Ikeoluwa Opayemi, a third-grader, had travelled to Lagos with her father, Stephen Opayemi, between Oct. 2 and Oct. 13.
Upon her return to the U.S.A. her school requested that she be kept at home until Nov. 3—approximately the 21-day incubation period of Ebola.
While the school sees the case as a public health issue, Ikeoluwa’s family disagrees and believe she is been discriminated against, especially since she is not symptomatic and had travelled to Nigeria, a country without an active Ebola case.
Nigeria initially had 20 cases of Ebola infections which lead to 8 deaths, but the WHO has since declared the country free of the virus and the control measures put in place by the country is not been studied by other countries seeking to prevent or control the spread of Ebola.
According to Reuters, an attorney for the Opayemi family, Gary Phelan, said that school officials were ignoring federal law by keeping Ikeoluwa out, and that the family had little choice but to sue after officials said they would use police force if necessary to block her.
“When you threaten to have the police remove a 7-year-old from school in front of all her classmates, that’s when you do something like turn to an attorney, and that’s what they did,” Phelan said.