The Huffington Post
February 7, 2012
By, Mia Farrow
Pennsylvania boarding school won’t admit 13-year-old HIV+ honors student, saying he’s a threat.
Abraham Smith (not his real name) is a 13-year-old honors student who dreams of going to college. Abraham also has HIV, but he never supposed that would prevent him from attending the Milton Hershey School, a well-heeled boarding school in Pennsylvania.
Founded in 1909 by the chocolate magnate Milton S. Hershey, the school with its $8 billion asset cushion, has refused to admit Abraham. On its website the school states that the boy would pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others, and as a private school it can establish its own eligibility criteria.
In fact, HIV discrimination is illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania has filed suit against the school, alleging that it has broken the law by refusing to admit Abraham because he has HIV. For more than 23 years, this non-profit has been protecting the rights of people with HIV/AIDS.
“I thought I would get into the school, because of the type of student and person I am,” Young Abraham told ABC News through an attorney. But as a result of the school’s decision; “my life has turned into fear, anger, confusion and tears.”