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Student suspended for carrying friend to the nurse's office


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Yes, but then the kid said they didn't have time to wait for an email, so maybe it was.

 

I'm not saying that my version is "right" or that I know what happened, just that I am always skeptical when I read these one sided stories.  I think there are 2 sides to every story, and I've been in the situation where confidentiality prevents me from telling mine.

 

I had a parent have a complete conniption fit because a teacher picked up her child without her permission during a tantrum, when she should have called and let mom talked her down.  She told this story over and over to other parents, many of whom became agitated as well, because our school like most schools had written policies that adults shouldn't touch kids without consent unless there is an immediate danger, and to them this seemed to be a violation of this policy. 

 

What this mom didn't tell the other parents, and what we couldn't tell the other parents who came to us to complain was

 

1) The preschooler dropped to the ground as part of their ground temper tantrum in the middle of a 6 lane street with oncoming traffic they were crossing coming back from a field trip.  

 

2) That the mom had a history of never answering phone calls from school, ever.  The only way we could get her on the phone was to borrow the personal cellphone of some staff member who had never called her before, so she wouldn't recognize the caller ID.  

 

So, while I think it's possible that the kid's story is 100% true, it's also possible that there are factors we can't anticipate. 

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Good grief the kid had his heart and brain in the right place, i think these zero tolerance rules are absurd and doesn't allow for critical thinking, common sense or real world expectations. her airway was compromised and can lead to death rather quickly. What would they have done if the girl died??? Waiting for an email from the school nurse probably wouldn't hold up in court when other more reasonable things would have been done to save her.

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I think it's hard to know without more information.

 

But - I think teachers are often in a tight spot.  If she had left the class, and something serious had happened - an aassult say - I think parents would have been out for blood about that too.

 

Often people in situations like that feel they might as well take the CYA apoproach.  They'll get in trouble if something bad happens either way, but at least they have obeyed the rules.

 

I don't know that it is that useful to blame it on lack of common sense. It comes out of a culture that wants to control everything teachers do, wants to assign blame for every incident, and uses litigation to manage these kinds of problems.  Under those conditions, common sense doesn't have a chance, and unless they are changed, this is the result.  We like to say that it is all bad when we think think the result is not what we would like, but when we want to use that system ourselves, there doesn't seem to be the same level of restraint. 

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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...

There is absolutely no reason to deny a child immediate emergency medical care. That the child(ren) screwed up before doesn't mean they aren't entitled to breathe.

And having to e-mail a nurse? I've never heard of something quite so ridiculous. This child's life depended on WHEN the nurse MIGHT check her e-mail?

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I'm not saying that my version is "right" or that I know what happened, just that I am always skeptical when I read these one sided stories.  I think there are 2 sides to every story, and I've been in the situation where confidentiality prevents me from telling mine.

 

I had a parent have a complete conniption fit because a teacher picked up her child without her permission during a tantrum, when she should have called and let mom talked her down.  She told this story over and over to other parents, many of whom became agitated as well, because our school like most schools had written policies that adults shouldn't touch kids without consent unless there is an immediate danger, and to them this seemed to be a violation of this policy. 

 

What this mom didn't tell the other parents, and what we couldn't tell the other parents who came to us to complain was

 

1) The preschooler dropped to the ground as part of their ground temper tantrum in the middle of a 6 lane street with oncoming traffic they were crossing coming back from a field trip.  

 

2) That the mom had a history of never answering phone calls from school, ever.  The only way we could get her on the phone was to borrow the personal cellphone of some staff member who had never called her before, so she wouldn't recognize the caller ID.  

 

So, while I think it's possible that the kid's story is 100% true, it's also possible that there are factors we can't anticipate. 

If the referral given to the article is accurate (and it was quoted as directly written by the teacher, I think), how on earth could anyone say that the school was in the right?

I would assume that if there was more to the story, it would have been written on the referral. 

With that said, I don't blame the teacher, really, who was just following protocol. I blame the protocol and the school for having it.

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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 have been that teacher. I worked in the residential treatment center for the most violent kids in our state. 

 

For one thing, the fact that the kids have even criminal backgrounds doesn't mean they do not also have compassion. It does not mean that none of them can be trusted in an emergency. I guarantee at least one of the kids was trustworthy enough to be sent to the nurse for help. 

 

Waiting on an email is all kinds of stupid. What if the nurse did not happen to be online? There would be an intercom in the classroom or a direct phone line to the office. Otherwise, what could be done if there was suddenly violence in the classroom? Send an email? 

 

My guess is that the teacher was responding to inappropriately rigid rules regarding medical emergencies and so she did not act. Follow the procedures and you're at least guaranteed to keep your job. 

 

It is not a medical layperson's job to determine whether or not a student is faking an asthma attack!!! It's her job to secure medical care asap. 

 

The student wouldn't have been disciplined where I worked. 

 

What the student did was show capacity to reason independently and ACT in an emergency situation. Maybe he has a friend or relative with asthma and knows how dangerous it can be. In any case, those are the people that save their own lives and the lives of others in emergency situations in which other people are frozen waiting for someone else to act. Remember the people in the second tower were told to stay in place on 9/11. Not all of them did, thank God. The rule-breakers were the ones who escaped. 

 

ETA: Adults also cuss in emergency situations. Not relevant at all to the situation. 

Edited by Laurie4b
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I think using email, even if it pings her cell phone, is dangerous in a potentially life threatening situation.  I am often without my phone and accidents happen even if she is "glued" to her phone maybe she stepped out to use the bathroom and got caught talking to someone in the hallway.  Nobody has their phone on them 24/7 even if they are supposed to.  

 

She could hear the girl wheezing.  How do you fake that? I can't but I can hear it clear as day when my son starts.  I think an intercom system would have been the way to go.  I was a teacher and I frequently used the intercom to call the office when necessary.  No, I didn't teach in an alternative high school so I can't speak for that but there HAS to be a better system when it comes to kids with medical issues that mandate immediate treatment.  I hope this draws their attention to the need for a different system.  

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I'm not saying that my version is "right" or that I know what happened, just that I am always skeptical when I read these one sided stories. I think there are 2 sides to every story, and I've been in the situation where confidentiality prevents me from telling mine.

 

I had a parent have a complete conniption fit because a teacher picked up her child without her permission during a tantrum, when she should have called and let mom talked her down. She told this story over and over to other parents, many of whom became agitated as well, because our school like most schools had written policies that adults shouldn't touch kids without consent unless there is an immediate danger, and to them this seemed to be a violation of this policy.

 

What this mom didn't tell the other parents, and what we couldn't tell the other parents who came to us to complain was

 

1) The preschooler dropped to the ground as part of their ground temper tantrum in the middle of a 6 lane street with oncoming traffic they were crossing coming back from a field trip.

 

2) That the mom had a history of never answering phone calls from school, ever. The only way we could get her on the phone was to borrow the personal cellphone of some staff member who had never called her before, so she wouldn't recognize the caller ID.

 

So, while I think it's possible that the kid's story is 100% true, it's also possible that there are factors we can't anticipate.

So you couldn't just say to an angry parent "she was in danger so we were well within protocol"? Or at the very least "the school was within protocol the details are confidential"?

 

I'm not being snarky...I really do wonder.

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So you couldn't just say to an angry parent "she was in danger so we were well within protocol"? Or at the very least "the school was within protocol the details are confidential"?

 

I'm not being snarky...I really do wonder.

 

No, all I can't comment on a situation beyond saying something like

 

"I can't comment on a specific situation, due to confidentiality concerns". 

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The email was mentioned by the mom and the kid, not in the referral. The referral said the teacher was waiting for the nurse's response. That might just mean the nurse was on the way. If the nurse was on the way, then what the boy did was incredibly stupid because he moved the emergency and the responder no longer knew where the child in distress was located.

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I think using email, even if it pings her cell phone, is dangerous in a potentially life threatening situation.  I am often without my phone and accidents happen even if she is "glued" to her phone maybe she stepped out to use the bathroom and got caught talking to someone in the hallway.  Nobody has their phone on them 24/7 even if they are supposed to.  

 

She could hear the girl wheezing.  How do you fake that? I can't but I can hear it clear as day when my son starts.  I think an intercom system would have been the way to go.  I was a teacher and I frequently used the intercom to call the office when necessary.  No, I didn't teach in an alternative high school so I can't speak for that but there HAS to be a better system when it comes to kids with medical issues that mandate immediate treatment.  I hope this draws their attention to the need for a different system.  

 

I'm not saying that there shouldn't have been an intercom, but I've never worked in a school that had one that worked, and I'm on school # 7 for my career. About 50% of the classrooms I've worked in have had phones provided by the school.  I agree 100% that it sounds like there should have been a better system, but I can't rule out a teacher who was working with the system she had been given.  

 

And no, as someone whose job has included responding to urgent situations in classrooms (in my case for behavioral reasons rather than medical reasons), I would never have stepped to the bathroom, or into the hallway and left my phone behind.  

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There is absolutely no reason to deny a child immediate emergency medical care. That the child(ren) screwed up before doesn't mean they aren't entitled to breathe.

And having to e-mail a nurse? I've never heard of something quite so ridiculous. This child's life depended on WHEN the nurse MIGHT check her e-mail?

 

The email might have been just as fast as a phone call if the nurse carried her cell phone and had a push notification setup.  It also has the added benefit of not depending on whether the nurse could immediately pick up, not requiring the nurse to go to voice mail to get the message, and leaving a documentary trail.

 

We don't know how long the wait was going to be before the nurse helped this girl.

 

What could the teacher be expected to do besides page the nurse?  Does anyone think the teacher herself should have carried or dragged this mostly-grown child to the nurse's office?  Should that be the policy for every kid who has an asthma attack?

 

In normal circumstances, I would think it better for the girl herself to get up and either self-treat or walk to the nurse (perhaps with a buddy) while she still could.  However, we don't know anything about this girl and whether that would be a safe option for her.  All we know is that she was in an "alternative school" for some reason.

 

While the boy seems to have meant well, I don't think it's a good policy to have kids carrying each other around the school when there are better ways to handle things.  I would address the specific reason why he made the choice and talk through the reasons why it was or wasn't the right choice in the circumstances, and let it go at that.  I'd also revisit the availability of inhalers or whatever the girl needed.

Edited by SKL
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No, all I can't comment on a situation beyond saying something like

 

"I can't comment on a specific situation, due to confidentiality concerns". 

 

How about, "we can confirm that an incident occurred in the middle lane of I-XYZ last Tuesday, but due to confidentiality concerns we cannot comment further."

 

Tough situation though.  I agree with your point that there's another side that might or might not influence our opinion.

 

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From the school's student handbook (emphasis mine):

 

School Nurse: The school nurse is on campus part time. In addition, the nurse is on call for school related accidents that happen during the school day.  In the event of serious injury or illness, the nurse, and parent/guardian will be called immediately.  If neither parent nor guardian can be reached, the school will obtain immediate medical attention for the student.

 

A nurse that is not on campus would have to be called, and probably emailed if she wasn't answering her phone.

 

The teacher and school were ridgidly following protocol in all areas of the situation. The teacher had to notify the nurse and the school had to notify the parents before they could seek treatment on their own. Profanity is expressly forbidden when speaking to an instructor, so they had to punish the student for that. Physical contact is expressly forbidden (no exemptions in the handbook for lifesaving measures), so they had to punish him for that as well. The rules sound crazy, but this isn't a traditional school...the rules are more similar to a jail because the school is a short-term disciplinary placement facility (from the handbook). Heck, the middle school students have to walk the hallways with their hands behind their back and teachers have to monitor to be sure no more than one student at a time is in the restroom. The kids are physically searched for prohibited items every day when they get to school.

 

I think this shows that the girl should have had her inhaler with her (it is permitted), and also, the rules need to have exemptions for emergency situations like this. The teacher was given no tools to work with in the situation besides calling and emailing the nurse and the office. No one is allowed to touch anyone, no one can go anywhere unless the teacher leads the entire class, and calling/emailing for help is obviously too slow of a solution.

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The teacher was given no tools to work with in the situation besides calling and emailing the nurse and the office.

I think that's the scariest thing, that the teacher seems to have had no other tools at her disposal. What if a student had started a fist fight with another student or wth the teacher, or thrown a desk or something, endangering other students? What if during change of class, a student had merely slipped on the steps and hit her head and started bleeding? And so on. What is the school giving the teachers for backup or assistance in an emergency? Call/intercom the office, go next door for another teacher, send two students together to fetch help, yell for the policeman outside the door -- but something. Are the teachers, especially in an alternative school, really on their own for emergencies all day every day? That's terrible.

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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...

 

Hmmmm.... nope. Not seeing it. Let's say the child collapses to the floor not able to breath and teacher tells the students to stay where they are. Let's say Anthony was absent or something and all the other students obey. Serious asthma attacks can possibly lead to death. So the teacher sits there waiting for an email while the student dies on the floor because that's the rules. If I'm a teacher thinking of the worst case scenarios of all my possible actions or inactions, that's gotta be the worst right? Imagine trying to explain why you let that happen.

Edited by Mimm
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If the referral given to the article is accurate (and it was quoted as directly written by the teacher, I think), how on earth could anyone say that the school was in the right?

I would assume that if there was more to the story, it would have been written on the referral. 

With that said, I don't blame the teacher, really, who was just following protocol. I blame the protocol and the school for having it.

 

Eh, I blame the teacher too. It's idiotic that the teacher might be the one in trouble for violating protocol, but so what. When the rules are interfering with someone's right to breath, you grow a spine and break the rules. You don't shirk your responsibility and let some kid step up and take the heat for taking care of a situation that you should be taking care of.

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Hmmmm.... nope. Not seeing it. Let's say the child collapses to the floor not able to breath and teacher tells the students to stay where they are. Let's say Anthony was absent or something and all the other students obey. Serious asthma attacks can possibly lead to death. So the teacher sits there waiting for an email while the student dies on the floor because that's the rules. If I'm a teacher thinking of the worst case scenarios of all my possible actions or inactions, that's gotta be the worst right? Imagine trying to explain why you let that happen.

 

So what do you think the teacher should have done?

 

The only other option I can think of is to call 911.  Not being there to see how serious the situation was, I hesitate to say 911 needs to be called every time a student has an episode of any kind.

 

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This is true, but still doesn't excuse the teacher from not calling 911. If the girl is faking, law enforcement can charge her with filing a false report.

 

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...

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This is true, but still doesn't excuse the teacher from not calling 911. If the girl is faking, law enforcement can charge her with filing a false report.

 

 

I don't think you can file charges for telling your teacher you don't feel well to get out of class.  If the girl herself called 911 that would be different, but not in this case.

 

Whether or not, in my opinion, the teacher is excused for not calling 911 depends on the student's demeanor during the attack.  If she was speaking easily, and moving with energy, then waiting a few minutes for the nurse to respond might have been reasonable.  If she was lethargic, gasping while talking or unable to talk, turning blue, etc . . . then there's no excuse. 

 

I'll also say that while I don't think we can assume that the teacher had access to a phone to call the office, or an intercom, or a police officer outside her door, we can't assume she didn't.  I'm not willing to say the teacher was wrong here, but I'm also certainly not willing to say the teacher was right.  

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And if the boy didn't like waiting for the nurse's response, he probably wasn't going to like waiting for EMS either.

 

The question in this case isn't whether or not the girl received care timely.  We have no information to speculate on that.

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So what do you think the teacher should have done?

 

The only other option I can think of is to call 911.  Not being there to see how serious the situation was, I hesitate to say 911 needs to be called every time a student has an episode of any kind.

 

 

The way I see it, she had several options.

 

She could have asked a teacher next door to keep an eye on her class while she ran to the nurse's to get the inhaler.

She could have asked a teacher next door to keep an eye on her class while she and another student helped the asthmatic student to the nurse's.

She could have sent a student that she trusted to run to the nurse's to get the inhaler (or more likely bring the nurse back with the inhaler).

She could have called the office and said there was an emergency and she would be leaving the class (with or without the asthmatic student) and they needed to send someone up to watch her class.

She could have called 911 because a student collapsed on the floor unable to breath.

 

Or some combination of the above. Are all of these risk free? Of course not. But ALL of them seem like vastly better courses of action then sitting on your butt waiting for an email. I don't care if the power that be told you that that's what you do in that situation. It's stupid, dangerous and wrong.

 

So yes, I also blame the teacher for not recognizing that fact and acting.

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Well again, we were not there.  We know that the school is full of kids who have a history of pretty bad behavior, and they are not allowed to be left unsupervised.  The teacher from the next room isn't allowed to leave her class, either.

 

I understand that asthma can be deadly, but most attacks are not life-threatening and we do not have enough information to conclude that this one was.

 

And again, we have no information to indicate that the girl would have gotten treatment any faster by going to the nurse's office vs. waiting for the nurse to come to her.

 

IMO it's not fair to judge the teacher so harshly without even having any real facts.

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The problem with email- the teacher has no way of knowing if the message was immediately received and read.  With phone, if it goes to voice mail, at least you know immediately that the nurse is not available.  This is why a cell phone is better than email- even if it pings- because the CALLER then has additional information for making their next move.

 

In the situation, had she called and gone to voicemail, she could have immediately called 911.  

 

If the report made by the teacher accurately reflected the words of Anthony, then he was clearly doing what he felt was right and best in an emergency situation.  We can later criticize and say, "What if the nurse wasn't in her office when he arrived?" because it is easy for us to judge the situation with a cool, unpannicked mind.  But for him, this girl was dying, and he was taking her to help.  Suspension in this case is absurd.  For a kid in an alternative school, this may have perhaps been the first and only compassionate, selfless act he has performed... and boom, he gets kicked in the gut for it.  

 

I blame the email-the-nurse system for endangering this girl's life.  I blame the teacher for adding insult to injury with a suspension.  

 

 

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The problem with email- the teacher has no way of knowing if the message was immediately received and read.  With phone, if it goes to voice mail, at least you know immediately that the nurse is not available.  This is why a cell phone is better than email- even if it pings- because the CALLER then has additional information for making their next move.

 

In the situation, had she called and gone to voicemail, she could have immediately called 911.  

 

If the report made by the teacher accurately reflected the words of Anthony, then he was clearly doing what he felt was right and best in an emergency situation.  We can later criticize and say, "What if the nurse wasn't in her office when he arrived?" because it is easy for us to judge the situation with a cool, unpannicked mind.  But for him, this girl was dying, and he was taking her to help.  Suspension in this case is absurd.  For a kid in an alternative school, this may have perhaps been the first and only compassionate, selfless act he has performed... and boom, he gets kicked in the gut for it.  

 

I blame the email-the-nurse system for endangering this girl's life.  I blame the teacher for adding insult to injury with a suspension.  

 

Yes, this.

 

Whatever the case, this school - and probably others - needs a better plan for kids with life threatening situations.  I once had a woman collapse in front of me due to asthma.  It was a matter of minutes between coughing and asking for a drink of water, to lying on the floor.  Oxygen is necessary, not breathing leads to significant distress quickly.  I called 911.  Fortunately, an unrelated passerby had an inhaler and gave it to her.  She still left on a stretcher, IIRC.  It happened the same week that DS was diagnosed with asthma, and it was eye-opening.  I'd never been around anyone with asthma before that.

 

This very scenario is the reason we homeschool.  When asked point blank how teachers would handle a scenario in which DS needed an epipen or inhaler - the replies were inconsistent from teacher to teacher, and all woefully inadequate.  All epipens and inhalers were to be locked in a cabinet in the part-time nurse's locked office.  In the event of needing them, responses ranged from "take him by the arm and *run* him to the nurse's office" (do I need to elaborate on why this is bad?  a person in that kind of distress needs to be laid down, feet elevated... if they could even run is debatable, too), to something like the teacher did in this scenario.  Children die because of these scenarios.  A child that would be in DS's grade died here, a few years ago, waiting while the office staff of the school called the principal because the part-time nurse was not in the office.  It should never have happened.  

 

Kids - and adults - need immediate access to life saving meds.  If they can't self-carry, then teachers need it in the classroom.  

 

Every asthma attack needs to be taken seriously.  Every one.  Ditto for every allergic reaction.

 

From this article that just came out in this month's Allergic Living magazine:  "People don’t recognize: Kids with asthma die. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that there are some 3,600 deaths a year from asthma. That’s 10 a day."  -Dr Cary Sennett, President of the Allergy and Asthma Foundation.

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The problem with email- the teacher has no way of knowing if the message was immediately received and read.  With phone, if it goes to voice mail, at least you know immediately that the nurse is not available.  This is why a cell phone is better than email- even if it pings- because the CALLER then has additional information for making their next move.

 

In the situation, had she called and gone to voicemail, she could have immediately called 911.  

 

If the report made by the teacher accurately reflected the words of Anthony, then he was clearly doing what he felt was right and best in an emergency situation.  We can later criticize and say, "What if the nurse wasn't in her office when he arrived?" because it is easy for us to judge the situation with a cool, unpannicked mind.  But for him, this girl was dying, and he was taking her to help.  Suspension in this case is absurd.  For a kid in an alternative school, this may have perhaps been the first and only compassionate, selfless act he has performed... and boom, he gets kicked in the gut for it.  

 

I blame the email-the-nurse system for endangering this girl's life.  I blame the teacher for adding insult to injury with a suspension.  

 

I've never been involved with a school where a teacher had the power to suspend a child.  While it's quite possible that the teacher is to blame for not calling 911, that decision was almost certainly made by an administrator. 

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There is a link to this Fox News Latino web page, on the Home Page of Fox News.com now.  http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2016/01/22/middle-school-student-suspended-for-helping-classmate-during-asthma-attack/?intcmp=hplnws

From the comment from the Killeen ISD they have really clammed up about this incident.    How long would the teacher have waited for the School Nurse to reply to her email? Minutes, hours, days, before calling 911?  The boy did what was in the best interests of the girl who was in distress.  The schools are so busy trying to shield themselves from lawsuits, and being "PC", that they have dumb rules like this, that can lead to tragedy.

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The problem is not the rules, the problem is the teacher's assessment of the situation after the fact.  She knew the girl was in distress, she knew the girl was safely delivered to the nurse, and she felt the need to suspend the child anyway AFTER having the facts in hand.  A teacher should have common sense, or at the very least be intellectually stable enough to understand the concept of emergencies and how to react.  As this teacher has neither sense nor seems to be very smart herself, I don't think suspending the BOY should be the school's action here.

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The problem is not the rules, the problem is the teacher's assessment of the situation after the fact.  She knew the girl was in distress, she knew the girl was safely delivered to the nurse, and she felt the need to suspend the child anyway AFTER having the facts in hand.  A teacher should have common sense, or at the very least be intellectually stable enough to understand the concept of emergencies and how to react.  As this teacher has neither sense nor seems to be very smart herself, I don't think suspending the BOY should be the school's action here.

Well, like a pp, I am guessing it's the administration and not the teacher who actually has the power to suspend a student. The teacher's hands may have been tied.

 

She may have had to write the referral (because the student did break the rules). If she hadn't, she may be the one in trouble. As for the teacher's earlier actions, she may (as others have said) been following the protocol for that school. Choosing to step outside that could cost a teacher his/her job.

 

Now, would *I* be willing to do so to save someone's life? I like to think so. But, I wasn't there to really assess how the student having the attack was doing. But, if I were a teacher with a student turning blue (note: I don't know/believe that was the case here) I'd like to think I'd be calling 911 to ensure help is on the way. (In case the nurse is in the bathroom and therefore doesn't hear her phone, if she's on lunch break, whatever.)

 

It seems to me like lots of people are willing to pile on the teacher when lots of information is missing. 

 

Therefore, for me, I think this is a sad situation. I think the suspension was over the top. But I am not willing to blame the teacher without more information. The administration, on the other hand,....could probably use a dose of common sense.

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This very scenario is the reason we homeschool.  When asked point blank how teachers would handle a scenario in which DS needed an epipen or inhaler - the replies were inconsistent from teacher to teacher, and all woefully inadequate.  All epipens and inhalers were to be locked in a cabinet in the part-time nurse's locked office.  In the event of needing them, responses ranged from "take him by the arm and *run* him to the nurse's office" (do I need to elaborate on why this is bad?  a person in that kind of distress needs to be laid down, feet elevated... if they could even run is debatable, too), to something like the teacher did in this scenario.  Children die because of these scenarios.  A child that would be in DS's grade died here, a few years ago, waiting while the office staff of the school called the principal because the part-time nurse was not in the office.  It should never have happened.  

 

Kids - and adults - need immediate access to life saving meds.  If they can't self-carry, then teachers need it in the classroom.  

 

Every asthma attack needs to be taken seriously.  Every one.  Ditto for every allergic reaction.

 

 

 

The idea that a child in the midst of an asthma attack is supposed to wait until someone retrieves medicine from an office minutes away or is supposed to run or walk to the office himself makes me furious. We had to push to get our DS permission to carry his inhaler with him from class to class even when he was young. (The teachers held it during class.) Policy said the medicine had to remain in the office. I knew for a fact that the office did not always have someone in it. When a kid is having an asthma attack--that is, when they CAN'T BREATHE--they're going to start to panic. It can get very bad very quickly. There have to be better protocols for handling these potentially life-and-death situations.

 

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She may also not have expected anything to happen. I wrote quite a few referrals as a teacher to meet requirements (for example, I had a child placed in a 4th grade music class who had significant delays, who's parents were reluctant to accept services, and would throw instruments when he got frustrated. So, I tried to give him things that wouldn't hurt anyone, and wrote a referral every time. Not for disciplinary reasons, but because there needed to be a record that this placement just wasn't a good fit for this child at this point in time. If he'd been assigned detention or sent to ISS, I would have been the first to say that it wasn't appropriate-the kid simply needed a setting that was at his developmental level!)

 

If a kid had walked out of my room to help a fellow student who is having medical issues, I might have to report it-but I would never expect the kid to get anything more than "thanks for caring about your classmate, but next time, you should handle it differently because..."

 

FWIW, one of the most compassionate, caring kids I ever taught was on probation and would have been a candidate for an alternative school if he hadn't been 11 at the time. I had a year where I taught in a very musty classroom and ended up wirh athsmatic bronchitis, and ended up coming back to school before I was healthy due to having no sick leave left. I ended up having a dizzy spell, wheezing, and collapsing in class. It was the 11 yr old Juvenile delinquent who took control of the class, got help, and kept things together-including calling 911 on the school phone that theoretically required a passcode to get out that no student should have known. I'm just glad he wasn't suspended, because he probably broke a half dozen school rules all at once-and a suspension would have been a probation violation.

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From the school's student handbook (emphasis mine):

 

A nurse that is not on campus would have to be called, and probably emailed if she wasn't answering her phone.

 

The teacher and school were ridgidly following protocol in all areas of the situation. The teacher had to notify the nurse and the school had to notify the parents before they could seek treatment on their own. Profanity is expressly forbidden when speaking to an instructor, so they had to punish the student for that. Physical contact is expressly forbidden (no exemptions in the handbook for lifesaving measures), so they had to punish him for that as well. The rules sound crazy, but this isn't a traditional school...the rules are more similar to a jail because the school is a short-term disciplinary placement facility (from the handbook). Heck, the middle school students have to walk the hallways with their hands behind their back and teachers have to monitor to be sure no more than one student at a time is in the restroom. The kids are physically searched for prohibited items every day when they get to school.

 

I think this shows that the girl should have had her inhaler with her (it is permitted), and also, the rules need to have exemptions for emergency situations like this. The teacher was given no tools to work with in the situation besides calling and emailing the nurse and the office. No one is allowed to touch anyone, no one can go anywhere unless the teacher leads the entire class, and calling/emailing for help is obviously too slow of a solution.

This just sounds horrible. I know that plenty of kids are never going to mainstream for a large variety of reasons, but my heart is sad for every single kid who has to be physically searched before school and walk down the hall with their hands behind their back. I understand it may be necessary, but it is not making them better citizens, it is reinforcing the idea that they are criminal. I don't have a better solution, I really don't, but this whole scenario seems so defeating.

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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.

 

Yeah and for the sake of argument let's say he broke some sort of rule or didn't listen to the teacher, it doesn't strike me as worthy of a suspension. 

 

Then again, it used to be that suspensions were for serious infractions. 

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The problem is not the rules, the problem is the teacher's assessment of the situation after the fact.  She knew the girl was in distress, she knew the girl was safely delivered to the nurse, and she felt the need to suspend the child anyway AFTER having the facts in hand.  A teacher should have common sense, or at the very least be intellectually stable enough to understand the concept of emergencies and how to react.  As this teacher has neither sense nor seems to be very smart herself, I don't think suspending the BOY should be the school's action here.

 

I don't think teachers suspend students.  She provided information but I don't know if she pushed for a suspension or not.  If she did, maybe there were other reasons.  The fact that she commented on his language does suggest she wanted him punished.  But again, this is not the whole story.

 

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She probably felt the need to give the information about the student so that other students did not take such liberties in the future. Her thinking was probably along these lines:

 

"If everyone sees that he got away with it this time other people are going to push the envelope for weeks seeing if they can get away with things."

 

Her thinking was probably skewed from the pressures of her job. Not that I agree, but dealing with difficult people day and day out changes your thinking in unhealthy ways. It is possible she didn't care if she was being fair to this boy, she cared about the perception that he had gotten away with something and that other people would too. The biggest problem with the whole scenario is that this environment is teaching values that do not make you a better citizen, and a lot of taxpayer money is going into this school which is NOT making the world a better place.

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This whole thing makes me so angry. He absolutely did the right thing and what kind of message are we sending to this generation if they think they will be punished if they step in to help? I know this is a school policy and not the law, but we as a society have developed things like Good Samaritan laws because we want people to step in. 

 

 

Am I the only one who thought of this??

 

Yes, and I thought of this as well. (The whole clip is funny, but I linked to the email specifically.) 

 

 

Edited by idnib
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This whole thing makes me so angry. He absolutely did the right thing and what kind of message are we sending to this generation if they think they will be punished if they step in to help? I know this is a school policy and not the law, but we as a society have developed things like Good Samaritan laws because we want people to step in.

 

 

 

Yes, and I thought of

as well. (The whole clip is funny, but I linked to the email specifically.)

That link is funny because ***emailing for help during an emergency is absurd!!***

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...When asked point blank how teachers would handle a scenario in which DS needed an epipen or inhaler - the replies were inconsistent from teacher to teacher, and all woefully inadequate.  All epipens and inhalers were to be locked in a cabinet in the part-time nurse's locked office.  In the event of needing them, responses ranged from "take him by the arm and *run* him to the nurse's office" (do I need to elaborate on why this is bad?  a person in that kind of distress needs to be laid down, feet elevated... if they could even run is debatable, too), to something like the teacher did in this scenario.  Children die because of these scenarios.  

 

Some years back, while volunteering in a public school classroom, I once gave a choking kid the Heimlich maneuver.  He had a hard candy blocking his airway, and he couldn't even speak.  The teacher realized he was choking, and *freaked out*, knowing she had no clue what to do.  She started pounding him on the back.  I knew enough to know that was wrong, so I stepped in.  Afterwards, I was really shaken up.  I spoke to the school nurse the next day, and asked what would have happened had I not been there.  She is only in the school a day or two a week, as she has other schools to cover.    Her answer did not put my concerns to rest.

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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.

And then we wonder why grown adult bystanders often do NOTHING when confronted with a person or persons in distress.

 

Right here. Culturally conditioned to not think for themselves by throwing the book at near adults for doing what was right at the time with the information available.

 

GAH!

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And then we wonder why grown adult bystanders often do NOTHING when confronted with a person or persons in distress.

 

Right here. Culturally conditioned to not think for themselves by throwing the book at near adults for doing what was right at the time with the information available.

 

GAH!

Somehow this reminds me of the time Bill Nye was doing a talk at a college, tripped and fell, hit his head, blacked out - and no one stepped up to help him. They took videos, but didn't help. (It's been a while, I might have the details fuzzy, but that's what I recall.)

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