South San students want district to pay for paralyzed student's medical bills

Roman Caldera was injured while performing cheerleading stunt


SAN ANTONIO – About 75 South San Antonio High School students walked out of class Friday demanding that the school district pay the medical bills for a classmate who was left paralyzed from injuries he suffered while practicing for a powderpuff football game.

Roman Caldera. was injured while performing a cheerleading stunt for an upcoming senior fundraiser at which the boys take on the duties of the cheerleaders and the girls hit the gridiron.

"This isn't a 'get out of class' card. This is in support of one of our brothers because, if it was one of us, we'd want that. We'd want the same support, the same kind of love," said James Simple, who walked out of class.

Simple and fellow students feel the South San Independent School District should pay for Caldera's medical bills because he was injured on school grounds.

"The District is saddened that this unfortunate incident occurred," district officials said in a statement. "Federal student privacy laws limit the information South San Antonio ISD can provide. However, we are thoroughly investigating the incident and are in constant communication with the student's family to ensure all the support possible that the District can provide."

District officials said the accident happened after school hours.

"All we want is justice for our fallen brother and our fallen friend because he didn't deserve that," said Mark Rangel, who walked out of class.

None of the 75 students who participated in the walkout will be punished, but attendance was taken, district officials said.