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Parents outraged school denied medical care after son bitten by snake

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Physical education class took a frightening turn this week when a fourth-grade student in Orange County was bitten by a snake.

The 10-year-old's parents called Eyewitness News and said they were upset that their son was never allowed to be treated.

Tory Pankey said he'd been reaching into the dark shadows under a piece of equipment at Pinewood Elementary trying to pick up a toy when he felt a sting on his finger.

"A snake came and bit my hand, and I started crying," Tory said. "I got scared, and I was crying. It hurt."

Tory said the black snake slithered away, so he ran to his principal and said he asked to go to the school nurse.

"The principal came and I asked her, 'Can I go to the clinic because I got bit by a snake?'" said Tory. "And she said, 'No.'"

Tory told his mother more than three hours later after school that neither his teacher nor the principal believed him.

"He asked to see the school nurse and because they thought he was lying, he was not allowed to see the school nurse," said Tory's mother, Serina Dorsey. "I'm just so mortified the actions even happened."

Tory's parents rushed him to the emergency room where discharge papers show the doctor said he'll be OK. The snake wasn't venomous.

"If it was a poisonous snake and no one believed my son, he could have been dead," said Dorsey.

Experts at Reptile World said most snakes in central Florida are not venomous but they say if you don't know what kind of snake has sunk its teeth into you, it's important to get checked out quickly.

"If it's a venomous snake bite, usually you'll have a reaction," said expert George Van Horn. "Within minutes, there's going to be swelling, a lot of pain."

Dorsey said it's now about the pain of how the school handled her son's care.

"How often does this happen where kids are getting injured in the school and I'm not notified?" she said.

Dorsey said the principal called to apologize Wednesday.

The district won't comment about what happened, citing student confidentiality.

Orange County Public Schools said there's always a nurse at the elementary school, and they will notify parents about students injuries beyond cuts and scrapes.