Milton Hershey school – one of the country’s richest and most prestigious schools, has been involved in a scandal. Former student Adam Dobson alleges that house parents at the school forced him to watch anti-gay videos as a punishment after the IT department detected that Dobson had downloaded gay porn. This is all said to have happened in 2010, but is surfacing now due to a suit filed by Dobson. At first the school vehemently denied the charges and now they say they are unsure whether it happened. The school’s reaction to this incident makes you wonder how they would have reacted if he had been caught downloading straight porn.
In this shocking story, Dobson is said to have been sent to a number of ‘pray away the gay sessions’ following the discovery. The video which he says he was forced to watch with his house parents at the school featured Sy Rogers, formerly of the ex-gay movement. Rogers is now a Christian Pastor who was gay and then was converted to being straight and he now tries to encourage others to do the same. He had even begun to have a sex change before he found religion and converted, now he is married to a woman and identifies as a transsexual.
It has also been alleged that Dobson’s house parents tried to convince him of the terrible things that happen to gay people in an attempt to dissuade him from being gay.
This is a disgrace. In this day and age, to be telling vulnerable teenagers who need support that if they embrace and accept who they are, they will have a terrible life – this is the opposite of kindness. How disgraceful. Dobson says he was suffering depression and even attempted suicide in 2013 and says as a result, he was expelled from the school. Dobson is now suing the school in Pennsylvania, which has over 2000 students. The sad thing is that these attitudes, involving a belief that you can change somebody’s sexual orientation, still exist. There are instances of homosexuality in the animal kingdom and gay marriage has been legalized in the United States.
It is disappointing that ‘house parents’ at one of the most privileged schools in the country would continue to marginalize people in this way. There will be many students from Milton Hershey, who go on to be lawyers in the real world, and we can only hope that these attitudes do not go along with them.
Watch Sy Rogers speak to an audience:
Featured image from Philly.com, Ed Hille, Staff Photographer.