2 Bel Aire Elementary teachers credited with saving student's li - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

2 Bel Aire Elementary teachers credited with saving student's life

Left to right: Sandy Bankston, Harold Dean, Kristi Scott (Photo source: Harrison County School District) Left to right: Sandy Bankston, Harold Dean, Kristi Scott (Photo source: Harrison County School District)
HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

Two Bel Aire Elementary School teachers are being hailed heroes after saving a choking fourth grader’s life last week.

Snack time at the school was just like any other last Friday until fourth grade teacher Sandy Bankston noticed something wasn’t right with one of her students. Harold Dean, 10, started choking on some kiwi and grabbing his throat.

“Next thing I know, he’s jumping up from his desk, and he’s running across the classroom holding his throat. He was holding his throat like he couldn’t breathe,” Bankston said.

That’s when Bankston rushed over and performed the Heimlich maneuver on Harold to dislodged the fruit from his airway. Harold was still having trouble breathing, so third grade teacher Kristi Scott performed the Heimlich maneuver again to make sure his throat was clear.

"She said she was able to do the Heimlich, but something wasn’t coming loose. It was still stuck in his throat, so I proceeded to assist after the fact, and whatever happened, whatever was in his throat popped out," said Scott. 

Principal Heather Blenden praised the teachers for taking swift action to help the student, but she wants to take things a step further.

Blenden wants the school’s nurse to become a certified Heimlich maneuver trainer. She also wants all her teachers to be trained in this and other life-saving techniques.

“Teachers are heroes every day, but when they take the extra step to save a child’s life, it is truly a blessing,” said Blenden. “I am proud of Mrs. Scott and Mrs. Bankston’s quick response in this situation. It has prompted me to seek training for all of my teachers in the near future.” 

Although Bankston and and Scott may have very well saved a student's life that day, they said they don't feel like heroes. It was just another day of looking out for what's best for their students.

“It makes me feel good, but I don’t feel like a hero. I did what anyone would do. They’re my babies. I have to take care of them,” Bankston said.

“I don’t consider myself a hero. I was just doing what hopefully any person would do. I saw somebody in distress, and I just wanted to help them,” said Scott.

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