Public schools

This Teen Boy Rescued a Classmate Who Couldn't Breathe. His School Suspended Him.

No good dead goes unpunished by school officials.



A Texas public school suspended an eighth grader for two days after he committed the unspeakable crime of escorting an asthmatic classmate to the nurse's office.

He performed these actions in defiance of his teacher, who ordered everyone in the class to stay put as the female student struggled to breathe.

According to, 15-year-old Anthony Ruelas of Gateway Middle School noticed his classmate "gagging and wheezing" for several minutes during class last week. The teacher handled the situation by sending an email to the school nurse and instructing the rest of the class to await further instructions.

Ruelas decided to violate these orders. According to the teacher's write-up of the incident:

"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."

Ruelas' efforts earned him a two-day suspension, though the classmate he aided was grateful for the help.

I suppose he got off easy. Another Texas teenager received a full 30-day suspension for offering her inhaler to a friend who was having trouble catching her breath. Administrators accused her of "sharing a controlled substance."

In public schools, pointless rules trump innocent intentions every time.

Hat tip: The Washington Post

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  1. How are we supposed to create a well-ordered society if we let everyone just break the rules? We pity a society that needs “heroes”.

    By the way, I saw the Bat man vs Superman for Wonderwoman’s attention yesterday. It looks almost as good as one of the lessor Marvel Universe movies.

    1. No way in hell I’m seeing a Zack Snyder movie starring Ben Affleck, even if it’s Batman.

    2. It must suck to be lying on the floor choking and the person in charge commands everyone not to help you.

      1. If we had single payer, the kid wouldn’t need charity.

    3. well, his language and grammar leave something to be desired

      but WTF is up with the teacher? There’s a medical emergency and she sends an email? How long ’til that’s read? Back in the lower tech of the 70’s, all the rooms had intercoms through which the teacher could get an immediate voice connection, and they’s have confirmation that someone was on the other end.

      Kids could have called 911 on their cell phone and gotten a quicker response than an email to the friggin’ nurse.

  2. Anyone want to bet that now that there is attention being paid to the story it will change to “he was suspended for profanity?”

    1. If you’re making book I’ll put 50 on it by Thursday

    2. He should have been suspended for the double negative.

      1. Well, the teacher did a terrible time transcribing it anyway:

        ‘f?k that we ain’t got time to wait for no email from the nurse.’

        “Fuck that! We ain’t got time to wait for no email from the nurse!”

        He should be commended for not adding “bitch” to the end of both sentences.

        1. You know how I feel about the word ‘cunt’.

          1. It doesn’t get used enough?

          2. You appreciate it even more via sign language?

            1. Well done, gentlemen.

        2. “Fuck that bitch! We ain’t got time to wait for no email from the nurse bitch!”

          Or would you put a comma before each “bitch”? It matters.

          1. Commas. . .

            The difference between, “I love eating my pets and children,” and “I love eating, my pets, and children.”

        3. It should have been “we ain’t got no time”

  3. Epic typo in the subhed, Robby.

    1. That was a warning for the likes of you to lay off him and his coiffure.

      1. Robby may not like it, but Robby’s hair loves the attention.

        1. If you’ve got it, flaunt it.

    2. That there is a John-level typo.

      1. If it’s really a typo.

    3. Somewhere, Bowie’s ghost is being forced to watch All In with Chris Hayes.

    4. Still there, as of 1415 central. Good dead is the best kind of dead.

  4. I wonder if we’ve always been insane? When I was a kid in the 70’s there was definitely a divide between children’s behavior and adults behavior. Kids would get “in trouble” for behavior that would get an adult prosecuted. Prosecution of kids usually resulted in reform school, not outright prison.

    And the whole thing was wiped away after you became an adult.

    Sure, there was arbitrary and capricious discipline of kids that made us all wary of adults in authority. But from the 1000 foot view, kids were kids and grownups were grownups.

    Now we have a society where elementary school kids expressing curiosity about their bodies or even giving out hugs are deemed sexual predators and prosecuted as adults with lifelong consequences.

    The teacher in this case acted exactly as designed – pass along the information and wait for help. We saw the results of this mentality writ large during Katrina. Thousands of people “sitting tight” in horrible conditions when taking matters into their own hands was fairly easy. There was a parking lot filled with buses just a few miles away. Or they could have appealed to any number of national bus lines for a ride out of town. But the dangling of potential “official” help was enough to prevent their own survival instincts from kicking in. And so they just sat and sat in the Louisiana heat.

    That’s where this kind of over-officious behavior leads. To a nation of children, unable to care for themselves.

    1. Blame Reagan’s War on Drugs, and the Clinton’s enthusiastic support/expansion of it.

    2. It was satirized in Atlas Shrugged?the train that wouldn’t pass the stuck red signal, because rules?but that depiction is so mild these days she’d’ve had to come up with a better one.

    3. Yeah people have always been pretty insane about authority. See the Milgram experiment for details.

    4. Bingo!

  5. ” we ain’t got time to wait for no email.” He is a future special forces soldier. Blain would be proud, if he had the time to be proud.

    1. I didn’t have time to finish reading your comment. I assume it was about MILFs.

      1. I reference a well-known action movie and you have to make it weird. How inappropriate.

        1. How inappropriate.

          Not for Florida Man.

        2. David Blain was in an action movie? I though he just floated around.

        3. “Blaine? His name is Blaine? Oh! That’s a major appliance, that’s not a name!”

    2. Unfortunately the kid now has a record and won’t be able to join the military or even get the janitors job.

  6. Kid didn’t obey. Because authority must be absolute, and because authority means never being wrong about anything ever, the kid must be punished. To do otherwise is to admit that authority was wrong, and that would legitimize questioning authority in the future. That can not happen. So the kid must be punished. Otherwise we’d have anarchy and chaos on the streets. Those are our alternatives, folks. Absolute authority or anarchy. There is no in between.

    Seriously though, I’m just glad the school didn’t have a resource officer or whatever it is they call cops on campus these days. Both the hero and the girl he saved would have been shot dead for failure to obey.

    1. Better the girl suffers and possibly dies then that rules are not strictly obeyed.

      1. Procedures will be followed. If the procedures cause somebody to come to harm, they will be reevaluated after the fact.

    2. You know who else was just following orders?

      1. Every government employee ever?

  7. There’s a medical emergency ongoing and the person ‘in charge’ is awaiting instruction by email?

    1. Rules are rules, what do you want, anarchy? The life of a teenager is a small price to pay for order!

    2. That reminds me of kids who tweet or Facebook when they’re in danger instead of calling 911. The kids at least have the excuse of being young and not “trained” to handle emergencies.

      1. The kids have the sense to NOT call the state and you think they’re the stupid ones?

        1. Why do you think they aren’t tweeting to the police?

    3. My wife is a school councilor and they constantly tell the teachers “if a child says they are suicidal, in is not okay to put it in an email at the end of the day, call us immediately”. It still happens all the time.

      1. I like to use email to avoind personal interaction as much as anyone. But that’s just ridiculous.

      1. The nurse was ready to go, but she got orders from someone to stand down.

    4. Look, all those other kids needed to be instructed. The lesson plan must go on. You don’t expect the teacher to hold the class back for one slow student, why would you expect him to hold the class back for one that isn’t physically fit? And its not like a *student* could help out – they’ve not been ‘officially’ trained. *None* of them have their certificates!

      In any case, removal of the weak fascia strengthens those that remain.

    5. Easy enough to confirm the kid had asthma after the fact.

      Teacher should be reprimanded for not seeking immediate help. My school didn’t have a phone when I was a kid, but my child’s classroom does.

      Failing that, get off your ass and go get the fucking nurse.

      1. Actually taking responsibility means accepting all liability. This is why bureaucrats only “accept full responsibility” well after the fact.

  8. Questioning the State is a far worse crime than letting a teenage girl choke to death.

  9. How is it possible to watch a child under duress like that and do nothing at all except tell everyone else to stand fast?

    1. Because doing something is the only way the teacher gets in trouble? She appealed to a higher up, job done.

      1. But what kind oif an immoral asshole do you have to be that you would rather watch a kid suffer, and potentially asphyxiate, rather than risk getting in “trouble”? I think most normal people’s instincts would be help the kid, and if I get fired for it, fuck it, it’s just a fucking job.

        1. The kind that wears a black robe and upholds the ACA.

        2. The kind of immoral asshole who went to ed school and was taught to trust the system.

          1. I have a teaching certificate, and I was a teacher for about a year (10th grade biology). I would never let something like that happen.

            1. Stop ruining my narrative.

              Damn libertarian outliers.

              1. Damn libertarian outliers.

                Of course, after a year, I couldn’t take the fact that your compensation has absolutely nothing to do with how good you were at your job, and was entirely based on seniority and accumulating bullshit college credits. So I went into the private sector where the compensation system is much more to my liking.

                1. The private sector demands results. The public sector finds results inconvenient to mission goals.

        3. And risk losing that cushy government pension? No kid’s life is worth that.

          1. Everyone notice the one name not mentioned, in the source or Rico’s, is the teacher who acted with malicious indifference?

            1. Have to protect the privacy of sociopaths dedicated public employees.

              1. Dedicated to pensions and petty power.

            2. If I could get Reason to do one thing, it would be to put a name, a real name, to everybody who fucks up.

              “Jackie” shouldn’t get to pass under her “victim” pseudo-anonymity. Use her full name in every story where it comes up.

              This teacher, give her full name.


        4. The teacher’s union could actually do something useful if they stood up for a teacher who took such a risk. I’m not sure that’s something they’re interested in, though.

          1. Thing is, at best they’d back her whatever she did.

        5. But what kind oif an immoral asshole do you have to be

          One that take a government job.

      2. This is how responsibility works in a bureaucracy.

      3. Isn’t that the story of “13 Hours”?

    2. Procedures were being followed. Therefore, responsibility could not be assigned for any bad outcomes.

      Rules are magic that way.

      1. Who signed off on the procedure?

        1. A committee.

          Feel better about that accountability, now?

    3. Dan has apparently never looked into the cold, heartless eyes of a modern-day public school teacher.

      1. You know the thing about a public employee, he’s got… lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eye. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be livin’.

        1. We’re gonna need a bigger school.

    4. “How is it possible to watch a child under duress like that and do nothing at all except tell everyone else to stand fast?”

      Her role model once waited 13 hours without sending any help.

      1. What difference at this point does it make?

  10. Kid should become a cop. He can get paid while suspended.

    1. Not qualified: He’s clearly not a sociopath.

    2. I don’t think a cop gets paid suspension when he intervenes to help a dying person.

      Now, the teacher, standing around as a girl dies from asphyxiation, that’s police material.

      1. I can practically see her taping off the future scene of a homicide while the kid is still turning blue and convulsing on the floor. That’s the kind of initiative we need in our police!

  11. John Craft, superintendent of the Killeen Independent School District, said in a statement that he could not discuss the suspension. {Ed- And then goes on to discuss the suspension.)

    “In an effort to protect students’ rights to confidentiality granted under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the details of the investigation and/or disciplinary actions may not be provided by the district at this time. 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.”

    It’s almost as if the school’s actions and their words are conflicting.

    1. Its trivially easy to give “the details of the investigation and/or disciplinary actions may not be provided by the district” without violating the student’s privacy, you know.

    2. I had a run in with the privacy rules. A kid hits my daughter and gets sent to the principal’s office. I ask what punishment the kid got. “We can’t tell you, that would violate his privacy.” Fuck that, we were not uninvolved third parties. “Then I have to assume you failed to properly do your job and did nothing?”

  12. “This Teen Boy Rescued a Classmate Who Couldn’t Breathe. His School Suspended Him.”

    This little shit robbed them of a potential tragedy for the school board to feign righteous outrage, and hand-wringing over. A new layer of well-funded crony classroom asthma monitors, and ridiculous bureaucratic policies/red tape to be enforced… If it weren’t for that meddling kid.

  13. School and superintendent John Craft taking flak on the Facebooks.

    Good. Raise hell, public. That’s about the only thing that will help him now; public screeching for heads and a lawyer.

  14. Weep for him – for his faith was not sufficient.


  15. My wife and I have been discussing just how many parent-teacher conferences we’re going to have to go to when Skippy gets to school. I guess I have to add “Your mom and dad will not be upset at you if you get suspended from school because you were rendering aid to a classmate in distress,” to my list of things I’m going to tell him. It joins “We will not be mad if you get suspended because you retaliated when another student attacked you,” and “We will not get mad if you get suspended because you called the teacher out for using ‘literally’ incorrectly.”

    Finally, did something change about Texas’ education system since I graduated back in Triassic period? 15 and in middle school? Middle School was 6-8th grade.

    1. Friend’s son was disciplined for getting beat up. “We punish everyone who fights.”

      Friend told him, in front of the principal, “From now on, if someone attacks you, break his nose. You are going to get punished anyway.”

      Principal was flabbergasted.

  16. You didn’t print the best part of the article:

    “Ruelas can return to school Thursday, but Cortes is now considering home-schooling him.”

    Two lives were saved. Win-win!

    1. Yay!

      Every escape over the barbed wire warms my heart.

  17. Following the link:

    “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.”

    -John Craft, Superintendent, Killeen Independent School District

    “Adding insult to injury, Cortes [the mother of the boy] said the school called her Wednesday morning wanting to know why her son was absent. She had to remind them they suspended him.”

    “Ruelas can return to school Thursday, but Cortes is now considering home-schooling him.”

    1. That means they could’ve ignored the suspension, since it seems not to have registered officially.

    2. “She had to remind them they suspended him.”

      Obeying our orders is no excuse for your crime.

    3. The school’s only positive point in all of this, is that they managed to be inept enough at their job to have failed to crush the spirit out of at least one of their students. Nice job.

  18. The language skill level of the teacher in reporting the incident tells us all we need to know about their qualifications and abilities to be an effective teacher. The teacher’s judgement in emailing in an emergency life or death situation tells us all we need to know about their humanity. Good grief.

  19. It’s teachers like that who are hogging all the damn teaching jobs…. meanwhile, I am stuck substitute teaching and other mind numbing bs.

  20. Exhibit A in the “libertarian case for school choice.”

  21. No good dead goes unpunished by school officials.

    Good dead? Is that like a holy zombie?

  22. Were they just looking to punish him? 15 and still in middle school seems off

    1. Gateway is the school for the kids who haven’t been able to hack it in regular school. So yeah, this kid is not a normally behaved kid. And I agree, 15 and still in middle school means this guy has no intention and/or ability to graduate high school. Get him out of school and off to work for $3/hr at Jiffy Lube or something. Homeschooling isn’t the answer here.

  23. How would you like yourself or your child to die because other people followed the rules? That hero boy showed much more sense, and moral sense to that, than that idiot, heartless teacher. When watching that girl being denied help and dying, he rightly exclaimed: “Fuck that!” He screwed the rules, lifted the girl and carriedher to the nurse. I am only wondering why no other classmate was helping him. I am appealing to all Texas citizens to start a campaign to write to the Texas Governor to fire that teacher, and that school’s Principal if appropriate, to demonstrate that peaple with no moral principles can not be teachers.

  24. In a free country, the teacher would have been suspended, if not fired.

    In an old fashioned country the teacher would have been tarred and feathered and driven out of town.

    I’m old fashioned.

  25. This also probably never would happen if schools didn’t treat any and all prescription drugs like they were heroin or something and make kids keep their inhalers and whatnot with the nurse.

  26. Mindless obedience to authority killed lots of people on 9/11. Thinking they should leave (as I would have) the tower that was not hit yet, they were told to wait for help. Likewise people in the tower that was hit, but moreso. On 9/11 I was at O’Hare at my gate. When I heard from the gate agent about the towers (no announcement–I just happened to ask about my plane), I turned and walked out to get a cab home. A couple hours later trains were shut down and cabs left the road. Don’t wait for authority. In the real world (unlike school) it is allowed to break the law to save someone. For example, you can break a car window to rescue a baby or break into a burning house to save someone. But the lesson for this kid is don’t be a hero and never ever save anyone. oh boy

  27. Uppity proles!

  28. Nobody think, we’ll all wait for the “experts” to wake up from their naps and try something. “Hi we’re from the government and we’re here to help. And if anyone else does you WILL suffer. WE are god around here.

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  30. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do..

    Clik This Link inYour Browser….

    ? ? ? ?

  31. The teacher should be FIRED!! She has no idea how real life works. Send an email for a medical emergency, WTF?

  32. “Ruelas can return to school Thursday, but [his mother] is now considering home-schooling him.”

    Best ending to a Bravo Sierra story like this EVER.

  33. Meanwhile this kid is plotting his mass shooting of the school.

  34. The government does not like it when people take action for themselves we must break them of this spirit early on so that they will know who their betters are

  35. The schools are making heroes every day.

  36. Rule #1: Never 1-up your “superiors” in a manner which they can quickly comprehend.

  37. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do..

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  38. just before I saw the receipt that said $7527 , I accept that my mom in-law woz like actualey making money in there spare time from there pretty old laptop. . there aunt had bean doing this for less than twentey months and at present cleared the depts on there appartment and bourt a great new Citro?n 2CV . look here…….
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  39. My first job out of High School was at St Paul and over the next 5 years Iearned so very much. Seeing the hospital torn down tears a small piece of my heart out. The Daughters of Charity and the doctors and staff of St Paul Hospital will always be with me.

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