Milton S. Hershey School Sued by HIV Teen's Parents
The Milton S. Hershey School, a private boarding school connected with the popular chocolate company, is being sued by the parents of an HIV-infected teenager who was denied admission to the school. According to the Associated Press, the Milton Hershey School has said it was only trying to protect other students when it rejected the Philadelphia-area teen on health grounds.
The 13-year-old boy’s parents are being assisted by the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, a group advocating equal treatment of HIV-infected people. The lawsuit is claiming that the private school violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by rejecting their son as a disadvantaged student.
“This young man is a motivated, intelligent kid who poses no health risk to other students but is being denied an educational opportunity because of ignorance and fear about HIV and AIDS,” said attorney Ronda Goldfein.
The Milton Hershey School, which services economically disadvantaged students in the Derry township area, said they were only trying to protect the 1,850 students already in attendance at the school.
“In order to protect our children in this unique environment, we cannot accommodate the needs of students with chronic communicable diseases that pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others,” the school said in a statement. “The reason is simple. We are serving children, and no child can be assumed to always make responsible decisions which protect the well-being of others.”