Saturday, November 2, 2013

Educate! Don't Discriminate! Advocates to attend school board meeting and HIV+ Mom set to speak to push for new polices around HIV/AIDS

Educate! Don’t Discriminate!

 “Advocates to attend Little Rock School Board Meeting pushing for new policies around HIV/AIDS”

HIV+ Mom to address the School Board

Media Contact: Kari Coffman,  (918) 774-3755

C2EA and the Disability Rights Center of Arkansas have partnered to make a strong statement to the Arkansas Board of Education.  Advocates from Arkansas and beyond will attend the Arkansas School Board of Education meeting on November 4, 2013 to ensure that the school board adopts practices that end the discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.

In September 2013, three students in Arkansas were barred from attending school after administrators began to suspect they might be HIV-positive, according to local Arkansas outlet 5NEWS. Pea Ridge Public School officials told the students, who are siblings, that they could not attend school until they provided documentation regarding their HIV status. Officials had previously found records suggesting that one of the students and the biological mother may be HIV-positive, according to a press release from The Disability Rights Center (DRC) of Arkansas. The students, two of whom have disabilities, returned to school the next day without documentation regarding their HIV status. When they arrived, they were kept from class, and officials asked their foster parents to bring the students home, the press release stated.
The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits schools from excluding students based on their HIV status.

 “We need to make sure this type of discrimination does not happen again! We must ensure the school board has accurate, up-to-date information about HIV and its transmission so they develop sound policies that do not discriminate.” said Kari Coffman, C2EA – AR Activist and HIV+ mom. 

Who:  C2EA - AR in collaboration with the Disability Rights Center (AR) the Afiya Center and Housing Works 
What: Arkansas School Board of Education Meeting
Where: Arkansas Department of Education Auditorium, Four Capitol Mall, Little Rock Arkansas
When: November 4, 2013, 9:00am CST

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