No good deed goes unpunished in the age of Zero Tolerance school policies.
In Garland, TX, two 7th-grade girls, Alexis Kyle and Indiyah Rush, faced punishment for sharing an inhaler, FOX4 reported. During a gym class last Tuesday, Kyle was suffering an asthma attack. Rush, who also has asthma, saw her struggling to breathe, and offered her inhaler. But unbeknownst to the two, the kind gesture went against school policy.
“I’m getting in trouble, but the thing is, she’s [Rush’s] getting in trouble, too.” Kyle told FOX4. “She tried to help me.”
The inhaler is a prescription drug. When shared between students, it not only shows as sharing a controlled substance. It also brings in the risk that reactions between users may not be shared.
“It’s a prescription and one student’s severity with asthma may not mirror that of the girl who let the other borrow hers, and that could have resulted in some pretty significant issues,” Garland Independent School District spokesman Chris Moore told FOX4.
Rush was suspended and received the district’s automatic punishment was 30 days at an alternative school, but many, including the parents, question the severity of the response to the situation.
“The little girl saved her life,” Kyle’s step-father Michael Green said. “And the reason we say that [is] because we have been to situations where she has been to ICU so we know how bad her asthma is.”
After careful review, it was announced on Thursday, the two will be able to head back to class tomorrow. Their permanent records, however, will continue to show that they were suspended for sharing a controlled substance.
The marker is technically true. But without proper context, an opportunity to help another classmate breathe looks like a drug deal, and promising futures are left blighted for momentary benevolence.
Kyle, like Rush, is an A-B honor roll student. Additionally, she is a member of the step team and participates in theater as extracurricular activities. She has dreams of going to Baylor University, but now, worries that letting her peer save her her life has compromised her chances.
“If they look at it and they see what it says, it could affect me going to college,” Kyle lamented. “It could affect how they look at me.”
Rush must wait to return to class until her mother files an appeal to the district. No less, Rush has no regrets.
“I probably would do the same thing, because I wouldn’t just stand there and let someone die,” she said.
Too bad the Garland ISD policies fail to reflect the same sentiment.