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Hershey-funded school performs U-turn on HIV pupil admission

13-Aug-2012
Last updated on 13-Aug-2012 at 13:39 GMT

Protests against the Hershey chocolate company led by the Aids Healthcare Foundation over Easter
Protests against the Hershey chocolate company led by the Aids Healthcare Foundation over Easter

A school funded by the Hershey Company has backtracked on its decision to refuse admission to a 13-year-old boy over his HIV-positive status.

The Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania previously refused to admit HIV-positive schoolboy Abraham Smith because he was deemed a risk to other students.

The Hershey chocolate company faced a boycott of its products led by the charity Aids Healthcare Foundation in April as it was seen to advocate the school’s actions as its main funder. The Hershey Company distanced itself from the issue.

Milton Hershey School president Anthony Colistra last week issued an apology.

"Milton Hershey School will no longer refuse admission to otherwise qualified students who have HIV.”

“I publicly extend a heartfelt apology to him [Abraham Smith] and to his family for the impact of our initial decision.”

Lawyers on behalf of the boy initiated legal proceedings against the school prior to the Colistra’s statement. The lawsuit is still on-going in the spite of the apology.

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