A teen is fighting back after Pasadena ISD expelled her for experiencing symptoms related to an illness — which the school is reportedly describing as drug use.
Jazmin Garcia, 15, said she began to feel ill during math class at Pasadena Memorial High School back on January 26.
“My head started hurting. I started feeling dizzy,” Garcia said in an interview with KHOU.
Her math teacher called for help after Garcia put her head down on her desk.
The principal came to the classroom with a wheelchair to take the teen, who couldn’t walk, to the nurse’s office.
While she expected care, Garcia said she instead received an interrogation, alleging school officials questioned Garcia about drugs, asking what she took on and where she stashed the substance.
“They took off her sweater,” civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen said during a press conference on Monday. “They investigated her shoes, searched her pockets, treated her like a criminal, and then they expelled her from school.”
Garcia denied doing drugs, and officials reportedly failed to uncover any drugs.
“Jazmin should have been immediately taken to a hospital and her parents called,” Kallinen said further. ” Denying Jazmin medical care and failing to calling her parents is very risky business and something needs to be done.”
Her parents reportedly took her to a doctor, who performed a drug screening on the teen, the results for which came back negative for all substances.
However, the principal still chose to suspend the teen for three days, recommending expulsion for ingesting an unknown substance.
Garcia said she must now attend the district’s alternative school.
Records show the teen’s family is filing an appeal, claiming they provided the district enough time to do the right thing.
“We’ve given Pasadena ISD every opportunity to do what’s right I this situation. Every single time, they’ve doubled down on their mistake,” attorney Gene Wu said at the press conference.
In response to the press conference, Pasadena ISD released the following statement on Monday:
“Regrettably, the information that has been presented here is not accurate in multiple ways. The safety of all our students in Pasadena ISD is our primary concern. Pasadena ISD is unable to comment on any individual student discipline in accordance with the law; however, campuses follow the Pasadena ISD Student Code of Conduct which outlines the appropriate appeal process for parents to follow.”
This is a developing story.