Teacher, school staff save student who collapsed during class

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 4:32 AM CDT
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BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT/Gray News) - Several faculty members at an Arkansas high school worked together to revive a student who fell from his desk to the floor in the middle of class.

Constance Johnson, a social studies teacher at Batesville High School, was teaching and walking around her classroom Sept. 7, just moments before the incident occurred.

“Everything was normal. Everything was fine,” Johnson told KAIT. “Then, I heard a loud noise, and I thought someone had dropped their book.”

But when she turned around, she was shocked at what she found.

“My student was laying down on the floor,” the teacher said. “He turned blue. You could tell he wasn’t getting oxygen.”

Principal Stacey Lindsey said the student was not breathing and had no pulse.

Johnson said she immediately directed her students to help by having them call 911, getting the school nurse and running to the office to inform the administration.

“I said, ‘I need you to do it fast,’” Johnson said.

The school nurse, Brandi Fleetwood, quickly arrived and administered an automated external defibrillator, AED, to the unconscious student, according to Lindsey. She said Assistant Principal Kevin Bledsoe followed with chest compressions.

“This all happened within less than two minutes, and in three minutes, we had him semi-revived,” Lindsey said.

An ambulance arrived at the school within seven minutes of the student collapsing and took him to White River Medical Center for testing.

Junior Kennedy Johnson was not in the classroom, but she said it did not take long for her to hear about what happened.

“It was a really scary experience, actually, because I had heard about it right before I went to class,” she said. “I was like, ‘Did this really happen, or is it just a rumor?’”

She said rumors of a possible seizure or drug overdose lingered in the school halls, but the principal said neither of those rumors is true.

“The [drug] panel did not show any type of drug, any kind of narcotic, any kind of anything that had been ingested,” Lindsey said.

The principal said the student experienced a cardiac event and is now OK and safe. If it wasn’t for her well-trained staff, she said the situation could have ended much worse than it did.

According to Lindsey, all staff members at the school are trained in administering AED, CPR, Narcan and more.