Girl banned from school for Ebola fears, family suing
MILFORD, CT – A student in Connecticut is being forced to stay home amid Ebola virus fears and her family is suing to get her back in class.
The family said they were in West Africa recently for a wedding.
Their attorney claimed they weren’t in one of the three countries at the center of the outbreak.
He added that the 7-year-old girl has shown no signs of symptoms and is not under quarantine.
“What they did to this girl was a blatant violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” Gary Phelan said, the family’s attorney. “She doesn’t have a disability but she was treated as though she did.”
Phelan said the family is trying to get the third grader back to class at the Meadowside Elementary School.
“Their daughter is upset but also very confused,” Phelan said. “‘Why aren’t I going to school?’ There is absolutely no reason she’s not going to school.”
Phelan said three weeks ago, the family told the school they were taking a 10-day trip to Nigeria for the wedding.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court stated, “Upon her return, the defendants, the Milford School District, refused to allow her to return to school and have banned her from school for a 21 day period.”
It could take a patient 21 days to develop Ebola symptoms.
Phelan said school staff was concerned over the outbreak impacting the nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
However, the said the family was more than 1,000 miles away in Nigeria.
The family offered to go through Ebola screenings but was told that if the girl tried returning to school, she would be removed by police.
“What her family hopes is that by sticking up for her is that others won’t have to go through what she’s gone through,” Phelan said.
Milford school officials said they have not received the lawsuit yet and had no comment.
The girl’s 21-day ban is over on Monday but the family and the attorney said they are hoping the girl will be allowed to return sooner.