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Lake Elsinore boy made to run before death, family says

Dec 29, 2023Dec 29, 2023

Family members say a teacher ignored a 12-year-old’s pleas for help before he died after being forced to run during sweltering heat at his Riverside County middle school.

Yahshua Robinson suffered a medical emergency Tuesday around 11 a.m. during his physical education class at Canyon Lake Middle School in Lake Elsinore. The temperature at the time was in the low-to-mid 90 degrees.

Amarna Plummer said her nephew hadn’t dressed for P.E. and was told to run for not doing so. She said that, according to other students, Yahshua started feeling ill.

"He was reaching out to the teacher, saying he needs some water. He said he couldn't breathe. He was telling the kids this,” Plummer said.

Plummer said her nephew's condition got worse, and he passed out on the field. Emergency responders arrived a short time later, but Yahshua was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, leaving his family devastated and furious.

"Why would you have a child in his clothes – he didn't dress out – running a field?” Plummer said.

Plummer said Yahshua’s mother is a P.E. instructor at a different school in the district. According to Plummer, her sister-in-law warned school administrators about the dangerous heat, though it’s unclear which administrators.

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"She informs the administration, ‘Do not let any children go out today for P.E.’ And what happened? She gets a call he passed out on the field,” Plummer said.

A Lake Elsinore Unified School District spokesperson said they could not give specific details about Yahshua’s death. NBC4 asked if the boy was not in his P.E. clothing but did not hear back.

The district released a statement saying it was “saddened” to confirm the death “of one of our students due to a medical emergency at one of our LEUSD campuses.” It added that grief counselors are helping students and staff.

But Plummer said someone needs to be held accountable for Yahshua’s death. "This is terrible. It happened on somebody else's watch,” she said.

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