An Arkansas school district is refusing to allow three students to attend school.
While reviewing records over the summer, officials in the Pea Ridge school district found an evaluation of a student stating that his mother and sister were HIV-positive.
Administrators notified the student’s foster family, saying they could not return to school until the family proved a negative HIV status for the children.
The children were sent to school the next day anyway, and they were set aside until the foster parents picked them up. The superintendent allegedly told one of the foster parents that the children could no longer return to school. The center said one of the children was unable to compete in his first football game of the year because of the situation. “As reported in the media, the district has recently required some students to provide test results regarding their HIV status in order to formulate a safe and appropriate education plan for those children,” Superintendent Rick Neal said in a statement. “This rare requirement is due to certain actions and behaviors that place student, teachers and staff at risk.”
The Disability Rights Center of Arkansas released a statement calling for the district to allow the students to attend school.
Tom Masseau, the center’s executive director, told 5NEWS, “It’s illegal due to HIPPA (medical privacy) and it’s illegal to prevent a student from coming to school under the American’s with Disabilities Act. Those again were cases that were dealt with the early 90s and I’m still confused as to why we are dealing with this right now.”
Thoughts on the issue?
Where is the line between safety and protection of students and blatant discrimination?
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