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Orange County Digest

Huntington Beach : School District Outlines Policy for AIDS Cases

January 24, 1986|Bill Billiter \f7

The Ocean View Elementary School District has spelled out guidelines it will follow when a student has a diagnosed case of acquired immune deficiency syndrome or has AIDS-related antibodies because of exposure to the disease.

Dale Coogan, superintendent of the 9,000-student school district, said Thursday that the school board asked the administrative staff to write specifics "so that we could be prepared." Coogan said there are no known AIDS or AIDS-antibodies cases in the school district.

The guidelines, which the school board accepted earlier this week, call for removing the AIDS victim from school while the case is evaluated. No time frame is written into the policy, Coogan said, "but we think the evaluation would be completed within a week or 10 days."

A team composed of the district's director of pupil personnel services, the school nurse coordinator, the school principal and the child's teacher would review the case. The team would simultaneously confer with the Orange County health officers and the child's personal physician, then make a recommendation to the school board.

The school board would decide whether to readmit the child to class or have him receive at-home instruction thereafter, Coogan said. "The decision would take into consideration factors such as whether the child was young and prone to biting," said Coogan.

While most of the cases of AIDS in the nation have stemmed from exchange of bodily fluids, primarily in homosexual relations, some children and heterosexuals have contracted the disease from blood transfusions.

Coogan said he and other school officials believe that any cases that might come into elementary school districts such as Ocean View "would be contracted from an accident like that (contaminated blood transfusion)."

Ocean View School District includes a large portion of Huntington Beach and parts of the cities of Westminster and Fountain Valley.

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