Pea Ridge schools bar students over HIV concerns | Arkansas Blog

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pea Ridge schools bar students over HIV concerns

Posted By on Mon, Sep 16, 2013 at 8:45 AM


The Pea Ridge School District apparently has banned attendance by three local children until they prove they have not tested HIV-positive.

The decision is drawing growing attention around the web.

Here, Think Progress summarizes:

... Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, public schools may not ban children simply based on their HIV status.

The three siblings — two of whom have disabilities — are living with a foster family and attending the Pea Ridge Public School District. But school district officials recently found documentation that suggested the birth mother and one of the kids are both HIV-positive, and told the foster family that none of the children could return to school until they provided proof that they don’t have the virus. When the kids were sent to school the next day anyway, they were “set aside until the foster parents picked them up,” according to a local news outlet.

The Disability Rights Center of Arkansas is accusing the school district of illegally discriminating against the children. They say that school officials have no right to demand medical testing at whim — particularly since, even if the children did test positive for HIV, they would still have the right to attend public school.

“The fact that the foster families have to provide documentation that the children are HIV negative before entering the school is unlawful and immoral,” the group said in a statement last week. “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.”

The school superintendent has refused comment except to say a lawyer was consulted before the decision. The district relies on recommended School Board Association policy that allows schools to prevent attendance of children with communicable diseases. HIV is not considered a communicable diseases. The name and case of Ryan White apparently haven't reached the consciousness of Pea Ridge, Ark., school officials and legal advsors.

The clip at top has coverage from KNWA.

Tags: , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Beware of legislators bearing term limits

    Michael Wickline at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today reports on Sen. Alan Clark's grand plan to give Arkansas a different term limits amendment than the 10-year limit Arkansas Term Limits hopes to qualify for the 2020 ballot. Beware the fine print.
    • Mar 24, 2019
  • The open line, plus a food note

    Here's the open line, plus a neighborhood food note.
    • Mar 23, 2019
  • Little Rock prepares to commit to I-30 project, though its scope remains unclear

    Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott's take-charge approach surfaces this morning on a bigger issue than media policy — negotiations between the city and the Arkansas Department of Transportation on an agreement concerning the Big Concrete Ditch project through the heart of Little Rock.
    • Mar 23, 2019
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Sabin's subterfuge in the race for mayor has roots in rigged city government

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that an ethics complaint has been filed saying that the exploratory committee Rep. Warwick Sabin created to prepare for a run for Little Rock mayor was a subterfuge to avoid the city ordinance that doesn't allow campaign fundraising to begin until five months before the November 2018 election.Of course it is.
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • Use of solar on the rise in Arkansas

    With a pivotal ruling expected any day now from the Public Service Commission, Kyle Massey at Arkansas Business reports on the increase in Arkansans adding solar generation units on their homes and business.
    • Apr 13, 2018
  • Antwan Phillips wants to make a difference in reducing Little Rock violence

    KARK/Fox 16's push to do something about Little Rock violence includes a spotlight on people trying to make a difference — in this episode Antwan Phillips, a lawyer at Wright, Lindsey and Jennings.
    • Aug 30, 2017

Slideshows

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation