Garland teens return to class after fighting inhaler suspension

Two Garland students suspended for sharing an asthma inhaler were back at school Tuesday for the first time in a week.

The girls and their parents appealed the punishment of up to 30 days in an alternative school and the principal allowed them to return to regular classes.

But even though they're allowed to return, the district says it's standing by its zero-tolerance policy.

Both girls were relieved to be back where they wanted to be from the beginning - in class at their own school.

"I haven't seen my friends in a long time," said Alexis Kyle, 13. "The stuff I wasn't here for I have to learn it real quick."

Indiyah Rush, 13, lent her inhaler to Kyle, who was having an asthma attack in gym class -- landing both girls in the principal's office. Both are seventh graders at Schrade Middle School and on the A/B honor roll.

A spokesperson for Garland ISD said despite the controversy since the girls' suspension, it's standing by its policy to group inhalers with prescription drugs, controlled substances and drugs like marijuana. That means a punishment of up to 30 days at alternative school pending an appeals process.

Dr. Gary Weinstein directs the Asthma Management Program at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and has not treated Indiya or Alexis.

He said inhalers, in general, are very different from other prescription drugs and controlled substances and have little potential for abuse.

"Certainly as a doctor we think about controlled substances like narcotics or illegal or illicit drugs like marijuana and they are nowhere near the same category," Weinstein said.

For the girls, it's just good to put the incident behind them and learn from the experience.

"Just keep your head up and everything will turn out fine if you keep trying and fighting,' Rush said.