Teacher takes student’s medical bracelet

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A second grade student at Grabiarz Campus School in Buffalo left school this week without his medical bracelet. A teacher had taken it away from him.

Eight-year-old Niko Mercado’s red alert bracelet warns that he is allergic to eggs, milk and peanuts. He said he had removed the bracelet because his wrist itched. The teacher felt he was playing with it, creating a distraction during class. She took it from him and continued on with the lesson.

Niko’s aunt, Letisha Mercado, picked him up from school.

“I got quite upset because it’s an allergy bracelet and he’s a child,” she said.

Niko has suffered severe allergic reactions in the past..

“My tongue puffed up so much that it blocks my throat and I can’t breathe,” he said.

Niko’s mother, Crystal Kayes, says she became “enraged,” and posted her concerns on Facebook. She says the teacher should have known or been trained to recognize a medical alert bracelet.

On Wednesday Keyes received an e-mail from the teacher.

“I had no clue it was his emergency band, because I did not look at it,” the teacher said. “Sorry for causing such worry.”

Grabiarz Principal Gregory Mott says all personnel in the school are aware of Niko’s allergies, but that teachers must be aware of what they are confiscating.

“We do need to pay more attention to the alerts that all kids have,” he said, “In particular those kids we are aware of that have conditions.”

Niko’s mother said he was at risk.

“He is doing well with his allergies but anything can happen,” she said. “Accidents happen.”

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