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Student Expelled for Refusing the Tuberculosis Test

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  • Student Expelled for Refusing the Tuberculosis Test

    A Pahoa father says he will go to court before he allows one of his children to have a tuberculosis test required to stay in Hilo High School.

    Alena Horowitz, a 14-year-old freshman at Hilo High School, wasn't shocked when she was expelled Sept. 1. Administrators had warned her family, after all, that she needed to undergo the mandatory TB skin test....
    http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/...ws/local01.txt

    I like what one of the posters said...

    This test is not only for the safety of his child it is also for the safety of my child. And he calls him self a doctor of dentistry what is he hiding. Take the test or home school the kid
    Any thoughts on this Mandatory test for public schools?

    Does anyone know if the Private schools mandate this test?

  • #2
    Re: Student Expelled for Refusing the Tuberculosis Test

    can one get a chest x ray instead of getting the skin test?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Student Expelled for Refusing the Tuberculosis Test

      Haoles... tsk tsk tsk...

      hehe j/k.
      "Hey fool, we gots yo leada!"
      "But I can't even read good."
      "Whatever that means, you ____ peasant."
      "That (stuff) is the MOST BALLER THING EVAAA!!!!"

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Student Expelled for Refusing the Tuberculosis Test

        A skin test is cheaper than an x-ray. Mandatory TB testing is a good idea (and it doesn't hurt to have one done) because TB is a highly communicable disease, and since Hawai'i has many immigrants from Asia and the Pacific Islands who might be carriers of latent TB (see explanation), the odds of being exposed are pretty high. But just because you've been exposed, doesn't mean you are going to get sick; that's why an x-ray is used as a secondary check.

        Miulang
        "Americans believe in three freedoms. Freedom of speech; freedom of religion; and the freedom to deny the other two to folks they don`t like.” --Mark Twain

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Student Expelled for Refusing the Tuberculosis Test

          Originally posted by manoasurfer123 View Post
          http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/...ws/local01.txt

          I like what one of the posters said...



          Any thoughts on this Mandatory test for public schools?

          Does anyone know if the Private schools mandate this test?

          Virtually all schools require some sort of TB testing from licensed daycare centers to High Schools both public and private and even the UH system. The DOE requires a student health record Form 14 which I believe includes TB testing results. However upon looking at this website: http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/admissions/healthfaq.html indicating the kinds of medical clearances one needs to attend any public or private schools or daycares in Hawaii, it seems as long as the physician is U.S. licensed MD, DO, APRN, or PA. that record can be used as a record of immunization.

          In the case of this child, the DOE does allow for an exemption of immunization based on religious beliefs and this is the case with this family.

          Here's a quote from the DOE's website, "Are Exemptions Allowed?
          Children may be exempt from immunization requirements for medical or religious reasons, if the appropriate documentation is presented to the school. Religious exemption forms may be completed at the school that your child will attend. Medical exemptions must be obtained from your child's doctor. No other exemptions are allowed by the State."


          The DOE's website however doesn't list TB screening as a requirement of immunization but merely a screening which means it doesn't fall under the protection of an exemption. Only immunizations can be exempted for religious or medical reasons (with appropriate documentation) for school admission.

          This family's gonna lose this one.
          Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Student Expelled for Refusing the Tuberculosis Test

            if a parent/student were to opt out of the TB skin test, then there should be some other test put into place for it, considering the safety precautions for other children/parties involved.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Student Expelled for Refusing the Tuberculosis Test

              Originally posted by CranBeree View Post
              if a parent/student were to opt out of the TB skin test, then there should be some other test put into place for it, considering the safety precautions for other children/parties involved.
              There is no opting out in this case for TB screening. If a parent decides to do so anyway their only option is home schooling, which is thus their only other choice other than TB screening.

              If the parents choose not to home school and opt not to screen for TB testing, I would imagine CPS (Child Protective Services) would come in and apply the rules of child neglect on those parents and take the child away to a foster home until the courts settle this.

              It's their choice.
              Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Student Expelled for Refusing the Tuberculosis Test

                Originally posted by Miulang View Post
                A skin test is cheaper than an x-ray. Mandatory TB testing is a good idea (and it doesn't hurt to have one done) because TB is a highly communicable disease, and since Hawai'i has many immigrants from Asia and the Pacific Islands who might be carriers of latent TB (see explanation), the odds of being exposed are pretty high. But just because you've been exposed, doesn't mean you are going to get sick; that's why an x-ray is used as a secondary check.

                Miulang
                A positive TB skin test is not diagnostic for pulmonary tuberculosis nor is a chest x-ray. The bacilli must be cultured out of a specimen for the diagnosis to be confirmed. BTW, you can have TB in places other than your lungs. The big public health concern is pulmonary TB because of its relatively easy communicability.

                A positive PPD test may simply mean that you have been exposed and have produced antibodies. Once you test positive you will always test positive. You'll almost certainly always test positive if you've received the BCG vaccine, too. If you are required to undergo TB testing and always test positive, you'll be required to have a chest x-ray to fulfill testing requirements. If the CXR is suggestive of TB you'll have to undergo further testing.

                I've been exposed to active TB so many times that I'm always surprised when my PPD is negative.

                I don't know what this parent is thinking. Hawaii is the state with the highest rate of TB infection in the nation. No way is this kid living in a "low-risk environment." His claim that the TB skin test is an immunization is ridiculous---and he is a doctor?? A dentist, yes, but a health care professional who should know better.

                Under the picture in the article it stated "Below is Alena's doctor's note that proclaims her to be TB free."
                I couldn't find that note in the article. Anybody else able to see it?
                Last edited by WindwardOahuRN; October 4, 2006, 01:34 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Student Expelled for Refusing the Tuberculosis Test

                  Originally posted by WindwardOahuRN View Post
                  A positive TB skin test is not diagnostic for pulmonary tuberculosis nor is a chest x-ray. The bacilli must be cultured out of a specimen for the diagnosis to be confirmed.

                  A positive PPD test may simply mean that you have been exposed and have produced antibodies. Once you test positive you will always test positive. If you are required to undergo TB testing and always test positive, you'll be required to have a chest x-ray to fulfill testing requirements. If the CXR is suggestive of TB you'll have to undergo further testing.

                  You will also probably always test positive if you have received the BCG vaccine.

                  I don't know what this parent is thinking. Hawaii is the state with the highest rate of TB infection in the nation.
                  I'm thinking this child WAS exposed to TB and regardless if she actually has it or not she would test positive right? Denial is one of some parents highest traits when it comes to their children.
                  Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Student Expelled for Refusing the Tuberculosis Test

                    My child tested positive for TB when she was between 2-3 years old. We had to give her daily medicine for nine months. She is now completely immune and no longer has to get annual TB shots for school. Her clearance is provided by her physician so the school is aware of her status.

                    My point? She was tested, medicated and cleared before entering school. She is no longer at risk, and she no longer puts anyone else at risk.

                    How did she get it? I have no idea. We lived in Honolulu Tower until she was 18 months. I used to take her in the stroller to Chinatown to shop for produce. Probably touched some spit from someone infected--on a banana, a pole, a basket, a vegetable crate. People here have TB, are carriers, and make babies sick.

                    I'd like to say that Kid 2 did not contract it from Kid 1, despite their being very close playmates, sharing everything, even fingers and toes. Thank goodness for that.
                    Aloha from Lavagal

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Student Expelled for Refusing the Tuberculosis Test

                      Originally posted by craigwatanabe View Post
                      I'm thinking this child WAS exposed to TB and regardless if she actually has it or not she would test positive right? Denial is one of some parents highest traits when it comes to their children.
                      She would test positive if she developed antibodies that would induce a positive reaction to the PPD. If a person has newly converted from a negative to positive status, it's assumed that there is TB bacteria circulating. If detected early, medication can be given and damage to lungs and other organs can be prevented.

                      See Lavagal's post for what would happen next.
                      Last edited by WindwardOahuRN; October 4, 2006, 01:43 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Student Expelled for Refusing the Tuberculosis Test

                        Then the only assumption one can make is that the child is indeed infected with TB but the parents are in denial and won't take the necessary medical steps to cure her. If this is the case then it's a case of child neglect. And that's not good.
                        Life is what you make of it...so please read the instructions carefully.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Student Expelled for Refusing the Tuberculosis Test

                          Originally posted by craigwatanabe View Post
                          Then the only assumption one can make is that the child is indeed infected with TB but the parents are in denial and won't take the necessary medical steps to cure her. If this is the case then it's a case of child neglect. And that's not good.
                          I think we can safely assume that the father is an overzealous nincompoop, despite his advanced degrees.

                          I wonder when they moved here. From the article it looks like he's been fighting the PPD requirement since last spring or so? It would be interesting to know whether he left a mainland area where the testing was also required.

                          From the picture the kid looks like she just wants her father to shut up and stop the crap so she can go back to school.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Student Expelled for Refusing the Tuberculosis Test

                            Hey... the Newspaper now is only saying she was expelled in the Headline!

                            They dropped the "for Refusing the Tuberclosis Test" Part of the headline!

                            I wonder why they did that so suddenly?

                            I posted this at 9:33 and they updated that at 9:41!
                            (I wonder if they edited any of the content from my first read through!)

                            This is not the first time Horowitz has tried to take on TB skin testing. He rallied for a bill in the state Legislature in April that would have provided the religious exemption, but it was quickly shot down. State Sen. Russell Kokubun, D-Puna, Ka'u, Volcano, introduced the bill and later said he would not vote for it.
                            Why would Senator Kokubun introduce a bill that he would have never voted for in the first place?
                            Last edited by damontucker; October 4, 2006, 02:23 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Student Expelled for Refusing the Tuberculosis Test

                              I think the state's TB testing requirements aren't strict enough. Sure, your kid has to be tested when they first enter school. But my teacher friends tell me of many cases where the kids are pulled out of school by their parents to go for extended family visits back to the Old Country (usually the Philippines, a noted TB hotspot) -- but there is no requirement that they be re-tested when they return. Did they pick up a TB bug while they were overseas? Nobody knows. So tell me again how we're protecting our kids?

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