Metro Weekly

Exclusive private school admits showing conversion therapy video to gay student

Former student suing Milton Hershey School claims video was shown to try to change his sexuality

Milton Hershey Campus –
Photo: Milton Hershey School

“The school does not promote or endorse any program that could be remotely characterized as gay conversion therapy.”

Lisa Scullin, spokesperson for Pennsylvania-based Milton Hershey School, one of the world’s wealthiest private schools. Her statement comes after the school’s lawyers admitted in recently released court documents that a former student was shown an “ex-gay” conversion therapy video 

Adam Dobson, 21, is currently suing the school and alleges that he was shown the video in 2010 by his housemasters after they found he had downloaded gay porn to his computer. The video in question was Sy Rogers’ One of the Boys, which compares homosexuality to male prostitutes and adulterers, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

After he was shown the video, Dobson claims he was forced to endure prayer sessions and other efforts to change his sexuality. “We would pray together to have God help me from being gay,” he told his lawyers, adding that the housemasters said “terrible things…happened to other gay people.”

Milton Hershey said they can’t confirm if the student who was shown the video was Adam Dobson, but that it had been shown to at least one student. Previously, the school had called claims of the video’s use “outrageous.”

Conversion therapy has been widely debunked, with the ex-gay therapy movement subsiding in recent years. For a deeper dive into its history and the effects the “therapy” can have, check out our feature, The Decline and Fall of the Ex-Gay Movement.

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.