By Madeline Farber
Published December 20, 2018
Students at a Philadelphia middle school were reportedly offered a free slice of pizza if they agreed to be tested for HIV.
The testing, which occurred Tuesday at a local pizzeria called Jean's Pizza, was organized by the office of Philadelphia Councilman Bobby Henon, according to his Instagram post.
The “Pop-Up Teen Wellness station" provided “general health information” and HIV screenings to students at Lincoln High School, a School District of Philadelphia spokesperson confirmed to Fox News Thursday.
But some students with Austin Meehan Middle School also made their way to the event, as it was located near the school, according to WPVI.
Several parents were furious to discover their children participated in such an event without their knowledge. At least one parent of a teenage student at Austin Meehan Middle School claims their child received the test without their consent, the news station reports.
The event was not approved by the School District of Philadelphia, the spokesperson clarified. It did not occur on school grounds and did not take place during school hours. A letter was sent to the families of Austin Meehan Middle School students following the event.
"Normally, when our students are being targeted for health services the District is communicated with directly before the event, but that did not happen in this case. It is our understanding that the Department of Health intended to target high school students as they were providing these services," the letter, which was provided to Fox News, reads.
"District staff [is] communicating with the Department of Health's staff to get a clear understanding of what happened in this case to help ensure that everyone is better informed about activities that might affect our students," it added.
The health screening was, however, approved by the Philadelphia Department of Health and was conducted by officials with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Speak Out program, according to The Daily Caller.
A health department spokesperson told Fox News in a statement that "there is no minimum age to provide consent for HIV testing."
"Parental consent is also not required, as in 30 other states. Additionally, all of our HIV testing is anonymous. For these reasons, there was no way the testing provider could have known the age of the people presenting for testing," the spokesperson said, adding only "a small number" of the middle school students were tested.
"It is regrettable that these students wandered into an HIV testing event targeted at high schoolers," the statement continued. "This is absolutely not a case of bribing or enticing young children to submit to HIV testing in any type of coordinated fashion."