Social Prejudice

I felt truly despondent after reading the account (Times, Feb. 22) regarding the barring of Ryan White from school in Indiana.

Such an irony! Here in America, people pursue their cigarette and alcohol habits despite overwhelmingly conclusive evidence that these substances may certainly harm or maim them; all too many drink and drive, neglect to wear seat belts and needlessly risk the lives of their loved ones and themselves as a matter of course. Yet, parents in Indiana seek to continue to enjoin Ryan White, a 14-year-old hemophiliac with AIDS, from attending school with his other classmates, despite just as conclusive evidence that AIDS is clearly not transmittable through casual contact.

Many of the reported 43% of Ryan's classmates who intentionally were kept home the day he tried to return to school were, in my opinion, subject to potentially much greater danger from the social prejudice and ignorance exhibited by their parents. I wish Ryan were in California. I would certainly welcome him dearly--with a big bear hug and consoling kiss. Let Ryan's community offer him human warmth, compassion, and dignity in life rather than empty eulogies after his death!



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