Tag Archive for Milton Hershey School

Americans with Disabilities Act


The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is responsible for enforcing Federal laws and ensuring fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans. DOJ’s Civil Rights Division works to eradicate discrimination against people with disabilities, including those living with HIV or AIDS, by enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA prohibits discrimination by employers based on disability, and requires state and local governments and public accommodations, like doctors’ offices, medical clinics, hospitals, and other health care providers, to provide people with HIV equal access to goods, services, facilities, privileges, accommodations, and advantages.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) protect individuals with HIV or AIDS from discrimination on the basis of their disability. Section 504 prohibits discrimination by health care and human service agencies that receive federal funds. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination by state and local government entities even if they do not receive federal financial assistance. Title II requires that state and local governments provide individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in a service or receive a benefit from the entities’ activities, programs or services. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ensures that health care and human service agencies comply with these laws. OCR also enforces the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, a set of federal standards to protect the privacy and security of patients’ medical records and other health information maintained by covered entities: health plans; most doctors, hospitals and many other health care providers; and health care clearinghouses. HIPAA also provides patients with important rights such as access to their medical records and significant controls over how their personal health information is used and disclosed. OCR’s website includes helpful information for those who want to learn more about their rights under Section 504, the ADA and HIPAA: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/resources/specialtopics/hiv] For more information about the ADA, you may call DOJ’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TDD), or access the ADA Website at www.ada.gov.
If you feel you have been discriminated against or just need more information, please check out the Government website. In a recent development. In September, DOJ and the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania reached a settlement with the Milton Hershey School of Hershey, Pa., to remedy alleged violations of the ADA. The agreement resolved allegations that the school violated the ADA by refusing to consider a child for enrollment due to the fact that he has HIV. Under the settlement agreement, the school is required to pay $700,000 to the child and his mother, adopt and enforce a policy prohibiting discrimination and requiring equal opportunity for students with disabilities, including those with HIV, in the school’s programs and services, and to provide training to staff and administrators on the requirements of the ADA.  The school must also pay a $15,000 civil penalty to the United States.


Tom Thayer

info: http://blog.aids.gov/2012/11/justice-department-fighting-discrimination-against-people-living-with-hiv.html

Settlement in Hershey School HIV Discrimination Case

milton hershey school

A victory to show the nation that you cannot discriminate against HIV/AIDS. This has been an ongoing story I’ve been watching. Justice Department and the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania have reached a $700,000 settlement with a school that refused to admit a student with HIV.

The Milton Hershey School of Hershey, Pa., allegedly refused to consider admitting the child, identified by the pseudonym Abraham Smith, because he carries the human immunodeficiency virus, the department said Wednesday,

In a statement, the department said under the settlement agreement the private K-12 school “is required to pay $700,000 to Smith and his mother, adopt and enforce a policy prohibiting discrimination and [require] equal opportunity for students with disabilities, including those with HIV, in the school’s programs and services, and to provide training to staff and administrators on the requirements of the [Americans with Disabilities Act].”

“This is a very significant case, affirming the rights of persons with HIV, and we applaud the school for working so cooperatively to amend its position on this matter,” said Zane David Memeger, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The ADA requires public accommodations, including private schools such as the Milton Hershey School, to provide individuals with disabilities, including people with HIV, equal access to goods, services, privileges, accommodations, facilities, advantages and accommodations, the department said. Bammm! Nuff said.. Thank you very much.. Take that Hershey! boy yahhh!

Tom Thayer

info: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/09/12/700K-settlement-reached-for-HIV-student/UPI-61801347481336/#ixzz26SyyCbou

No Chocolate Kisses for Hershey

milton hershey school

The protest against Hershey Milton HIV discrimination case is still raging in Pennsylvania. With Easter Holiday past us know the calls for protests continue around the country against the chocolate giant.  Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation staged protests in San Francisco, New York City and Hershey, where company headquarters and the school are based.

“We are asking the public to send a clear message to Hershey that there are ‘No Kisses for Hershey’ as Hershey continues its path of discrimination and ignorance,” Michael Weinstein, the foundation president, said in a news release.

The school continues to stand firm on its decison to not let the young HIV+ student into the private school due to ‘possibly’ exposing other students to HIV.  The world knows that you can’t get HIV just from hanging around someone. There are only 4 bodily fluids that past HIV; blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk. 

In a statement on its website, the school recognized that HIV is not transmitted through casual contact, but said the risk of sexual contact is a significant concern. “We systematically encourage abstinence, and we educate our children on sexual health issues,” the statement says. But “our teenagers are the same as teens all across the country. Despite our best efforts, some of our students will engage in sexual activity with one another. Given our residential setting, when they do, they will be doing so on our watch.”

I’ll continue to watch this story and bring you updates since its importance against discrimination towards HIV+ individuals which is a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Tom Thayer

info: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/industries/aids-activists-step-up-call-for-hershey-boycott-over-schools-rejection-of-hiv-positive-boy/2012/04/06/gIQAUKd9zS_story.html