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HIV-positive boy eyes offer after Hershey School reverses rejection


A 9th-grader from the Philadelphia area was considering an admissions offer by a private boarding school after it announced a new policy to treat HIV-positive applicants the same as others, the Associated Press reports. A lawyer for the boy, whose pending lawsuit against the Milton Hershey School alleges violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, said Monday he was considering the offer. School president Anthony Colistra issued a statement that defended the school’s previous decisions regarding the HIV-positive teenager, using the same pseudonym for him as does his federal lawsuit, Abraham Smith. He said the admissions offer, and an apology, were issued to him last month.

“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,” Colistra said. “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.”

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