Indiana: Teen With HIV Bullied at School Files Lawsuit
December 9, 2008
On Nov. 18, the mother of an HIV-positive student filed a lawsuit against Washington Township Schools, alleging that disease-related bullying forced her child to leave Westlane Middle School. The suit claims district officials did nothing to stop the harassment, violating the Americans With Disabilities Act.
The mother and daughter declined to be interviewed through their attorney, Steven Sams. He said proceeding with the lawsuit would be contingent on details still needing to be worked out with the district.
The district superintendent, James Mervilde, said he could not comment on pending litigation. However, the district has policies about bullying and cleaning protocols for potentially infectious bodily fluids, Mervilde said. The district is also governed by state student-confidentiality laws, said Avon Waters, a spokesperson for the Indiana Department of Education.
11.21.2008; Gretchen Becker