San Antonio mother outraged after son’s blood was drawn at MacArthur High School without permission

NEISD says about 20 students had blood drawn without permission from guardian or parent

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio mother is outraged after her son’s blood was drawn at his school without her permission or knowledge this week at MacArthur High School in an incident involving a group of students.

Liz Hernandez said she was startled when she found a vial of her son Lorenzo’s blood in her refrigerator on Wednesday.

“Apparently, they have a phlebotomy class. I didn’t even know that was a thing in high school,” said Hernandez.

Lorenzo, a sophomore, told her that some seniors asked students to volunteer to give blood.

“He said that they took them to a classroom. There was people standing in line outside of the class, about nine or ten people, and they each went in, one at a time, having their blood drawn,” said Hernandez.

North East ISD spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor said the students conducting the blood draws were in a Health Science Clinicals class, and there were about 20 students that had their blood drawn without permission from a parent or guardian.

“I’m shocked and appalled because I’ve never heard of a case like this,” said Hernandez.

MacArthur High School Principal Joaquin Hernandez emailed parents on Thursday, addressing the incident. The email read in part:

“I want to let you know about a situation that occurred on campus that we are investigating. Our phlebotomy students typically practice drawing blood from students who have parent permission to do so. However, we have discovered that some of the students drew blood yesterday from several students who did not have parental permission. The phlebotomy students were doing this unsupervised. We are investigating to determine how this occurred and whether disciplinary consequences are appropriate in this situation. We are in contact with all the families of the students involved.”

Chancellor said equipment like needles or syringes were pre-packaged and were never taken out of the classroom. She added that a teacher was between two health classes at the time.

One class was in session, and the other was not, leaving some of the students not fully supervised.

Chancellor said Friday that the district was still investigating whether the teacher would be disciplined.

Hernandez said it’s unsettling because of the safety and health concerns for everyone involved.

“We don’t see where these needles came from. We don’t see if they’ve been sterilized. We can’t see if it’s a new needle. But we have to trust and put our faith in these people?” Hernandez said.

About the Authors:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.

William Caldera has been at KSAT since 2003. He covers a wide range of stories including breaking news, weather, general assignments and sports.