Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The persistence of ignorance

I was saddened and dismayed when I heard a news story recently.  It was about a local school - Milton Hershey School - which denied admission to the school to a 13 year-old boy who is HIV positive. The boy's mother is now suing the school.  The story is here, if you haven't heard about it.

I am just flabbergasted that this sort of disinformation and discrimination exists in this day and age when we know so much about HIV and AIDS than we once did!  I'm astonished that the school officials -apparently -didn't seek the advice of a medical professional before making their decision and shocked that they are unaware that people with HIV are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

It just amazes me that anyone would think that this boy poses a huge risk when proper precautions should already be taken at the school to prevent transmittal of diseases through bodily fluids.  That is, school officials should operate as if anyone could be infected with a blood-borne disease and act appropriately when dealing with bodily fluids.

I hope that this issue is resolved soon but it just highlights how persistent ignorance can be.  I feel really bad for the boy to have to deal with this at the age of 13. I am glad to see that his name and image have been kept out of the news - at least for now.

Image of Antarctica from the International Space Station courtesy of NASA 

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree.
    I also believe that ALL school should be operating on a nut-free policy, just to ensure safety of ALL the children. It is NOT going to kill kids to eat something other than PB & J sandwiches,but it just might kill a kid if those are in lunches. Up here, a lot of schools went nut-free, then a decision was made here and there that they would allow them. One of my friends got that phone call at work one day, "Don't panic, you son is fine right now, we have an ambulance on the way and we have his epi-pen, BUT he was accidentally given the class snack, which contained peanuts".... she pulled her son from that school at the end of the year & put him in a nut-free school, but when she enrolled him in the first school, it WAS peanut/nut free. Not only did they quietly change the policy with a new administration, it was actually the boy's teacher who gave him the snack that CLEARLY had peanuts all over it (they were crushed, so the boy didn't really know until he had a bite).

    I often wonder what those PB&J-loving parents would do if a freeway was put through the middle of the schoolyard or if bee-keeping was added to the curriculum.

    I never got Emma onto PB&J to begin with just to be sure she would have nut-free lunch options -- could you imagine the GUILT a child would have if the student next to them dropped dead because of their lunch?? Oy.