[ View the story "Arkansas students barred over HIV speculation" on Storify] Arkansas students barred over HIV speculation School district demands results of HIV tests for three students.
AJAMStream· Mon, Sep 16 2013 12:33:37
Administrators informed the children's foster parents that they would not be allowed back to school until they each test negative for HIV and submit the results. Two of the children are in special needs classes, and the Disability Rights Center (DRC) of Arkansas has taken the lead in
for all three siblings to return to school.
The DRC released a
on September 13, which reads in part:
The fact that the foster families have to provide documentation that the children are HIV negative before entering the school is unlawful and immoral. Further, the fact the school’s attorney authorized this unlawful act is at best appalling. It stigmatizes individuals with disabilities or their “perceived” disabilities as there is no indication these individuals have HIVarkdisabilityrights.org
The Americans with Disabilities Act states the following:
A public school system may not prohibit a child with HIV or AIDS from attending elementary school.ada.gov
Online, many were shocked by the school's treatment of the students.
Unbelievable. I'm speechles. || Pea Ridge schools bar students over HIV concerns http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2013/09/16/pea-ridge-schools-bar-students-over-hiv-concernsAmy Bradley-Hole
Discrimination, pure and simple. http://fb.me/WpR75VJQJenni Siri
3 students kicked out of Arkansas public school b/c they might be HIV+. This is what we call illegal. Also immoral. http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/09/16/2623371/hiv-students-arkansas-public-school/Lauren Rankin
The case drew comparisons to
, a student with AIDS who gained national prominence in 1985 when his school banned him.
No, this is not an article from the 80s... this is still happening TODAY. If you don't know who Ryan White is,... http://fb.me/1OB8KVIT2AIDS Volunteers, Inc
One Twitter user urged people to appeal directly to the Pea Ridge School District superintendent:
'#HIV Concerns Keep Kids Out Of Pea Ridge Schools'' http://fb.me/K9aG5C8y email Rick Neal, Supt firstname.lastname@example.org tell him it's wrong!David Phillips
Despite the backlash, the school district
its decision in a
released on September 16:
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. This rare requirement is due to certain actions and behaviors that place students and staff at risk. The district respects the privacy and confidentiality of all students. It's is very unfortunate that information regarding this situation is being released by outside organizations.nwahomepage.com