When asthmatic 13 year old Alexis Kyle started wheezing and gasping during gym class, her classmate Indiyah Rush offered her her inhaler, preventing an asthma attack. When school administrators found out, they suspended both girls and sentenced them to 30 days at an alternative school following their suspension. Why? Because of the school’s zero tolerance policy regarding controlled substances, in this case asthma medication.
“I was just trying to save her life,” said Rush. “I didn’t think I was trying to do anything bad.”
The story soon got picked up by news sources and blogs, and the school has been heavily criticized for its decision. Chris Moore, a spokesperson for the Garland Independent School District where Rush and King attend classes, tried to explain the rationale behind the school’s decision saying, “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.”
Not surprisingly, Rush’s mother Monique Rush felt that the school's decision was senseless. “I mean they punished her twice. They suspended her on top of sending her to alternative school. I mean how could you do… that?”
The school reversed their decision on Kyle after her parents filed an appeal. Rush’s parents have not yet filed an appeal. Garland Independent School District said they would count the three days of suspension as excused absences, but also claimed the incident would be recorded in both student's’ “permanent file.”