Officials at the Milton Hershey School admit they recently rejected a potential student because the 13-year-old from the Philadelphia area is HIV positive.
"It was a very challenging decision to make," Milton Hershey Communications representative Connie McNamara said.
McNamara said it was a tough call and the decision was made was over "public safety concerns." She said the school could not handle a student with a "chronic communicable disease."
But the boy and his mother are suing the school for discrimination.
"We're still dealing with this level of fear and hysteria...all the medical literature is clear this boy presents no risk to anyone at the school," Attorney and Executive Director of AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania Ronda Goldfein said.
Goldfein represents the boy and his mother in the lawsuit.
"It's an incorrect reading to the law to think that a private school isn't bound by the same laws that we are all bound by," Goldfein said.
Milton Hershey officials are standing by the decision.