Ryan White Was Barred From School After Being Diagnosed At 13

KOKOMO, Ind. (WBBM) — Local historians want to interview school board members and others about the decision to bar teenager Ryan White from a central Indiana school during the AIDS scare of the 1980s.

WBBM Newsradio 780’s Pat Cassidy reports the decision to bar White was one that typified the AIDS scare at the time the disease was surfacing.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Pat Cassidy Reports

White, 13, of Kokomo, Ind., had suffered from severe hemophilia. He was diagnosed with AIDS from a blood transfusion on Dec. 17, 1984.

Local officials banned White from attending middle school, but White and his mother, Jeanne White Ginder, fought until the State of Indiana reversed the decision.

The family move to the town of Cicero, Ind., and White became a national spokesman on behalf of people with AIDS.

But he died at the age of 18, on April 8, 1990.

Months later, Congress passed a bill with his name – the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency, or CARE, Act.

Now, the Howard County, Ind., Historical Society wants to interview school officials, the mayor of Kokomo at the time, and others for an oral history exhibit.

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