Milton Hershey School Will Allow Admission To Qualified Students With HIV
HERSHEY, Pa., Aug. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On August 6, Milton Hershey School President Dr. Anthony Colistra issued the following statement:
"Milton Hershey School will no longer refuse admission to otherwise qualified students who have HIV. As a result of this decision, on July 12 I extended to the young man referred to as Abraham Smith , and his mother, an offer to continue the enrollment process for fall classes.
"Our new process is already in effect. We are issuing a new Equal Opportunity Policy clearly stating that the School treats applicants with HIV no differently than any other applicants. We are also developing and providing mandatory training for staff and students on HIV issues and expanding our current training on Universal Precautions.
"Our mission is to help children in need. It's who we are as members of the Milton Hershey School community. And it's what we have been doing for more than 100 years. I am a graduate of Milton Hershey School. It is the place that nurtured me and raised me. I want Abraham Smith to have that experience, if he still so desires.
"Although we believed that our decisions regarding Abraham Smith 's application were appropriate, we acknowledge that the application of federal law to our unique residential setting was a novel and difficult issue. The U.S. Department of Justice recently advised us that it disagrees with how we evaluated the risks and applied the law. We have decided to accept this guidance.
"I am sure this has been a difficult situation for Abraham Smith and his family. I publically extend a heartfelt apology to him and to his family for the impact of our initial decision, as I did privately in my July 12 letter. We hope to welcome this young man to our School family in the near future.
"The Milton Hershey School staff are among the most loving and caring people anywhere. I have witnessed the great work they do providing not only an education but nurturing to our students. As they always do, our staff will enthusiastically welcome all students, and continue to transform their lives."
Contact: Connie McNamara , +1-717-520-2212, McNamaraC@mhs-pa.org
SOURCE Milton Hershey School
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