Milton Hershey School reverses course on HIV-positive student

Students walk past "The Apotheosis of Youth," a mural by Eliseo Art Silva at the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pa., Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2007. The Milton Hershey School plans to enroll 500 new students next fall. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

August 6, 2012 12:06:02 PM PDT
A Pennsylvania school for low income and socially disadvantaged students says it will now treat HIV-positive applicants the same as all others and is offering admission to a previously rejected Philadelphia-area teen.

Milton Hershey School president Anthony Colistra issued a statement Monday that defended its previous decisions regarding the HIV-positive teenager, but says it adopted the new policy based on recent "guidance" from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The school also is developing training for its employees and students on HIV-related issues.

Colistra says he wrote to the teenager last month to apologize and offer him enrollment this fall. A message seeking comment from the young man's lawyer wasn't immediately returned.

The school is financed by a trust that holds the controlling interest in The Hershey Co., the candy-maker.