AIDS Policies Spur Boycott, House Resolution

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William Dannemeyer, Republican of California, has introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives stating that children with acquired immune deficiency syndrome should not attend school but should instead be provided with alternative educational programs.

The nonbinding "sense of Congress" resolution counters recommendations of the federal Centers for Disease Control that most children with aids be allowed unrestricted access to schools and other child-care settings.

"Although I do not contest the Centers for Disease Control's assurance that sitting in a classroom with an aids child will not result in transmission of the disease," said Representative Dannemeyer, "I do contest the premise that children attending school sit in the classroom all day."

"If you have ever observed children on a playground, you know they fight, and bite, and often draw blood," said the lawmaker.

New Jersey Boycott

In other recent developments involving children with aids:

More than half of the students at an elementary school in New Jersey were absent from school two days late last month as part of a boycott by parents protesting the attendance of a 9-year-old boy whose sister has an aids-related disorder.

A spokesman for the superintendent of schools in Washington Borough said that the boy, a student at Washington Memorial Elementary School, does not have aids or any aids-related diseases and that school officials would not act to remove him from school. Most of the children returned to school last Monday.

In another New Jersey case involving a pupil with aids, a state judge has turned back to state education officials a decision on wheth-er to admit a 5-year-old girl to kindergarten in the Plainfield school district.

Commissioner of Education Saul Cooperman in early October had ordered school officials to admit the girl, who has been receiving educational services at home. State guidelines permit children with aids to attend classes.

But school officials declined to admit her, and Mr. Cooperman asked the court to order them to do so. The state board will hold a hearing on the question Nov. 6.

Leaders of parent groups in Rhode Island have announced support for a state proposal that would allow students who have aids to remain in school.

Last month, the state's education commissioner and health director said that Rhode Island would follow the leads of Massachusetts and New Hamphire and allow students with aids to stay in school as long as possible. The officials said the state policy would closely follow guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control.--er

Vol. 05, Issue 10

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