Youngest son Sean pointed out to me tonight an incident from the Killeen Independent School District, in which an 8th grade student was suspended for leaving his classroom to help another student, who was having a severe asthma attack.
The incident is described in the article linked in the following email, which I wrote to the superintendent of the school district, Mr. John Craft. For anyone else who would care to write to him as well, his email address is:
I wrote to him as follows:
Dear Mr. Craft,
I learned this evening about the incident at the Gateway Middle School involving student Anthony Ruelas, who has apparently been suspended for two days for leaving his classroom to aid another student who was having an asthma attack. I learned of the incident from this Yahoo report:
This article includes a comment attributed to you: “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.”
If that is actually what you said about the incident, I can’t help wondering exactly what the school and district think was inappropriate about what this boy did and why he isn’t being “applauded” for “acting in good faith to assist others in times of need”.
Rather than being suspended, he should be rewarded for his clear-thinking and prompt response to an emergency that his teacher was apparently incapable of handling in an appropriate manner.
I am a college and law school graduate and taught in law school. My wife was also a high school teacher and we raised four children, so I have a good idea of why an appropriate level of discipline is necessary to the successful education of students, particularly at the middle school level. On the other hand, I know a bad administrative decision when I see one … and I see one here.
Whoever made the decision to suspend this boy … and everyone in the school district administration who supports that decision … gets on “F” on this one.
James T. Reilly
Attorney at Law