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Should deaf student be allowed to take his dog to school?

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  • Should deaf student be allowed to take his dog to school?

    I was just watching the news and saw a story out of Ipsich (sp) New York about a High School kid that is fighting to be allowed to take his assistance dog to school. Personally, I don't see why this is an issue. Assistance animals are allowed by law everywhere else, I can't imagine why he shouldn't be allowed at school.

    The schools argument is that the dog will be a distraction to the other students. Please, these are high school students, not elementary school kids. I think it would be a good learning experience for all the students and would help to strengthen the bond and working relationship between the deaf child and his working dog.

    When I was in the 9th grade there was a blind student who came part time (was tutored the other days) and he usually brought his dog. I don't remember it ever being a problem. Sure, in the beginning it was a curiosity but we became used to it w/out to much loss of our valuable education...lol.. In fact, Paul gave a demonstration w/his dog at one of the pep rally's.

    I can also tell you that this dog was instrumental in helping develop friendships. Kids (and adults) don't always know how to approach or treat someone w/a disability. Put a dog next to that person and that is a common ground that can help to get over social awkwardness. Anyway, that is just my opinion, what are y'alls thoughts?
    SheilaB from SC

  • #2
    No question... The Americans with Disabilities Act is on this student's side. The school canNOT refuse to allow the dog unless the dog's behavior causes problems; meaning if the dog acts aggressively or out of control. There are NO other circumstances in which an assistance animal can be denied access in any public place.

    Assistance Dogs International should have the information needed to support this student. The fines for refusing admittance of an assistance animal are very high--thousands of dollars.

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    • #3
      Paws up! There should be no question about it. I also think the other kids would become adjusted to having an animal in the classroom and could use a little education about assistance dogs.

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      • #4
        The latest reason for banning animals in school is allergies. I can remember when my kids were in elementary school, we used to bring in kittens all the time (we were fostering pregnant stray cats through a local agency), we considered a trip to the classroom to be part of the kittens socialization. The kids would learn about how to care for a new pet as part of the visit. Today, you can't even have a class hamster.

        My opinion? The dog belongs with the student...at school, in church, at the mall etc., they are a team.

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        • #5
          I see both sides of the story. On one hand, I don't think the school has a right to turn the dog down, but on the other hand I don't see that it is nessesary for the kid to bring the dog to school.

          Its different from a seeing eye dog, what's a hearing ear dog going to do? The only thing I can think of is alerting him to a fire alarm, but many (if not all) schools have alarms with flashing lights installed. They might argue that it's for his safety while walking to/from school in case a car is honking or something.

          My brother is deaf, and he made it through school fine without a dog. He had lots of friends, both hearing and deaf.

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          • #6
            I can't see how it would be legal to NOT allow this boy to bring his dog. Did anyone see the cesar milan/dog whisperer episode where he helped a woman with anxiety issues? she used her dog as a service dog b/c he relieved her anxiety. she was allowed to bring him everywhere with her once he was certified. ironically, by working with cesar and becoming more confident she seemed to have lost a lot of her anxiety!

            -sheila

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            • #7
              I agree. Without that dog, some of the kids might shy away from a person with a disability in fear or not knowing how to approach them. That is a great common ground and the school should be penalized for trying to stop it.
              If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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              • #8
                I agree with Maggie if the student was blind by all means. He's not though, and I see no reason for him to have an aid dog. This student is surrounded by other students who can clue him in on emergency situations. My boyfriend's sister is deaf and she went through schooling and now the real world with out one. They've come up with a lot of inventions to make the life of a deaf person safer and easier such as lights that blink on fire alarms, when the phone rings in order to answer it with there TTY, and lights for when someone's at the door.

                A lot of people are saying it would be great for socialization. Well that's not reason enough. My son is high functioning autistic and has awful social skills and practically no friends. He would be a hit if I let him bring in his latest robot but I can't. This student will find a true friend that's willing to learn sign. Not just a passing hi to pet his dog.

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                • #9
                  Security?

                  I saw an interview once with a deaf woman who had never had a dog, and she finally got one. She said it was a huge relief because she knew that someone was always watching her back.I think this is an issue with security. This boy has a right to go to school feeling secure. His friends at school and flashing lights cant do what his dog can do.

                  Sio

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                  • #10
                    It's not about if we or anyone else thinks he needs the dog. It's about if HE thinks he needs the dog. And it's about what is required, by law. And I think the laws are on his side.

                    Assistance dogs of any kind fall into the same catagory as Seeing Eye dogs. There are plenty of blind individuals who do not use Seeing Eye dogs, have never used a dog, and have no desire to use a dog. And they function just fine. Yet no one would think of denying someone access to a business or school based on that arguement. Why should any other type of assistance dog be viewed any differently?

                    If the kid thinks he needs the dog, he needs the dog. The dog may be trained to alert him if he knocks a book off, drops his keys, if there's someone running up behind him, or any number of things that he can't hear but needs to be aware of. Certainly the dog is giving him confidence he might otherwise struggle with. And short of some other student having a deathly allergy to dogs, or the dog being ill mannered (which is doubtful) there's no reason to deny him.

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                    • #11
                      THe dog is entitled to full access. Any service animal is and to deny them access is asking for trouble. Unless the dog is disruptive he is entitled to stay the law says nothing about curious kids. There is no requirement for certification of service animals. If the need is there and is served they are service animals this includes psychiatric assistance animals.

                      The law eays if an animal is identified as a service animal you cannot ask for what disability it serves. Most people will use some type of ID whether it is a vest or tag but it is not required.

                      The school better just give up as they need to learn the law a little better. Anyone who has a service naimal will say they need it and as long as it serves the need there can be no prejudices held against it.

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                      • #12
                        I myself am hearing impaired. I can tell you if my dog were a hearing dog I would have pulled over for the firetruck behind me that I didn't hear..alot of other daily things that occur that most people take for granted because you can hear. This child has a disability and its his right to have the dog for assistance no matter who likes or dislikes it. He might not hear the classroom bell, the fire alarm...kids are not nice in general to anyone that is "different" to think that other kids would learn sign to communicate is a bit far fetched. one might if hes lucky. you just don't know whats it like to not hear unless you've been there. I say the dog stays.. imo

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                        • #13
                          I'm sorry but I disagree, what kids think they need or what the actually need are usually extremely different. My son thinks he needs the latest toy but does he....no. I think anyone would love to have a dog by there side for comfort maybe company. I agree with the school though which almost never happens. It would just cause a distraction for a while and I can't see the point.

                          As a tool for security I disagree with that also. My son is constantly bullied and made fun of, which I practically live in that school because of. I would think it's a great idea to send him in with a dog, preferably a pitbull lol. I'd feel safer, and I bet he would also. It's not necessary, sometimes I think it is, but it's not. My sons considered multiply handicapped so I could fight for it but I don't see the point.

                          As for the other children learning sign. I didn't mean all of them would, I meant eventually he would meet someone with substance that would actually care to learn it, care about him and want to be his friend. Granted children are cruel and might not clue him in as to an emergency. Please though....give the deaf some credit. If all the children got up and left, wouldn't you think he'd follow? Being as though he can't hear his other senses are sharper then ours. He'd feel the vibrations in the floor from the children running and look up??

                          I apologize if I offended anyone but the Italian in me makes me speak my point. I don't think my opinions worth anything or anyone else's for that matter. We're not the ones deciding. I really wish I could learn more about the situation, so I could adjust my opinion but from the information I got this is how I feel.

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                          • #14
                            lawsuit has been denied .....

                            http://www.newsday.com/news/local/lo...-top-headlines

                            newsday.com article

                            A deaf Westbury teenager was distraught Tuesday after a judge ruled that his service dog, Simba, must stay home when the boy goes to school.

                            "He's inconsolable. He doesn't even want to go to school ," Nancy Cave said of her son, John Cave Jr., 14. "He doesn't feel that they have any respect for his disability and that they don't care about him. He doesn't want to be in a place like that."

                            U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt in Central Islip ruled Tuesday against the Cave family, which sought an injunction ordering the East Meadow School District to allow Simba to attend school with Cave until his family's $150-million suit is resolved.

                            The suit claims that the federal Americans with Disabilities Act entitles the boy, who uses cochlear implants, to bring Simba to school.

                            The Caves' attorney, Paul Margiotta of Lindenhurst, said he would appeal the decision.

                            The family sued after two school committees said Simba could not attend classes with Cave at W. Tresper Clarke High School.

                            East Meadow Deputy Superintendent Leon Campo said the decision "radiates common sense and wisdom" and vowed to welcome Cave back to school. "We need to be there for John and for other members of the family," he said.

                            Spatt noted three times that the family failed to seek a hearing before an arbitrator after being rejected by the school.

                            "Instead," Spatt said, raising his voice and jabbing the air with his finger, "they initiated this lawsuit and the motion for a preliminary injunction."

                            He said Simba could be "disruptive," citing testimony that students and teachers with allergies may be affected by the 2-year-old dog.

                            The judge said the district provides the teen with a sign language interpreter, a student note-taker, an FM radio transmitter to amplify lectures, a teacher who specializes in hearing-impaired students, and extra time to take tests.

                            "John Jr. is well served by the East Meadow School District," Spatt said.

                            Nancy Cave said she probably would not appeal the district's committee decisions to an arbitrator.

                            "They've already told us 'no' on every level," she said. "It's futile."

                            Local lawyers were split on the judge's decision.

                            Robert Cohen, a Melville education law attorney, said Spatt decided Cave's needs were outweighed by those of students and teachers with dog allergies.

                            But E. Christopher Murray, a Garden City civil rights lawyer, said the decision was a setback for people who use assistance animals. "It's just a very narrow view of the student's rights under ADA, which I think is unfortunate," he said.

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                            • #15
                              "The judge said the district provides the teen with a sign language interpreter, a student note-taker, an FM radio transmitter to amplify lectures, a teacher who specializes in hearing-impaired students, and extra time to take tests."

                              Having more information even heightened my opinion. Look at all there doing for this student. I wish my district would help in this kind of magnitude. He needs to appreciate what they have done for him in order for him to strive in this "normal" environment. I use that term loosely.

                              Where I'm from our school district wouldn't even bother and would send him to a school made for the deaf. That's what they did for my boyfriends sister. She had to stay at a school all week and her parents would visit her every weekend. The school was located four hours away. So this is a marked improvement of what used to have to happen.

                              Coupled with the fact that he has cochlear implants, (which are extremely expensive) if he's at the point of them working properly he should be able to hear and understand. They claim that you can have a conversation with out having to use facial clues. There usually installed between the ages of 2 and 6. So he might be at a point where he can interpretate with them.

                              The public school system only has to provide what's appropriate and they really look like there doing there job. Can you imagine what it's costing the tax payers to provide all the aid's he already has. Now they want to sue? There going to take money away from a system that's already given him so much? It makes me sick. So the next deaf child who may not be so blessed with receiving cochlear implants, may not have the same chances, because they had to hand over 150 million because a boy can't bring his dog to school? Again, if he was blind it's completely different story, it's just doesn't seem necessary.

                              Sorry for being so long! It just makes me sick that most children, including my son can't get what they actually need to be prepared for the real world. Yet, this boy is handed everything he needs and still isn't happy.

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