Two Texas students got suspended over an innocent mistake with an inhaler.
Schools have pretty strict rules when it comes to taking medications on campus, but a pair of North Texas students who recently got suspended over an inhaler mix-up prove some schools are taking things way too far. Seventh graders Indiyah Rush and Alexis Kyle face severe disciplinary measures for sharing an inhaler when one of them was suffering an asthma attack.
Rush says she saw Alexis doubled over and wheezing during gym class at Vernon Schrade Middle School, so she rushed over and offered the inhaler she carries to treat her asthma. Unfortunately, her instincts to help a friend landed them both in the hot seat with school officials. Both students were immediately suspended and could face up to 30 days in “alternative school” for juvenile offenders. In a school incident report obtained by KDFW, administrators even referred to Rush as a “perpetrator” and called the inhaler a “controlled substance/marijuana.”
Rush, who is 12 and an honor roll student, says she had no idea she was committing a serious offense by helping her friend. “I was just trying to save her life,” she told KDFW. “I didn’t know I was doing anything bad.” The only way for the girls to get out of spending time in alternative school is to appeal their case to district officials. In the meantime, Rush’s mom says she doesn’t understand why they’re basically punishing her daughter twice, and she’s worried about drug offenders at the alternative school influencing her in a bad way.
A district spokesman, Chris Moore, said the school is handling the situation appropriately and in accordance with district policies. He told KDFW, “It’s a prescription, and one student’s severity with asthma may not mirror that of the girl who let the other girl borrow hers. And that could have resulted in some pretty significant issues.”
While it’s true the inhaler could possibly have done more harm than good, this situation was obviously an honest mistake and it seems like the initial suspension and a warning should suffice. Sticking them in alternative schooling for up to a month? Are they serious? They’re acting like these seventh graders were passing around hard drugs in the middle of gym class. Surely, there’s an easier and less outlandish way to convey to these kids that they shouldn’t share medication.
School policies exist for a reason, especially when it comes to medication, but in this case the punishments definitely do not fit the so-called crime. No one was harmed, and for both kids it’s likely a tough lesson learned. Hopefully their appeals are successful and they’re able to return to school as quickly as possible. Rules may be important, but so is exercising common sense.