The Milton Hershey School in Hershey,
Pennsylvania has apologized for barring an HIV-positive teen entry.
Last year, the private boarding school
denied entry to a student, identified as “Abraham Smith,” because
he is HIV-positive.
School president Anthony Colistra
announced this week that Smith, not his real name, was welcome at the
school and apologized to Smith and his family “for the impact of
our initial decision.”
“We are issuing a new equal
opportunity policy clearly stating that the school treats applicants
with HIV no differently than any other applicants,” Colistra said
in a statement. “We are also developing and providing mandatory
training for staff and students on HIV issues and expanding our
current training on universal precautions.”
Colistra told ABC
News that Smith, who is suing the school for violating the
Americans with Disabilities Act, has been offered a place in the fall
at the school.
Despite the offer, Smith's lawyers said
the lawsuit “is not settled.”
The school claimed last year that it
denied Smith entry because his HIV status represented a “direct
threat” to other students.
The Milton Hershey School was
originally conceived as a school for orphan boys by its founders,
chocolate magnate Milton S. Hershey and his wife, Catherine.