In a case that could have national repercussions in the area of genetic profiling, Palo Alto Unified School District has ordered an 11-year-old boy to transfer from one middle school to another because he carries a gene for cystic fibrosis (CF). The student has never been clinically diagnosed with the disease, which is not contagious.
The reasoning, according to Palo Alto Online, is that the district believes the boy poses a risk to another student who has the disease.
The district wants Colman Chadam to transfer from Jordan Middle School to Terman. His parents are going to court to block the transfer, insisting that their son poses no threat.
Colman's mother, Jennifer Chadam, told the San Francisco Chronicle that she disclosed the genetic condition on a school health form required at the start of the school year, but the district has never reviewed Colman’s medical records.
The district made the decision after consulting Stanford University and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. While CF is not contagious, there is a risk of cross-infection for those with the disease.
The court case is scheduled for Oct. 25.