September 15th, 2013
Turns out that some idiot school superintendent in some podunk town in Arkansas seems to think it’s mid-80’s all over again and has banned three siblings from attending the local school until that take an HIV test and give him the results.
The Disability Rights Center of Arkansas, Inc. (DRC) claims the Pea Ridge Public School District has removed three siblings from school, two of whom have disabilities.
The group claims the students have been denied the right to attend school until documentation is provided that they are not HIV positive.
“The actions taken by the Superintendent of Pea Ridge School District are appalling and is reminiscent of times past and the case of Ryan White,” says Tom Masseau, Executive Director of DRC. “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 HIV. There is only an unlawful fear that they do.
Other than that being likely illegal, it’s colossally stupid.
Not only is HIV a fragile virus that cannot exist outside the body and cannot be transmitted through casual contact, today’s medications make most infections so low in viral count as to be theoretically non-transmittable through high-risk sex*. There’s a greater danger of school children of being trampled by a buffalo stampede than there is from these children.
But stupidity and petty authority will always give us gems like this decision by Superintendent Rick Neal.
* – NOTE: The notion of non-transmissible viral loads is controversial and the science is not fully conclusive. There are documented cases in which HIV was transmitted even with a low plasma viral count and the CDC recommends condom use even when both the plasma and genital fluid viral loads are low.
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Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
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