Tishica Fisher, 15, was suffering from an asthma attack during her morning classes at Gateway Middle School in Killeen, Texas. After informing the instructor of her deteriorating condition, the child was instructed to remain at her desk while the educator called the school nurse.
The instructor then emailed the on-site medical expert, advising the rest of the class to silently remain in their seats and overlook Fisher as she battled to breathe, because the nurse would soon rectify the problem. However, as key minutes passed, the teen’s situation deteriorated.
As the muscles in her airway constricted, limiting her capacity to breathe, the girl tumbled out of her chair and onto the floor, frantically gasping for oxygen. But, rather than going to her help, the instructor waited for the nurse’s reaction. That’s when one student stepped up.
Anthony Ruelas, 15, disregarded the teacher’s instruction to remain seated by scooping up his choking classmate and carrying her to the nurse’s office for immediate medical attention. Despite the fact that he very likely saved the girl’s life, Ruelas returned to class to discover a warning letter and suspension awaiting him.
A referral in the teacher’s handwriting scolded Ruelas for disregarding her commands and walked out of class. Despite the memo describing in detail the extraordinary case, he was later suspended for his behavior.
Ruelas’ mom, Mandy Cortes, told reporters that she is proud of her son for doing the correct thing. She noted that it is precisely this type of penalizing excellent conduct that impedes growth in pupils attending alternative schools like Gateway.
When Cortes arrived to pick up her son for suspension, the only reason she was given by the school was that he had left the classroom without consent. But, as he explained why he had done so, she was compelled to retract her claim.
Cortes eventually obtained an adequate reaction from the school system after exposing her son’s tale to the media. Despite the fact that the district was still investigating the event, the superintendent confessed that he could not support the school’s choice to punish Ruelas. His suspension remains in effect.
Though Ruelas was obviously upset by the school’s action, his unjust punishment had no effect on his morality. When questioned if he would still help his friend if he knew what would happen, he said unequivocally, “Most sure.”
Luckily, Fisher has healed from her ordeal and considers Ruelas to be her hero. Perhaps, he will not let the school’s scolding break his spirit and prevent him from doing what is correct, regardless of what his classmates are doing or what an authority figure dictates.