School Bans Boy For Cystic Fibrosis Gene

It looks like bad genes are enough to get you transferred to another school. A school in California banned an 11-year-old boy for carrying the cystic fibrosis gene.

Cystic fibrosis is a disorder that isn’t contagious, however for the patient it is life-threatening and incurable. Colman Chadam, an 11-year-old student banned from school, only has the gene, not the health condition in itself or any symptoms. However, just because of his genes carrying the cystic fibrosis mutations, a Palo Alto school banned him from class.

The Jordan Middle School decided to send home the 11-year-old to protect other students with the disease. School officials explained the boy will have to transfer to another school to avoid cross-contamination. Although not contagious, to people who already have the disease the bacteria is dangerous.

“I was sad but at the same time I was mad because I understood that I hadn’t done anything wrong” the 11-year-old confessed for TODAY. “It feels like I’m being bullied in a way that is not right” said the student barred from school seven weeks into the year.

The boy’s parents are furious and want to take the matter in court. “They made this decision without seeing one medical record on my son” said Jennifer Chadam. “Honestly if I felt Colman was a risk to others, I would move him. I don’t want anyone to get sick” the mother told the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Why take a child who’s new to the district, who’s just making friends, who’s just building a support network, who’s just getting to know his teachers, who’s been well his whole life… why stigmatize him?” asked Jaimy Chadam, the boy’s father.

School officials explain they banned the student because it was the only “zero risk option”. District assistant superintendent Charles Young told NBC News that the school asked for experts’ advice who said “a literal physical distance must be maintained”. Dr. Thomas Keens, the head of cystic fibrosis center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, agrees. “In general, we would prefer that there not be more than one cystic fibrosis patient in a school” he told TODAY.

But information from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation reads that cystic fibrosis gene carriers and patients can go to the same school as long as they’re not in the same class and keep at least a three-foot distance.

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1 Comment

  1. Children with cystic fibrosis can cross contaminate. Why would u put children’s lives at risk just to get your own way. We have been advised that it is best for our child not to be in a school with another child, but if necessary to ensure there is no other child with cf in the class.

    I would be horrified to think a parent was running a media campaign to have another child placed in his class. It’s children’s lives they’re playing with!

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