Target: Palo Alto Superintendent Dr. Kevin Skelly
Goal: Allow boy with cystic fibrosis gene to return to public middle school
Recently, Colman Chadam, an 11-year-old boy in Palo Alto, California was forced to leave his school because he carries the gene for cystic fibrosis. School administrators claimed that he posed a risk to another student who had been diagnosed with the disease. However, Chadam has not been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, and therefore he does not pose a threat to the other student. There was no reason to uproot this boy from his school.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited, non-infectious disease. There is a risk for people who have the disease to be in close proximity because they are susceptible to lung infections from each other. However, Chadam does not actually have the disease. He has been tested multiple times, and has never presented any symptoms or given an official diagnosis of cystic fibrosis. According to his mother, he has been in schools with other students with cystic fibrosis, and there has never before been a problem.
Chadam has been forced out of school due to a genetic condition which he cannot control. He is currently being homeschooled and denied the opportunity to socialize with classmates his own age. Chadam and the student diagnosed with cystic fibrosis can be placed in separate classrooms to minimize the risk, but it is an overreaction to ban a young boy from attending school because he carries a specific gene. Chadam should be allowed to return to his school so he can receive a normal education and socialize with his peers.
Dear Dr. Shelly,
Recently, an 11-year-old boy was forbidden to attend Jordan Middle School because of a genetic condition. Colman Chadam carries the gene for cystic fibrosis, and was told to leave school because he allegedly posed a threat to another student with the disease. However, Chadman has not been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, and therefore does not actually pose this threat.
I ask you to allow Colman Chadam to attend his local middle school. He should not be punished for a factor that he cannot control. Chadam is being isolated from his peers and forbidden to receive an education at his local school solely because of his genes. While the health of the other student is important, taking Chadam out of the school is an overreaction that must be corrected.
[Your Name Here]