Quick Thinking and a Heroic Act Saved Life of Substitute Teacher

LOS ANGELES - Something was wrong with the substitute teacher. Sweating profusely, slurring his words and putting his hand over his chest, he looked like he was in pain.

Francisco Flores was subbing in a seventh-grade health class on Sept. 4 at San Fernando Middle School in the Los Angeles Unified School District. As his symptoms worsened, three students immediately left the classroom to call for help.

"We were worried about Mr. Flores and we didn't want him to be in pain or for something bad to happen" Maria Chavez said. "We knew we had to act fast, because we didn't want to see Mr. Flores suffering."

The students notified the school nurse and assistant principal. Flores’ wife was contacted immediately and transported him to Valley Presbyterian Hospital where he had surgery.

A conference period teacher took over the class. The next day, the regular classroom teacher returned. The substitute teacher has since recovered, and was cleared on Sept. 23 to return to work. 

Principal Freddy Ortiz praised the youngsters. "We continually tell our students to be safe, be responsible and be respectful; but these students took those standards to a whole new level showing true Falcon leadership," he said.

For their heroic act, Rep. Tony Cárdenas of the San Fernando Valley and San Fernando Police Department Chief Robert Parks recognized the students, on Sept. 24, at a school ceremony.

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Contact: Monica Carazo (213) 241-6766


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