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HIV-Positive Teen Bullied at School, Sues School District

While at school, a 14-year-old HIV-positive girl confronted hateful notes left on her locker, was told by her soccer coach that the team could use her HIV status to scare the other teams, and endured name-calling on a regular basis.

The AP reports that the ridicule became so harsh that the girl left school. Now being homeschooled, she has filed a federal lawsuit claiming that school officials did nothing to stop the crippling bullying.

This isn't the first time this exact Indianapolis school district has faced a controversy surrounding a student with HIV/AIDS. During the 1980s, Ryan White, a young boy who contracted HIV from a blood transfusion, successfully won the right to attend school in the district. Federal law guarantees a child with HIV/AIDS the right to confidentiality, and prohibits discrimination against them in schools, among other things.

Do you think the school should do more to help this teen go to school in peace, or is there no way to fight the stigma and control the actions of others?


Join The Conversation
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Yeah that would've been bad! ;)
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
lol, craps all day. That is a serious condition! And you two crack me up!
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Yeah I have no idea how I got through it. But I did!
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I didn't fail, I just didn't do well. Until my friend became the person who counted and timed your laps when you did the "run a mile" thing. Then I did great on those ;)
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Oh but I did play Powder Puff football for two years. But that was mostly an excuse to hit the girls I didn't like..and flirt with the boys in our class that were our coaches...and normally wouldn't have given me the time of day.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
I'd get dressed but I just pretended I had cramps* every day. I had no desire to show the world just how uncoordinated I was! (Side note: Thank god I reread these two sentences or it would've said I had craps all day :rotfl: )
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
lol, we still would have been friends! And you would have come to the games and loved them!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I failed PE. because I didnt dress out. I was one of those goth girls who loathed organized sports, and lesbian coaches who leered in the locker room.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Dave, I'm not a bully, but I'd probably take your lunch money in the alley. And Jude and Blue :rotfl: How do you fail PE? In our school, the kids in pe didn't even have to dress out. They played a bit of volleyball and walked around the gym.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
For me the screaming question is who disclosed her status. Did she? Did a faculty member? Unfortunately under the circumstances the reaction she received is probably spot on, not right, just spot on. In other words it's what I would expect under (her) circumstances.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I have to admit that I was a bully in PE. But in my defense, I got picked on by a lot of my classmates in elementary school because I was smaller, so I got my revenge in midle and high school.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Jude I almost failed P.E. Twice.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I have nothing worthwhile to contribute to the girls' sports side of the discussion. I was known to be so wussy I could get a bloody nose from nothing more than climbing 3 feet up that stupid rope they made us climb.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Well, like I said GS, "Maybe" girls sports are different. ;) Oh, and remind me never to meet you in the lane, or a dark alley.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
I'm a sacrifice your body for the ball type of gal! And as far as the tooth, my coach put it back in and I went back into the game. needless to say, it ruined thousands of dollars of orthodontics.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
"I broke both arms three times, one ankle twice, my nose 3 times, 5 concussions, and my tooth was knocked out. " Wow sound mighty purrty :howyoudoin:
silversnowflake silversnowflake 8 years
Well thank you Jude. School boards would totally have to make the communication between counties better for that... I can think of at least 4 families that moved their disgusting children to different counties or different states just to avoid 'problems'.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
And the higher level you play the rougher it gets.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Several things: 1. In my experience, the parents of bullies are often either former bullies or still bullies themselves. They see nothing wrong with it. That sickens me. 2. Good grief Dave, I've seen girls basketball games be nigh on wrestling themselves. I played a lot of basketball, and in post position it was basically no holds barred. We played a team who's coach taught them to grab the skin on their opponents ribs to hold them in the lane while posting up. I broke both arms three times, one ankle twice, my nose 3 times, 5 concussions, and my tooth was knocked out. All playing girls basketball. That doesn't even count all the minor cuts and bruises. At least every other game I had someone else's blood on me.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
By the way, I think fining the parents of repeat offenders is an excellent idea.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Yes, that's true, but I think for parents, the fact that their children are being kicked out of school for being bullies would (should) force the parents to take more responsibility, since it will be on them to find their child another school and teach it not to be a bully. In any case, I brought up suspension and expulsion as concrete steps the schools can take to help remedy the problem.
silversnowflake silversnowflake 8 years
Jude, at some point its not just the kids who will need a disciplinary action. The parents who raise bullies to be bullies should absolutely be held accountable.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
"It's the schools responsibility to teach my kid, and (s)he's acting out because the school system failed to teach him manners." Actually taking disciplinary action against a bully sure would help to teach kids manners and teach them not to make the choice of bullying someone else. That's exactly why I would advocate suspension and eventual expulsion of habitual bullies.
lorenashley lorenashley 8 years
poor kid :( how horrible.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
And for the record, my comment was taken out of context... not that i want a kid to contract AIDS.... I just feel far too many situations aren't looked at from all aspects. I am realistic and know that NO MATTER WHAT schools do or say, you just cannot protect your kids from everything. Nor should you.
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