IRVINE — Vincent Chalk, the teacher who was reassigned to a desk job after school officials learned he had AIDS, was welcomed back to his classroom today by his handicapped students with hugs, flowers and posters.
Chalk, 43, of Long Beach, won the right to return to his classroom in a federal court decision handed down last week.
"I didn't expect this much limelight, but it had to happen, I guess," he told reporters at University High School. "It's been kind of draining, but the public has to be educated about AIDS."
The Orange County Department of Education reassigned Chalk, who teaches hearing-impaired students, to a desk job in September after learning he had AIDS.
The U.S. 9th District Court of Appeals ruled that Chalk did not pose a health risk to others and ordered him returned to the classroom. It was the first time a federal court had ruled on discrimination involving a victim of acquired immune deficiency syndrome.