Colman [Chadam] has genetic markers for cystic fibrosis, and kids with the inherited lung disease can’t be near each other because they’re vulnerable to contagious infections. Two siblings with cystic fibrosis also attended Colman’s middle school in Palo Alto, California in 2012. …
When Colman was born in 2000, DNA analysis of newborns was still rare. But he had a congenital heart problem that led to extra tests. That, in turn, led doctors to discover that he carried some genetic markers associated with cystic fibrosis. His markers are no guarantee of a disease though, and Colman never developed any cystic fibrosis. Still, his parents disclosed the information when filling out a medical form to enroll Colman in school.
That information made its way to teachers, who allegedly told the parents of the two other students with cystic fibrosis during a parent-teacher conference. Those parents allegedly demanded the Chadams remove their son from school. Eventually the the school district allowed Colman to return after missing a couple weeks.
The Chadams have since moved away from Palo Alto—but the wheels of the legal system are still turning. When the family first sued the school district in 2013, a district court dismissed the case. The Chadams appeal the dismissal to the federal Ninth Circuit court in January. The Departments of Justice and Education have also written a brief in support of the Chadam’s [sic] case, which suggests the federal government has taken an interest in the case and its outcome.