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Parents of AIDS Patient, 5, Sue to Force Readmission to School

December 23, 1987|Associated Press

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The parents of a 5-year-old AIDS patient expelled from kindergarten sued Tuesday to force her readmission, as a school official said the action was unnecessary because the child is not expected to live.

"The kid will be dead in a few months. What's the point of the lawyer?" Fairfax County School Supt. Robert R. Spillane told reporters after a news conference.

In a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, the family asked that the child be reinstated and that Fairfax County be ordered to create a policy giving AIDS patients the right to attend school.

The unidentified student, who is believed to have contracted the disease through a blood transfusion, began attending a public school in August after her parents submitted medical records indicating the child has AIDS.

The girl was barred from classes in November when county officials decided her "health status made the child's continued education inappropriate, and the child would be denied access to further public education," according to the lawsuit.

"This child is not a risk to anybody," said attorney Kenneth Labowitz.

No Formal Policy

Although Fairfax County, the nation's 10th-largest public school system, has no formal policy on AIDS, Spillane has said students and teachers with the disease would not be allowed in the classroom. He cited a state law barring people with infectious disease from school.

Spillane said the child was in and out of school before being expelled, and at one point was absent for more than two weeks.

"If you have a youngster with active AIDS, and the youngster cuts him or herself, which is very likely in an elementary school, then you have a real dangerous situation," Spillane said. "I don't want to expose other youngsters to that."

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