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Judge Denies Motion To Bar Indiana AIDS Victim From Classes

February 19, 1986

KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) _ A judge today turned down a request to block 14-year-old AIDS victim Ryan White from returning to school on Friday.

Howard Circuit Court Judge Alan Brubaker denied a motion for a temporary restraining order filed on behalf of three of White’s classmates. But the judge said he would reconsider the motion on Friday, when White is scheduled to return to school after a seven-month battle.

Brubaker said he did not have enough evidence to decide today.

The motion by attorney David Rosselot was filed on grounds that Ryan has a communicable disease and should be kept out of school because he is a health risk to others.

Last week, Dr. Alan Adler, the Howard County health officer, ruled that Ryan was fit to return to school and posed no health threat.

White contracted AIDS through contaminated blood products taken for his hemophilia. He has been monitoring his seventh-grade classes with a telephone hookup to his home.

Tuesday night, Western School Board President Daniel Carter said the state health commissioner should resign and apologize for his handling of the case. Commissioner Woodrow A. Myers championed Ryan’s right to attend school.

At a board meeting Tuesday, Carter said Myers owes the Western School Corp. and the community an apology for handling the White case in an unprofessional manner and that he should be removed from office.

He also said the State Board of Health should reimburse the school corporation $50,000 it spent fighting the legal battle to keep White out of school.

Although Carter said the board plans no legal action against Myers or the state health board, a measure was passed Tuesday to send a letter to the health commissioner outlining the complaints. A copy would be sent to Gov. Robert D. Orr, who appointed Myers, Carter said. In reaction to Carter’s statements, Myers said the board of health followed state law in developing guidelines for students with AIDS. The guidelines were issued in the summer and are similar to those issued by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, he said.

″I think he (Carter) has a $50,000 fiscal problem that he has to defend before the good citizens of Kokomo, and he’s looking for a way out,″ Myers told The Indianapolis Star.

″It certainly is his right to call for my resignation ... but I will not resign. I have nothing to resign for.″

Meanwhile, parents with children in the school district were scheduled to meet tonight in the second in a series of public meetings to discuss their concerns about White’s return. More than 100 parents attended an informational forum Monday night.

AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, is an affliction in which the body’s immune system becomes unable to resist disease. AIDS, caused by a virus, was first identified in male homosexuals, hemophiliacs and intravenous drug abusers.

The virus can be transmitted by sexual contact, the sharing of contaminated needles by intravenous drug abusers, transfusions of blood or blood products, or infection from mother to child before or around the time of birth.

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