Hershey school issues apology, acceptance to HIV student

The president of the Milton Hershey School has apologized to an HIV-positive teen who was barred from attending the boarding school.

“We hope to welcome this young man to our school family in the near future,” said school president Anthony Colistra.

Lawyer Ronda Goldfein is with the AIDS Law Project, which sued the school on the 14-year-old’s behalf last year. She says the announcement sends the right message to young people but that she’s not ready to drop the suit.

“The school, like any other entity, doesn’t get to ignore the law until they got caught and then say, ‘OK, now we’ll do better,'” she said.

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The lawyer says her client is considering his options for the fall. He now attends public school in Delaware County.

“They told the world he was a direct threat to 1,800 people,” Goldfein said. “So now, the school has seen the error of their ways a year later, and this 14-year-old boy has to decide whether he can put this behind him.”

The boarding school also announced a comprehensive policy change. It will admit qualified HIV-positive students in the future and provide HIV education to staff.

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