December 2nd, 2011
06:55 PM ET

Poll: School rejects HIV positive student

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Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Bob Baggett

    I just have to wonder what political and religious affiliation those making this insidious decision come from?

    December 2, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
  2. marty

    I think Mr. Cooper has missed the point. Kudos to the school for bringing the question to the public. By saying "no" to the HIV student, they have assured that the matter will go to court. They have it made it clear they are glad to have the court hear the issue. If they allow the student in after a court order they protect themselves against lawsuits by other students' guardians and clarify the law for schools that may secretly discriminate.

    December 2, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
  3. rod osborne

    How did the young man contract HIV in the first place?

    December 2, 2011 at 10:17 pm |
  4. George

    It really sucks, but everyone who has a STD is a risk to other people when having sex. It's one of those unpleasant, probably unfair truths that nonetheless remains true no matter how much we complain.

    December 2, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  5. Susan Guffin

    I ask this with all the sympathy I can muster, and with no rancor: is the Hershey School requiring tests on all applicants to screen for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases? If I had to choose, I would rather my daughter have unprotected sex with a young man who is being treated for HIV, and is therefor highly unlikely, to infect her than a young man who has the virus and is undiagnosed and therefor untreated.

    December 2, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
  6. Judith Gomez

    Hello Anderson,

    This is an outrageous act of bullying by adults with serious emotional ramifications that is likely to induce bullying by friends in the future. The law is clear and in effect. Her justifying it by looking forward to a court's involvement is redundant and sensationalizing. The President should send the young man in with the National Guard tomorrow! She is also very likely breaking Hippa Laws by discussing this case publicly. Outraged in NY

    December 2, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
  7. Brittany

    Listen, people don't understand the dynamic of this school. This school is basically an orphanage that houses 12-15 children in houses with " house parents". These children live and share as If they are siblings. Interaction,physical contact, sports, fights, sexual behavior is inevitable in this kind of environment The school is legally not allowed to tell the other children/teachers/ house parents of this young mans condition. Unless the boy decided to tell people on his own. It is far to risky for the school who is basically raising 2000 children. If by chance, just by chance, some other child would be infected. The responsibility would be on the shoulders of the school. And people would be outraged that they were not informed or pre warned. I'm sorry for this young boy, but this school is not like normal schools. Milton Hershey has to protect there children.

    December 2, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
  8. Twighla Russell

    If that school is ignorant about HIV, what else are they ignorant about?

    December 2, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
  9. RodT

    Hershy not allowing the child due to money needed to combat the HIV and keep him healthy?

    December 2, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
  10. Michele Stanton

    I am stunned that the Milton Hershey School has denied ADA protection to a child with HIV. Have they learned nothing from Ryan White? As a healthcare provider, they clearly do not have the facts, and they clearly ignorant of recent studies pertaining to HIV. Milton Hershey would be rolling in his grave if he knew this was happening!

    December 2, 2011 at 8:33 pm |
  11. Bill Vermette

    Hi Anderson,

    Maybe that unique school of 2000 students that the administration is trying to keep safe from the HIV virus is more sexually active than other schools and therefore justifies their concern?? Is that what she is implying?

    December 2, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
  12. michelle

    what about the risk to women that hpv has on cervical cancer. these are factors that are intrinsic to human sexuality period, and yet would you hold people accountable to that, No? how do they know if one of their 2000 students doesn't have an undisclosed or not yet diagnosed std. this boy appears to be aware of his illness and controlling it (and its sexual transmitable risks) via active pharmacalogical intervention. the argument may be "how would i feel if my daughter dated him?" as a mother and a woman, i know the risks women take being sexually active and i am accoutable to educate my daughter and have the same worry for her safety with or without knowing this boy's history. The laundry list to keeping children safe as they enter a sexually active world is ongoing and HIV is only a small part of that.

    December 2, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  13. Jim Jones

    To be consistent, the school should also require all 2000 students to be tested for AIDS. My goodness, seems the least they could do to meet the responsibility they have to protect those 2000 children is test all 2000 to make sure there are no covert aids cases in their midst that need to be kicked out of school

    December 2, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
    • Judith Gomez

      Excellent post ! but of course, after they let him back in and test and treat all the kids for all STD's. HIV being treated is less infectious than pink-eye or lice, too! (I'm so mad)

      December 2, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • sean

      Every student has a Health examination, I.Q. test, and personal interview BEFORE admission to the school. MHS does not admit special needs children.

      December 4, 2011 at 10:34 am |
  14. Stacey

    If this school is going to deny admission to a child because he/she is HIV positive, I'm curious if this school has plans to deny admission to boys and girls with HPV, a much more prevalent sexually transmitted disease that is carried by males and females and is the primary cause of cervical cancer.

    December 2, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  15. Kathy DeCristofaro

    Ignorance is alive and well at this boarding school regarding HIV.

    December 2, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  16. Asher

    Hey Anderson. Im 18 1/2 years old. I graduated in a class of 900 student who may or may not have had HIV/AIDs and did or did not know it. So my question for that school is for a school of 2000 students... who do they know which kid has HIV/AIDs?! This was suppose to be a private matter for that students life. Briinging it up especially on national news is unforgivable and morely stupid. They had no right to know anything about that kids life except his SCHOOOL RECORDS!!!!!!!!!!~

    December 2, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
    • Brad - MHS '96

      Asher, I understand what you're saying, but in this case you couldn't be further from the truth. This school provides not only an education to these students, but also food, housing, medical and dental care. With this in mind, the school absolutely has not only a right, but is required, to know everything about these students. This is a publically funded school for a very specific demographic of kids that go to the school at absolutely no cost to the student/parents. This prospective student did not meet the requirements of the schools Deed of Trust.

      December 2, 2011 at 9:34 pm |
      • Brad - MHS '96

        My apologies....PRIVATELY funded school, not publically.

        December 2, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
    • Joshua Marshall

      hey Asher, i believe that the students mom, himself and their lawyers wanted this public. Really 18 1/2? "even a fool is considered wise when he keeps his mouth shut."

      December 3, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  17. Dan

    If there is no threat of HIV spreading from one victim to another, why are there 50,000 new cases every year in the US and 1.2 million HIV positive people in the US now. There are reasons other than sex that an HIV teenager can spread HIV. It is not unusual for kids to get cuts and scrapes that leave blood on other kids. Why are you only concentrating on sex, although that is a considerable risk on its own. I know people with HIV and have a pretty good idea where they got it ... either through sex with someone who had HIV or through blood born infection.

    I don't mean to defend this school, but it isn't that difficult to understand their caution where 2000 kids virtually live together.

    December 2, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • Shane

      It is near impossible to get HIV through a cut or a scrape. Blood born transmission is very difficult as the virus does not live in open air. Even sharing syringes and needles has low degree of HIV transmission due to the virus not living in open air.
      It is proven that most transmission is by people who are unaware of their condition.

      December 2, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • kitty

      Dan, there are cases every year because people engage in A LOT of casual unprotected sex and sometimes with people who are not taking drugs that keep their viral load to often a non-detectible amount, then there are also drug addicts out there who still share needles. Little cuts and scrapes wouldn't transmit the virus – when you cut yourself your own blood flows out not in. If little cuts and scrapes transmitted the virus we'd all have it by now. Think about – 50,000 cases each year out of how many sex acts in the US and how many millions of people with HIV? The question about cuts and scrapes is beyond ignorant - this is the type of question most of us would've asked in the 80s, but now most of us know better.

      HIV is transmittable, but it's not nearly as easy to transmit that you think. The school makes assumption that the child will have sex, that he'll have unprotected sex and that he'll transmit the virus.

      Lewis – maybe you should teach your kid not to have unprotected sex? How many kids there may be in that school who have HIV and who didn't disclose it? How about other diseases which are more easily transmittable than AIDS?

      December 3, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  18. Mark

    Your view is too narrow. It is quite obvious the Hershey School is protecting their future. The school knows if they allow the student without this process, they could open the door to law suits that could shut them down if some other child did get infected ... however, if the court mandates the acceptance of the HIV positive student, the school is covered ... it isn't their decision ... it is court-ordred!

    December 2, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
  19. George Alter

    In my opinion these people are covering their butts. They are concerned about a lawsuit resulting from the miniscule possibility that something does happen. When the Court rules against them, they'll be able to say "See, they made us do it."

    December 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
  20. Lewis Walker

    You answered your own question. You quoted a statement "in almost every case..." THERE is your answer. ...almost...That does not mean always. Would chance your child getting AIDS in a situation where the degree of safety is "almost" insured. Not me.

    December 2, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
    • Shane

      Dear Lewis, you use the word "almost" in this context that you would not risk your child in this situation. Do you understand that you are implying you would not allow your child to cross a road or ride in a bus, because of the risk of them being in an accident. Please think about what you are saying here and what ignorance of HIV you have.
      This school is assuming that there is a reasonable chance of this child having unprotected sex with another student and that student being infected by him. There is more risk of another satudent being run over crossing the road outside the school than this happening. Should they ban all motorised transport?

      December 2, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
  21. Brandie Robbins

    A student with HIV poses a health risk because the school is acting under the presumption that the child will have sex with other students and can potentially spread the disease. Under the same logic, should students be kept out of school because they could potentially cause harm to other students by assaulting them? Everyone has the potential to cause harm to others...

    December 2, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
  22. Liz

    Keep in mind that The Hershey School holds controlling interest IN THE HERSHEY SCHOOL. So what is the ramification and blow-back on the brand???

    December 2, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
  23. Tim Gibson

    I do not feel it would pose a hazard to the other students aside from expose via blood though a cut etc. But as a boarding school would this not then require extra attention by the staff to assure the student takes his or her medications. I am divided on this even as a person who is living with HIV/AIDS myself.

    December 2, 2011 at 7:30 pm |

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