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Mom Takes On Scouts Over HIV

Should a child with HIV be kept out of the Girl Scouts? One mother whose HIV-positive daughter was rejected from several troops says, "No."

Dianne Donovan has filed a formal complaint against the national Girl Scout organization, because she does not want any other HIV-positive children to endure the same discrimination her daughter, 9-year-old Quashawn, has faced.

All the media attention finally got Quashawn accepted by one troop. The Girl Scouts have not publicly commented on her complaint. But, in a written statement, the organizations says:

"Girl Scouts of the USA is committed to being available to every girl everywhere. We have a policy of not discriminating on the basis of disability or illness, and this includes AIDS."

Quashawn got interested in Girl Scouts when her brother, who is also HIV-positive, became a Cub Scout. Last November, Dianne Donovan contacted several Girl Scout troops, but as soon as they learned of Quashawn's condition, they refused to accept her.

"They were all excited about taking her, until I disclosed her HIV status," Donovan told CBS This Morning Co-Anchor Mark McEwen.

Eventually, media attention changed that situation. Another troop agreed to take her in December. Quashawn is enjoying the Girl Scouts, but her mother is still angry.

"They have this policy that they don't discriminate, but there is no accountability along the way," she says.

Donovan says that she hopes her complaint will force the national Girl Scouts to educate troop leaders on HIV and the group's policies. Otherwise, she fears the discrimination will continue.

"It's been a battle all the way, trying to get them to provide education appropriately, so that we don't face this again next year when she moves up to juniors," she adds.