Colman Chadam ordered to transfer schools due to cystic fibrosis gene


Colman Chadam must transfer schools over a genetic mutation.



Colman Chadam, an 11-year-old California middle schooler, has been expelled from his school and forced to transfer to another, not because of bad behavior but simply because of his genetics.

Chadam carries a mutation of the gene for cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disease characterized by uncontrollable buildup of mucus in the airways, digestive tract and pancreas that is not considered contagious. He does not exhibit any of the symptoms of the disease, but this did not stop school administrators from telling Chadam he needed to transfer from Jordan Middle School, because he was considered a risk to another student at the school who has the disease, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Charles Young, associate superintendent of education service at the Palo Alto Unified School District, said in a written statement to ABC News, "Based on the advice of medical experts, this is the zero risk option, and most certainly helps our District deliver on its commitment to provide safe learning environments.” 

The Huffington Post noted that cystic fibrosis is inherited from both parents and can only pose a threat if two people with the disease are in close contact, or within three feet of one another.

Chadam told Today, "I was sad but at the same time I was mad because I understood that I hadn't done anything wrong. It feels like I'm being bullied in a way that is not right."

Now Chadam's parents are suing the school to have their son reinstated. Jennifer Chadam told the San Francisco Chronicle, "They made this decision without seeing one medical record on my son. Honestly if I felt Colman was a risk to others, I would move him. I don't want anyone to get sick."

For now Chadham is being homeschooled pending a court hearing next week.