Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  
  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

U.S. News

AIDS Project of Pennsylvania's Suit Charges Boarding School Violated HIV-Positive Child's ADA Rights

December 14, 2011

AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania (ALPP) is suing the Milton Hershey High School (MHHS) for low-income and socially disadvantaged students for allegedly violating the American Disabilities Act (ADA) by denying admission to an HIV-positive boy due to his medical condition. The suit was filed on behalf of the unidentified youth, referred to as "Abraham Smith," in US District Court in Philadelphia on Nov. 30.

Officials at the private boarding school in Hershey, which is affiliated with the Hershey chocolate company, acknowledge that the 13-year-old student was denied admission. MHHS said it is acting "to protect the students already in our care" in what it called "a unique environment." Students at the school live in groups of 10 to 12 and are supervised by married "house parents."

Since MHHS is forbidden by law from disclosing the student's HIV status, "We concluded that the risk was significant and rose to the level of a direct threat to the health and safety of others," said its statement. "Our teenagers are the same as teens all across the country. Despite our best efforts, some of our students will engage in sexual activity with one another."

Ronda B. Goldfein, the ALPP lawyer presenting the case, said her client, who takes HIV medication daily, meets the school's basic admission criteria. MHHS is violating the ADA, which prohibits discrimination of the disabled in "any place of public accommodation," the suit says.

"This decision was not made based on bias or ignorance," said MHHS. "We understand that the risks presented by an HIV-positive individual who is on medication are low."

"We believe we did the right thing in the instance of Abraham Smith," the school said. "Unlike public schools, the Milton Hershey School is not required to accept every student. We can lawfully exclude students who do not meet our eligibility criteria."

Back to other news for December 2011

Adapted from:
Bellingham Herald
12.07.2011; Anthony R. Wood, Philadelphia Inquirer


  
  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
See Also
More on HIV/AIDS-Related Discrimination Cases
Advertisement:
Find out how a Walgreens specially trained pharmacist can help you

No comments have been made.
 

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read TheBody.com's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:


Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:

Tools
 

Advertisement