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Lawsuit: Hershey school rejects HIV-positive boy
bostonherald.com ^ | 12/03/2011 | Associated Press

Posted on 12/03/2011 6:26:52 AM PST by massmike

A private boarding school connected with the Hershey chocolate company says it was trying to protect other students when it denied admission to a Philadelphia-area teenager because he is HIV-positive.

The AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit on behalf of the unidentified boy in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on Wednesday, claiming the Milton Hershey School for disadvantaged students violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

School officials acknowledged that the 13-year-old boy was denied admission because of his medical condition. They said they believed it was necessary to protect the health and safety of the 1,850 others enrolled in the residential institution, which serves children in pre-kindergarten to 12th grade and where students live in homes with 10 to 12 others.

Such restrictions are not limited to HIV, school spokeswoman Connie McNamara said Thursday.

(Excerpt) Read more at bostonherald.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: actup; ada; adaact; aids; govtintrusion; hiv; homosexualagenda

1 posted on 12/03/2011 6:27:01 AM PST by massmike
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To: massmike
"Congress amended the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2008 to reaffirm that HIV is a qualified disability entitled to accommodation by public and private schools, a lawyer at the New York City-based Center for HIV Law and Policy said."

That would be the Nancy Pelosi Congress.

HIV is a virus and AIDS is an infectious disease, not a disability, no matter what Congress might think. Congress can pass laws saying that "up" is "down" and "hot" is "cold" but that doesn't make it so.

2 posted on 12/03/2011 6:35:47 AM PST by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: massmike

It’s a private school. Private schools can make their own decisions about what students to select. IMHO.


3 posted on 12/03/2011 6:36:10 AM PST by momtothree
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To: massmike

I would have thought that by now everyone was educated enough about HIV to realize that this boy posed no threat. I could see this kind of paranoia in the 1980’s but it makes absolutely no sense in the 21st century.


4 posted on 12/03/2011 6:38:14 AM PST by Melas (u)
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To: momtothree

Since they are giving the eduation away for free... it’s actually more like a scholorship... and all scholorships discriminate.

Asian scholorships
Black scholorships
White KKK members scholorships
Red heads scholorships
you name it, there’s a scholorships for it, and they all discrimitate and have every right to do so.


5 posted on 12/03/2011 6:40:46 AM PST by TexasFreeper2009 (Newt Gingrich 2012!)
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To: Melas

Some OTHER reason, perhaps - not being stated?


6 posted on 12/03/2011 6:42:17 AM PST by cricket (/get the 'Occupier' out of our White House!/)
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To: Melas

Some OTHER reason, perhaps - not being stated?


7 posted on 12/03/2011 6:42:17 AM PST by cricket (/get the 'Occupier' out of our White House!/)
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To: Melas
What???!!?? There is indeed a threat. Incidental contact is not an issue, as it would be in most situations, but in a boarding school? Cuts and possible sexual contact could occur (yeah, it's a boarding school... it happens).

No one here is as dumb as you seem to think, believing that one can get HIV from toilet seats or hugging or other nonsense. But we also aren't dumb enough to think that there is no threat. Teenagers get in fights, blood spills, bloody knuckles come into contact with bloody noses. Sex does occur as well.

Since the ADA does prevent discrimination for HIV, they will lose the case even though it will end up destroying the place. Parents will rightly and intelligently pull their children out of it. The boarding school is in a NO WIN situation on this.
8 posted on 12/03/2011 6:47:06 AM PST by StolarStorm
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To: Melas
I would have thought that by now everyone was educated enough about HIV to realize that this boy posed no threat.

I was under the impression that someone who is HIV positive is essentially a walking skin-bag of slow-acting poison, with no known antidote.

9 posted on 12/03/2011 6:48:35 AM PST by tacticalogic
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To: Melas
I would have thought that by now everyone was educated enough about HIV to realize that this boy posed no threat.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

He is immune compromised. He is susceptible to many infectious diseases that other healthy people can and do get.TB is one of the most dangerous.

Also...He will be living communally. There is at least one case of a child contracting HIV by using the toothbrush of his HIV sibling.

10 posted on 12/03/2011 6:51:57 AM PST by wintertime (I am a Constitutional Restorationist!!! Yes!)
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To: StolarStorm
Parents will rightly and intelligently pull their children out of it.

I have no words with which to express my level of disagreement. We're so far apart in our thinking here that it's not even worth discussing.

11 posted on 12/03/2011 6:52:34 AM PST by Melas (u)
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To: Melas
We're so far apart in our thinking here that it's not even worth discussing.

Well, that was helpful. Not.

12 posted on 12/03/2011 6:56:39 AM PST by Lady Lucky
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To: Melas
I could easily see strong arguments on both sides of this issue, but let's be brutally honest here. The "AIDS industry" is reaping what they sowed themselves in cases like this. When you go out and spend decades spreading widespread alarm over a disease and clamoring for billions of dollars in government funding for prevention and research related to that deadly disease, you really can't blame people for taking measures to reduce their exposure to it.

It's also worth noting that this isn't an exclusive prep school where wealthy people send their children. It's a private boarding school for troubled families, which means it's as much a charity as it is an education establishment.

13 posted on 12/03/2011 6:57:48 AM PST by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: Melas
OK, you would risk your child getting into a bloody fist fight and risk getting a disease as horrific as HIV? Yes, no words can express my disagreement with your view either. There are other options for this kid, a full time boarding school is not a good one.

This is not a slam against the poor child that is afflicted, it is recognition that as parents it is our responsibility to remove unnecessary risk from harming our children. We make their wear seatbelts too, even though the risk of an accident isn't that great.

If you don't realize that there is indeed a valid risk of exposure then you have blinders on (cause my something personal no doubt).
14 posted on 12/03/2011 6:58:35 AM PST by StolarStorm
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To: tacticalogic; wintertime

My family has associated with a nurse who’s had HIV for 15 years now, and we’ve suffered no ill effects. Nor have her family members who live with her.

For one thing, with treatment, HIV no longer blossoms into AIDS with the same frequency it once did. There are many people who have been HIV positive for years now and still have functioning immune systems. It’s not the death sentence or the danger that it once was.

Being HIV positive in no way means that your immune system is compromised. It only means that you’re carrying a virus that in the 21st century, may compromise your immune system.

Even it does develop into AIDS. Those with AIDS do not present a greater risk to those around them unless body fluids are being exchanged. Those around them, present a risk to them.


15 posted on 12/03/2011 6:59:41 AM PST by Melas (u)
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To: StolarStorm

I’m certain that in your eyes I’m a horrible parent, but my youngest children, now young adults themselves, spent many a night, weekend, taken trips etc with a woman who happens to be HIV positive. I completely lack your sense of paranoia concerning the disease.


16 posted on 12/03/2011 7:02:19 AM PST by Melas (u)
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To: Melas

Uhh... teenagers expel a lot of body fluids. Especially the boys. Fights, bloody noses, other things... its is a full time boarding school not incidental contact with someone with HIV.


17 posted on 12/03/2011 7:02:58 AM PST by StolarStorm
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To: Melas
Big difference. She's not a teenage boy. The odds of her getting into a fist fight with your children was practically nil. Children also don't have the same sense of hygiene and safety that an adult would have.

It is insane to put a TEENAGE BOY, who is infected with anything deadly, in a dorm room with 10 other kids.
18 posted on 12/03/2011 7:09:20 AM PST by StolarStorm
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To: Melas
I understand that there are ways to mitigate the risk, but it is still there and not quite honest to say there there is none.

Unless you are one of the very few people who have been found to be immune, currently the best case scenario is a lifetime of expensive drug treatments to keep it under control if you would happen to become infected.

19 posted on 12/03/2011 7:12:46 AM PST by tacticalogic
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To: massmike

“In order to protect our children in this unique environment, we cannot accommodate the needs of students with chronic communicable diseases that pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others,” the school said in a statement Wednesday.

Such restrictions are not limited to HIV, school spokeswoman Connie McNamara said Thursday.

I agree. Let them make the decision.


20 posted on 12/03/2011 7:22:27 AM PST by linn37 (Newt supporter here.)
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To: massmike

The school can’t win. If they admit the child and another child turns up HIV positive, they get sued. If they don’t admit the child, they get sued. In our society we are no longer able to protect ourselves or our children.


21 posted on 12/03/2011 7:25:26 AM PST by La Lydia
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To: Melas
I would be curious as to how the boy became infected? Did he attend Sandusky’s charity program?
22 posted on 12/03/2011 7:32:07 AM PST by outofsalt ("If History teaches us anything it's that history rarely teaches us anything")
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To: massmike

No one is denying the child the right to an education, he’s supposedly an honors student already. Were this admission to a private high school, it would be one thing, but MHS is a boarding school, and the student would reasonably expect to spend the rest of high school living there. Kids get sick over the year, and while his condition may be handled effectively through medication now, can that be true through four years of cold and flu seasons? There’s an extra burden on his potential classmates and the staff who work there to accommodate him. Those decisions should be up to the school, not a judge or faceless government panel who don’t ever have to deal with the ramifications of their decisions.

The story also describes the child as an “athlete”, likely meaning that he’d want to play high school sports. At that point, every high school in MHS’s league would be forced into making decisions about either assuming the increased risk (however small) of keeping their scheduled games, or facing a lawsuit.


23 posted on 12/03/2011 7:35:48 AM PST by jz638
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To: Melas

The threat level partially depends on how imaginary the jokes of sexual harassment and horseplay in boarding schools are.


24 posted on 12/03/2011 7:55:11 AM PST by tbw2
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To: massmike

Boarding School? Wouldn’t this mean the school would have to assume complete responsibility for this ill child 24/7? Yes, ill child, as there is no cure for his infection and his immune system is compromised which could cause him to contract other illnesses. I would think an ill child should attend day school and live at home under parental supervision for the benefit of the child’s health.


25 posted on 12/03/2011 8:15:50 AM PST by This I Wonder32460
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To: Melas
Those around them, present a risk to them
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Exactly! That is why TB is such a concern. TB by the way can, and is, communicated to those all around.

As you pointed out the HIV person is more susceptible to many types of communicable diseases which can, and are, spread throughout the healthy population.

And, you state, “unless body fluids are being exchanged. “

In a population of children that requires serious adult supervision.

26 posted on 12/03/2011 8:19:37 AM PST by wintertime (I am a Constitutional Restorationist!!! Yes!)
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To: Melas
I recommend that you do a Google search on the words, “TB and HIV”. You are doing a great disservice spreading the myth that HIV with its associated communicable diseases is of no threat to the general population.

The following is directly from the CDC!

http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/hivtb.htm

“Worldwide, TB is the leading cause of death among persons with HIV infection.”

“TB is particularly dangerous for people with HIV infection. People who have both HIV infection and LTBI are 20 to 30 times as likely to develop active TB disease as those who do not have HIV infection. Worldwide, TB is the leading cause of death among persons with HIV infection and almost one in four deaths among people with HIV infection is due to TB.”

27 posted on 12/03/2011 8:31:31 AM PST by wintertime (I am a Constitutional Restorationist!!! Yes!)
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To: Melas

Home instruction


28 posted on 12/03/2011 9:01:43 AM PST by ardara
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To: Melas
I have no words with which to express my level of disagreement. We're so far apart in our thinking here that it's not even worth discussing.

****************************

I guess that the discussion is over, then.

29 posted on 12/03/2011 9:07:58 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: wintertime
As you pointed out the HIV person is more susceptible to many types of communicable diseases which can, and are, spread throughout the healthy population.

You're just wrong, plain wrong. Being HIV infected does not mean that a person is more susceptible to communicable diseases. It means that person MAY be more susceptible or MAY become more susceptible at a later date.

AIDS and being HIV positive are NOT, I repeat NOT the same thing. AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection, which we can put off for decades if not indefinitely with modern treatments.

Magic Johnson is a perfect example of this. He is infected with HIV, but 20 years later he is still not immuno compromised. His CD4T cell count is still normal, or was the last I knew.

It USED to be that HIV progressed from infection to symptomatic infection (formerly ARC) to AIDS. That is no longer necessarily the case. We've successfully held the disease in many patients at the latent infection stage for decades now, without progressing to symptomatic infection let alone AIDS. In many other cases we've arrested the progression at symptomatic infection, which while no picnic is not usually fatal without progressing to full blown AIDS. Too many on this thread are working with 20 year old information that no longer holds true.

All we know about this kid is that he's HIV positive. Given the current state of control-ability of the disease and his age, it is highly unlikely that his immune system is compromised. The days of kids like Ryan White dying in their teens are for the most part behind us.

30 posted on 12/03/2011 10:18:10 AM PST by Melas (u)
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To: ardara

And that’s a relevant comment to #16 how?


31 posted on 12/03/2011 10:19:24 AM PST by Melas (u)
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To: Melas

As an adult, having normal social contact with someone who is BIG positive would cause me no concern. Kids in a boarding school are a completely different subject.


32 posted on 12/03/2011 10:19:34 AM PST by trimom
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To: massmike

maybe they can give him his own room. Can the school still be held liable if someone else in infected? I think that is unfair.

he should be banned from sports. sorry that is unreasonable and rediculous.


33 posted on 12/03/2011 10:23:48 AM PST by snowstorm12
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To: Melas

The public school systems provide Home Instuction for all kinds of disabilities including those that might endanger other students. It is a very fine program.


34 posted on 12/03/2011 11:52:19 AM PST by ardara
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To: Melas

there are reasons not to have an HIV positive teenager in your boarding school, including sex between teens, risk of infection via blood or fluids (e.g. in sports), and the problem that if he has medical problems, the school doctor or nurse might not have the expertise to treat him.

If he is merely HIV positive, on retroviral therapy and has a low viral count, the school is wrong. (Most folks on retroviral therapy don’t have a lot of virus in their blood, so the chance of infecting others is low.)


35 posted on 12/03/2011 3:50:54 PM PST by LadyDoc
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To: Melas
The boy poses no threat only if staff or older boys are not raping the younger boys.

The implicit admission in the decision would prompt an aware parent to withdraw their children.

36 posted on 12/03/2011 5:18:15 PM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: massmike
The elephant-in-the-room question is how did a 13-year-old BOY contract HIV? But it won't be asked, courtesy of a PC national media.
37 posted on 12/03/2011 6:47:28 PM PST by fwdude
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To: All; MrEdd
He's 13. Risk of sexual activity, physical altercations, accidental exposure is far greater than in a typical school setting since this is a boarding institution. The school is right to be very cautious and clearly intended to seek a judge's opinion on the matter.

In NY, an HIV+ female won a settlement with a boarding school but that was under NY state law, not the ADA. It's unclear of PA has such law since the focus here is on an ADA violation.

This isn't like adults on a college campus given the age of the student.

No amount of "education" is going to prevent accidents. That's a canard by activists who wish to pretend there's no risk. No "education" program will provide lawsuit protection if something did happen, the activists will always find fault.

If boarding schools must take HIV+ students, the law that so demands should also indemnify the schools from being sued into oblivion by the parents of other students so long as reasonable measures are taken to minimize risks and educate. Unfortunately, a jury could still be convinced the school is even 1% at fault and that would be little different from 100% at fault.

The child himself could be put at greater risk by being in a communal living situation with mono or tb or meningitis.

I wish the school well. I don't see why HIV+ is considered a disability. The HIV+ persons I've known were able bodied and living "normal" lives.

My whole problem is that the school is put in a "no win" situation by activists -- they are required to take on a risk and have no safe harbor from liability no matter what course they take.

38 posted on 12/06/2011 1:02:11 PM PST by newzjunkey (Republicans will find a way to reelect Obama and Speaker Pelosi.)
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To: newzjunkey

IOW this HIV+ risk has to be allowed because of policy not science. Children must DIE to satisfy the pc lobby.


39 posted on 12/06/2011 1:14:40 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Melas

suuuuure, and that is why the criminal codes were updated to include an HIV positive person spitting on another is attempted murder.

This infected person in this school is the death sentence to this private school.


40 posted on 12/06/2011 1:18:27 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Melas

even with modern treatments it is still a question of “when” not “if”. any treatments that suggested permanent “cure” are still experimental.


41 posted on 12/06/2011 1:55:22 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: trimom

these are emotional problem kids implying from the article.


42 posted on 12/06/2011 1:57:24 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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