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California Schoolboy Expelled Due to his Genetic Makeup

An 11-year-old boy carrying the genetic mutation for cystic fibrosis was ordered to transfer to another school despite neither having the disease nor showing any typical symptoms, according to an sfgate.com report.

Colman Chadam, a student of Palo Alto’s Jordan Middle School, was pulled aside by teachers on Wednesday afternoon to tell him to say goodbye to his friends. School officials believe his genetic makeup could be a health risk to its students who do have the disease, thus ordering him to move to another district middle school a few miles away.

Colman’s parents disclosed the child’s condition on a medical form provided by the school at the beginning of the school year as a precautionary measure. But while the child carries the genetic mutation, his parents and his doctor, confirmed that he does not have the disease and is not a threat to other students. Still, the school made the decision to have him change school, thereby prompting Jaimy and Jennifer Chadam to take the district to court.

“They made this decision without seeing one medical record on my son,” Jennifer Chadam told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We were shocked and dismayed.”

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive tract, and other areas of the body. The sweat test has been the gold standard in diagnosing the disease but newer methods, such as genetic testing are now being used in some cases. Though not contagious, the bacteria those with cystic fibrosis carry can be dangerous to people with the same disease, and non-siblings are advised to stay at least 3 to 6 feet away from each other.

A court hearing has been scheduled on Oct. 25 to determine whether Colman can stay or must go to Terman Middle School.

Tags: cystic fibrosis, diagnosing cystic fibrosis, genetic mutation, genetic testing
October 20, 2012 at 1:00 am
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