Yesterday (on the eve of World AIDS Day nonetheless), the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against the Milton Hershey School to denying the enrollment of an HIV-positive “honor roll” student.
The student, whose identity is not revealed but is referred to as “Abraham Smith” is a 13-year old boy seeking to enter the 8th grade at the Hershey School. According to the Hershey School, the case is different than the infamous Ryan White case because the Hershey school is, “a unique home-like environment, a pre-K -12 residential school where children live in homes with 10-12 other students on our campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” The school claims they, “had been in discussions with the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, which is representing this 13-year-old boy. Recognizing the complex legal issues, the School was preparing to ask the court to weigh in on this matter. Unfortunately, attorneys for the young man took the adversarial action of filing a lawsuit against the School.” They continue, saying, “we need to balance our desire to serve the needs of an individual child seeking admission with our obligation to protect the health and safety of all 1,850 children already in our care.” It is important to note the obvious here, that unless the school anticipates this kid having sexual contact with other students, there are no real health issues to be concerned about.
You know, if “timing is everything” isn’t the theme of the day, I don’t know what is. Let’s just say that we really hope this kid can attend the school he would like to attend, without discrimination, and without being singled out any more than he already has been.