Arkansas school district bans three students from returning to class because they may be HIV-positive

Forcing a family to prove their children's HIV status is "unlawful and immoral," says a local advocacy group VIDEO

Topics: Video, HIV/AIDS, Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, , ,

It is illegal under federal law to prevent a student from attending school based on perceived HIV status, but an Arkansas school district has banned three students, all siblings, from returning to class until they submit to an HIV test, according to a local advocacy group.

The Disability Rights Center of Arkansas (DRCA) reports that the Pea Ridge School District found documentation suggesting the children’s birth mother, and one of the children in the school, may be HIV-positive. School administrators then sent a letter to the children’s foster family saying they would be prevented from attending classes until they submit to an HIV test.

The children returned to school anyway, and were made to wait in a separate room until their foster parents picked them up, according to local news station KFSM.

The DRCA is charging that the school district is illegally discriminating against the children, saying in a statement: “The fact that the foster families have to provide documentation that the children are HIV negative before entering the school is unlawful and immoral … It stigmatizes individuals with disabilities — or their ‘perceived’ disabilities, as there is no indication these individuals have HIV. There is only an unlawful fear that they do.”

You Might Also Like

The school responded in a Monday statement:

The Pea Ridge School District is dedicated to providing a safe environment for our students, teachers and staff.

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.

Our goal is to provide the best education for every student, including those in questions, in a responsible, respectful and confidential manner.

More here:

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Sonic

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.

    KFC

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.

    Interscope

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...