher was waiting for an email from the nurse. 

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We also don't know how much time passed before the nurse had a chance to respond.

 

Sounds to me like this was an impulsive action on the part of the boy, BUT I still don't think he should be punished, because it sounds like his intentions were all good.

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An email seems iffy at best, time wise. Text, slightly better, but still, not direct enough, IMO. Neither are for an emergency unless you have no other choice.

 

I understand that teacher maybe can't leave the students unattended, but the school should have some way of reaching them for help. Phone in the room, intercom to get the office? Couldn't she have buzzed the main office and told them she needed the nurse immediately?

 

Rules or not, this was absurd. I applaud the kid for helping his classmate.

 

And then they called the next day to see why he wasn't in school??? Utterly ridiculous.

 

Then again, I think it's absurd at a student can't carry her own asthma meds. When I was in high school, I used to leave campus several days a week to attend college classes, so I was in and out of the building frequently. I have mild asthma which is often exacerbated by cold, so it's not uncommon for me to need my inhaler if I'm outside in the winter. We had to get special permission for me to be allowed to carry my inhaler with me all the time, rather than keep it in the nurse's office. There are a lot of reasons I homeschool, but that kind of garbage is certainly one of them. Common sense over rules, please.

 

(I don't know the specifics of the other case, where a kid shared her inhaler. She should not have done that unless there was no other choice. But if there was NO other option, risk of med reaction trumps death.)

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Similar to a recent case in Texas where a student was suspended for giving her inhaler to another student who was having an asthma attack during gym class.  That kid's inhaler was locked in the nurse's office.

 

 

My DD is 15 and I'm extremely thankful she doesn't have Asthma or any serious medical problems. If that boy had CARRIED my DD, from the classroom to the Nurses office, I would consider him to be a HERO, and not someone to be suspended from school. Kudos to him, for what he did for that girl. He should have been honored, not punished.

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But really, email? Here teachers CALL the nurse. That isn't rocket science is it?

 

I've never had a number to call other than the nurse's landline and that only works if the nurse is in his/her office.  Everywhere I've worked, the nurse is pretty frequently out of the office, whether it's in a PK classroom conducting vision assessments, or going to the classroom to check the blood sugar of a kid with diabetes, or meeting with a counselor about a return to school plan for a HS student with a concussion.  

 

Email can be set up to "ping" someone's phone so the nurse knows wherever they are.  Or not, it depends on the routines that are set up within that particular school.  

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For the sake of argu.ent, let's say the girl was faking AND emailing a school nurse isn't as bean ballin bananas as it sounds AND the teacher had adequate reason to not want to send either herself or any students out of the room.

 

The dude that picked up the girl and carried her to help still did the __right__ thing, to the best of his understanding.

 

Certainly some reasonable, adult person in the chain of command there should be able to step up say obviously this kid doesn't deserve to be suspended.

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This doesn't surprise me. When I was in middle school I had a math teacher 2 years (no I didn't flunk, it just worked out that way). Well one day, I was in there and she started having an diabetic emergency. She was slurring her speech, and acting very strange. A couple of the students like me, that had her the year prior knew she was having an emergency (others were laughing as they didn't know what was wrong with her, which was making her mad), but we were all afraid to do something as she thought she was normal. Finally a kid in the back went out of the classroom to get help despite her yelling at the kid. Help came and all was fine, however I am sure that if that happened today, he would be in this boy's shoes. 

 

In this teacher's shoes I would have talked to the class at the beginning of the year about the possibility and given permission to go get help if they thought something was wrong. That was my 2nd grade teacher's policy--she was Type 1 diabetic, on an insulin pump, and the first week of class we were all taught to go get help if something seemed wrong with her. Which happened once that year, and someone went to the next door class for help. It's not rocket science to have reasonable protocols in place.

 

A two way intercom or phone system communication OR sending a child with a hall pass for help would be more reasonable than waiting around for an intra-school email response in the case of a child who is having difficulty breathing. This teacher was being an idiot regardless of the school policies and if it was my kid who got suspended I'd have made sure that particular suspension was more of a reward than a punishment because seriously, it sounds like the kid did the right thing.

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