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A Washington, D.C.-area boy is in the hospital this week after his teacher allegedly told him to return to his school work when he said he didn't feel well, his mother says.
Blake Ford, 9, a student at the DC Scholars Public Charter School, has sickle-cell anemia, a disorder in which red blood cells are crescent-shaped and don't carry oxygen throughout the body as well as they should, mom Tyesha Ford told ABC News Washington affiliate WJLA-TV. Complications range from fatigue to stroke.
He didn't feel right Monday, his mother said.
"He got up and told his teacher, 'I am hot. I do not feel good,'" Ford told WJLA. "She said, 'Go get some water, sit back and do your work.' He said he had his hand on his head on the desk. She kept saying, 'Blake, do your work.'"
Three hours later, Blake walked out and went to the office to ask someone to call for help, she said.
Instead, administrators put Blake on the bus in the rain, and a relative met him at the stop, Ford said. By that time, she added, he was extremely weak and she called for an ambulance.
Blake's fever had risen to 105 degrees, she said, and his red blood cell count was low. He was hospitalized and might need a transfusion, Ford said.
Ford said the teachers knew that Blake has sickle-cell anemia and that he'd suffered a heart attack last summer. Because she'd had a conference with his primary teacher, Ford said, there was "no excuse."
ABCNews.com has been unable to reach Ford for comment.
School Principal Rebecca Crouch today gave ABCNews.com the following statement:
"DC Scholars Public Charter School prepares students to attend and succeed academically in high school and college, and DC Scholars provides students with a foundation of life skills required to become productive members of their communities.
"As a result, we take the health and wellbeing of our students very seriously and invest in staff and training to meet the academic and health needs of all of our students. Our leadership, nurse, and staff partner with families to ensure that our students have the supports necessary to fully participate in their learning.
"We are following up with our staff and the child's family to discuss this specific matter, and we will ensure that we will review with our team all student health policies and protocols. We believe that all of our students are integral members of our school community, and we care deeply about each of them."