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"Our main goal for all of our students is that they leave the School well-prepared to enter society as productive citizens." This is a statement on the web site of Milton Hershey School, a pre-K through Grade 12 institution in Pennsylvania. But according to some of the school's policies, tolerance and acceptance aren't qualities included in the curriculum.
Recently a 13-year-old boy was denied admission to the school because he has HIV. A statement from MHS says they understand the nature of HIV contraction, but then goes on to say the student would have posed a serious safety risk for the other children at the school.
Which one is it, MHS? One can't truly understand how HIV is contracted and at the same time promote the flawed idea that its existence poses serious threats to anyone else.
This young boy deserves an education just like everyone else. Tell MHS to stop the hate immediately.
Dear MHS president Dr. Anthony Colistra:
I was disappointed to learn of the intolerance taking place at your school. Recently a 13-year-old boy applied to MHS, hoping to gain access to education programs that have helped other disadvantaged youth. But when you found out he was HIV positive, you denied his admission.
The decision was supposedly based on safety concerns for other students. But if you knew anything about HIV, you'd know that there are very few ways to contract it or to give it to someone else.
I see this situation one of two ways: either you and your admissions staff aren't properly educated on how HIV is contracted, or you harbor an extreme bias against those who have the disease.
This young boy deserves an education just like everyone else. Are you willing to be just another entity in his live who denies him an important opportunity, simply based on a health condition?
I strongly urge you to revise your policies and educate your employees further on the nature of HIV/AIDS. As long as you continue this ignorance, you are doing your students and their education a great disservice.