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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 10:38 a.m., Friday, October 13, 2006

Student who refused TB test will be home schooled

Kevin Dayton
Advertiser Staff Writer

HILO, Hawai'i — A Hilo High School student who refused for religious reasons to undergo a test for tuberculosis will be home schooled this semester after she suffered a setback in her legal case in Kona Circuit Court yesterday.

Alena Horowitz, 14, was allowed to attend classes at Hilo High this week under the terms of a temporary restraining order issued earlier by Kona Circuit Judge Elizabeth Strance, but Strance on Thursday refused to extend that order.

That means the state Department of Health will bar Horowitz from the school unless she undergoes the TB test, something she refuses to do, said the girl's father, Leonard Horowitz. Instead, Leonard Horowitz said he plans to home school his daughter and take her on a trip around the world this fall to further her education.

Len Horowitz said other parents plan to pursue the legal case he started in an effort to force the school to allow Alena and other students to attend classes without taking the TB test. Horowitz contends state law allows his daughter and other students to claim an exemption from TB testing on religious grounds because it violates her "Judeo-Christian" beliefs.

State law allows for an immunization exemption on religious grounds, but health officials contend that does not include TB testing. Strance scheduled another hearing on the issue for Nov. 20.