A BYU-Idaho female student broke her arm during an arm wrestling challenge for one of her classes Friday afternoon.
“Every semester, when we talk about conflict, I allow students voluntarily to arm wrestle for extra credit,” said the teacher of the class. “It’s a pretty intense class activity. Students really get into it, which is good because at the end of the lesson, they realize that if they had approached their conflict in a different way, then they could have earned a lot more extra credit. So it’s a really strong lesson.”
Makenzie Bush, a member of the class where the incident took place and a sophomore studying communication, said she was watching others arm wrestle when the student broke her arm. She said all of the girls were competing against one another, and that when one person won, they would move on to the winner from another pair.
“All of the sudden, (the injured student’s opponent) turned completely red, and started balling, and said, ‘She’s hurt. She’s hurt,'” Bush said.
The teacher said nothing like this situation has ever happened before.
“I’ve never really worried about it,” the teacher said.
The teacher said after the student broke her arm, he sent two students to the department office and had them call an ambulance.
“Some other students went over to the Clarke Building to talk to the EMT classes, and they brought some people back before the ambulance got there, and they were great,” the teacher said.
The teacher said the injured student asked him for a blessing, and he and another teacher were able to do that for her.
“It’s cool that we have a school where we can openly give blessings,” Bush said.
The teacher said he had other students of the class tell him they appreciated the fact that they were able to give the injured student a blessing when she requested one.
The teacher said the student handled the whole situation very well despite her injury.
“I asked if (the student) wanted people to leave, but she said, ‘No, it’s fine,'” the teacher said. “I think she was in a lot of pain, but she was really holding things together well, and she was like, “Everything’s OK. Everything’s going to be alright.”
Bush said the student was courageous.
“Everyone else was freaking out, but she was calm,” Bush said. “That class is a very personal class. We’ve all gotten to know each other. We all wanted to help her just because we knew about her from the class.”
The teacher said he will probably not incorporate arm wrestling in any future lesson plans.
“I think that the teacher in me is sad about that because it is a strong lesson, and I’m not sure, yet, how I’m going to recapture that in a safe manner without arm wrestling,” the teacher said. “But I won’t put my students in that position again. And I’m not saying it was (the injured student’s) fault or my fault or anybody’s fault. Things happen. But I think it’s good to be conscious that things like that can happen.”