Teacher saves student’s life in a quick, heroic moment

In a sudden emergency, a beloved teacher performed the emergency first aid needed to save her student’s life


Shelby Lewis

Mrs. Nichole Rue, a beloved English teacher, was truly a hero today when she saved her student's life.

Mrs. Nichole Rue, an English teacher, saved a student’s life today by the use of the Heimlich Maneuver when the student was choking on a Takis chip in her English class.

Rue said, “The student was eating a Taki and was choking and the students shouted for me… They said, ‘Mrs. Rue, he’s choking!’ and I rushed over and gave him the Heimlich Maneuver.” 

“The only thing going on in my head was ‘What if this doesn’t work? What do I do next?’ Cause you just don’t know.”

Rue successfully saved the student’s life and he was well enough to “walk himself down to the office.” 

After saving the student’s life, Rue alerted administration and the health clerk. The student’s parents were then notified and the student was picked up from school by his mother and taken to a doctor following the event to verify his health and well-being. His official condition is unknown, but thanks to Rue’s actions, it can be assumed that he is in stable condition.

“Everybody (the students) was so [shaken] up and we just had a hard time refocusing after that.”

“I think [my students] made light of [the emergency] by joking like ‘Mrs. Rue’s a hero’; goofing off and clapping and stuff but I think it’s just their way of expressing ‘that was scary and I don’t know what to do with that.’”

Rue said that she was also very shaken up after the incident. She “went and got H-J to watch [her] class for a bit because [she] needed a breather because that was stressful.” 

“I love all of my students so much that I never want anything bad to happen to any of them. [The whole situation] was terrifying.”

“I don’t think I’ve technically been [CPR] certified [or gone through training] since I worked at the Butterfly Pavillion back in 2003… But that training comes into play when you’re thinking, ‘What do I do? What’s the protocol, who’s calling 911?”

Health Clerk Mrs. Rachel Long stated that “Teachers are not required to have first aid but many of them do.” It was such training that comes from the certification that enabled Rue to know how to act.

Long is making an effort to spread CPR certification throughout the school. “I’m trying to set up a CPR class at the school to get teachers CPR certified or recertified.”

Assistant Principal Ms. Kristine Keel stated that she “[recommends] that students take first aid as well because accidents and things happen.” 

Rue said, “If you’ve got multiple people around or if you have students who are trained [and CPR certified], you have support and it’s just helpful.”

Going through CPR training can help students and teachers understand what to do should a situation like this arise. The Heimlich Maneuver alone has saved vast amounts of people, from small children to the elderly. It is encouraged that students do take a CPR certification class so they understand what to do should an emergency arise so that they can be of service and, potentially, save a life.

“[My students] reacted in the correct way [when they saw their classmate choking] by telling the grown-up, moving away, [and] offering to call 911. They took all the right steps. Being support and moving away was such a big help.”