Paper on “Do you agree that children diagnosed as having AIDS should be permitted to attend public schools?”

When it comes to academia, it is important that children who suffer from AIDS or HIV are afforded the same treatment and respect as children who do not. The statutory school age in England, Wales and Scotland is from 5 to 16 years, and during these formative years, children not only learn about English, Maths and Science, but they also develop their own set of interpersonal skills.

These interpersonal skills are developed through human contact in the playgrounds. Communication and interactive playtime are an essential part of growing up – the school of life if you will. Excluding them from the public schooling system and ostracising them into segregated academic systems not only produces moral and ethical issues but also a legal one.

In December 2005, the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was amended to protect the rights of people with HIV infection, AIDS, cancer or multiple sclerosis. This means that schools that refuse to accept children suffering from HIV or AIDS are breaking the law.

Such diseases as AIDS and HIV are common phenomena throughout modern civilisation, and as a result of this, schooling systems should have a thorough awareness programme for teachers and pupils alike. Proper education will allay fears, thus reducing the likelihood of children suffering from HIV and AIDS becoming the victims of bullying.

There should also be the right for anonymity. Just as a child does not have to declare his or her own sexuality, they should not have to disclose what illnesses or diseases they might suffer from. This privacy is a very important human right that should be protected.

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