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January 12, 1990

Learning by Heart: AIDS and Schoolchildren in America's Communities

Author Affiliations

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Harvard Medical School Boston, Mass

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Harvard Medical School Boston, Mass

JAMA. 1990;263(2):309-310. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440020155049

AIDS, the True Story: A Comprehensive Guide,  by B. K. Ambati and J. K. Ambati, 175 pp, Buffalo, NY, BJ Publications, 1989.The summer of 1985 and the nine months that followed will be remembered as the year that the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) arrived at the doorsteps of America's public schools. Not since the struggles over racial integration had the nation's schools been the site of such drama, passion, and confrontation.In New York City, for example, school officials announced, on the eve of the school year, that a single, unnamed child with AIDS would be enrolled as a second grader somewhere in the public school system. That announcement touched off a boycott in two Queens school districts; between 9000 and 11000 children were kept at home. Demonstrating parents stood by a mock coffin in which a child had been placed and over which a sign read: "Is This