Pea Ridge Public School located in Arkansas has made national news today for banning three students from returning to school after finding out that at least on is HIV positive. The three students are siblings and the school recently found records that indicate their mother and one of the siblings is HIV positive. They school stated that the students are not allowed to return until they submit documentation that shows what their HIV status is.
Two of the students have disabilities, and they returned to school without the documentation however they were held out of classes and were forced to be picked up in the middle of the day by their foster parents. This is a controversy for many reasons but mainly because the American with Disabilities Act prohibits schools for denying education to a student because of their HIV status.
The school released a statement about the incident that said that this was a rare requirement that was only being done because of certain behaviors and actions that put students and teachers at risk. They also said that they wanted to come up with an education that would help these students as best as they could should they be HIV positive.
The superintendent of the district sent a letter to the family citing a school policy that says the students can be banned for communicable diseases. HIV however is not considered a communicable disease.
In 2011 a private school in Pennsylvania denied a student admission to the school because he was HIV positive. The AIDS Law Project sued the school for discrimination after which the school reversed its policy and HIV students were no longer banned from the school.