Suit against Hershey School to be heard in Phila.

Posted: June 02, 2012

Suit against Hershey School to be heard in Phila.

The trial over the Milton Hershey School’s decision to deny enrollment to a Delaware County boy with HIV will take place in Philadelphia, a federal judge ruled Friday.

The Hershey School, the nation’s wealthiest secondary school for impoverished children, sought to relocate the case to Harrisburg, saying it would be more convenient for witnesses and employees.

The 13-year-old boy, identified in court documents as Abraham Smith, claims discrimination in his suit, filed in late 2011 in federal court in Philadelphia. The boarding school with 1,850 students said in a statement on its website that his HIV-positive status "rose to the level of a direct threat to the health and safety of others" because of the potential of sexual contact.

Judge C. Darnell Jones 2d said the school "failed to carry its burden of proving that the interests of justice would be better served" in central Pennsylvania. The school is in Hershey. 8 — Bob Fernandez

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