Earlier this year, 15-year-old Jazmin Garcia reportedly received a suspension after a fainting spell during class in January led to accusations of drug use.
Now, she is reinstated back to her home campus after winning her appeal against the district.
Thrilled that my client, Jazmin Garcia, was able to return to school! Thanks doctors at @memorialhermann who properly diagnosed her medical condition. She won her appeal at @PasadenaISD_TX!! via @HoustonChron: https://t.co/bl99jwphQT
— Gene Wu (@GeneforTexas) February 22, 2018
At the time of the suspension, Garcia and her family told the school she lives a neurological condition, which leads to the fainting, even going to the doctor and getting a blood, which came back negative for drugs, according to KTRK.
After district officials alleged her to be “under the influence of an unidentified substance,” they moved Garcia to Pasadena ISD’s Guidance Center, where she remained for roughly four weeks, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Speaking in support of Jazmin Garcia who was expelled from her school due to a medical condition. It highlights the need for due process & heightened sensitivity to the medical needs of kids in public school thx @GeneforTexas for your advocacy #txlege @abc13houston @HoustonChron pic.twitter.com/EpyFA78UmP
— Carol Alvarado (@CarolforTexas) February 21, 2018
“If there were not so many people in the community who surrounded Jazmin and her family … if they were not around, then she would still right now have been expelled, punished, for nonexistent drug use — punished for her medical condition,” Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston, said at a press conference on the incident Wednesday.
According to Garcia’s lawyer Randall Kallinen, the student suffers from a condition known as Dysautonomia, which doctors say can lead to fainting through a sudden drop in blood pressure when the disease affects the person’s autonomic nervous system.
District officials are now under fire for questioning Garcia about her drug use and searching her after she fainted instead of getting her medical help for her condition:
“They need a better policy,” Kallinen said in another interview with the Chronicle. “Of all those people there [at Pasadena Memorial High], none of them thought to call the hospital or the EMS.”
The district’s policy on drug use does not appear to require the student be evaluated by a medical professional to determine if they’re under the influence.
According to district documents obtained by the Chronicle, a central administration committee heard Garcia’s case, which reportedly decided to reinstate her to the main campus.
Despite the findings, her family and attorney are seeking an apology and a policy change from Pasadena ISD after the incident.
“She deserves an apology so that the school, so all the students know she did nothing wrong, so they won’t look at her like a criminal,” Garcia’s mother said at the press conference.