Settlement Reached In HIV Discrimination Case Involving Delaware County Teen
By Tim Jimenez
HERSHEY, Pa. (CBS) – A settlement has been reached in a nearly year-long discrimination case between an HIV-positive Delaware County boy and the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
The 14-year-old boy, using the name Abraham Smith to protect his privacy, tried to enroll in the Milton Hershey boarding school.
But Ronda Goldfein, the executive director of the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, says there was a problem.
“They discontinued his application because he has HIV,” said Goldfein, who argued anti-discrimination laws protected those living with HIV. But she says the school argued Smith’s presence would be a threat to the health and safety of other students.
“Questions about whether people with HIV present a risk in casual settings…we thought that question had been put to rest,” Goldfein said.
Under the settlement, the school pays $700,000 to the boy and his mother. Also, $15,000 in penalties was imposed by the U.S Department of Justice.
And the school has since adopted anti-discrimination policy mentioning HIV and provides training on HIV issues for staff and students.
Smith decided against going to the school and is currently enrolled in a Delaware County High School.