School Bans Service Dogs
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- last active 3 months ago
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- This really bothers me to my core... what is your opinion.. should this happen?
Nancy Stevens and her husband, Angelo, used to have to watch their son Andrew like a hawk nearly 24 hours a day. Suffering from a rare and severe form of epilepsy, the 12-year-old experiences up to 20 seizures a day, any one of which could be fatal.
But a whole new world opened for Andrew when the Alexandria, Va., family brought home a German shepherd service dog named Alaya to watch over him. He can now go out and play, walk Alaya down the street, and use the bathroom unaided.
Yet the freedom Andrew enjoys by having Alaya at his side doesn’t extend to his school hours. The Stevens family is going toe-to-toe with Fairfax County Public Schools over its decision not to allow Alaya to accompany Andrew in school until such time it’s satisfied that the boy can manage his canine companion, and that his fellow Fort Belvoir Elementary School students will be safe.
“I think what they’ve done has really been an injustice to my son,” Nancy Stevens told Matt Lauer live on TODAY Tuesday. “A service dog is trained very well. If Andrew sits, the dog is going to sit. If Andrew gets up, the dog is going to get up. A service dog will not bite anybody at all.”
The bone of contention in the case is whether Andrew, who attends special education and operates at a learning function below his sixth-grade age level, is able to fully control Alaya in a classroom setting. Fairfax Public Schools has guidelines requiring that any service dogs be trained by the nonprofit Assistance Dogs International. Alaya was trained by the New York-based Seizure Alert Dogs for Life, a for-profit organization unaffiliated with ADI.
Jon Sabin, who runs Seizure Alert Dogs for Life, told NBC News that Alaya is “probably one of the most highly trained seizure response dogs in the world,” and said in a Washington Post interview that he believes “what the school is doing is heartless.”
"Today, most of the good people are afraid to be good. They strive to be broadminded and tolerant. It is fashionable to be tolerant but mostly tolerant of evil and this new code has reached the proportions of demanding intolerance of good."
Personally I thinkm it's pretty narrow minded..>A service dog is just that no matter who or where trained...That's like demanding all K9 dogs be American Trained (Believe it or not, many are from Germany and so the cop have to learn German!)
- Replied by
- at January 05, 2011, 00:03:49
- last active 3 months ago
- wow, here I can bring my regular old dog into the bank, on the bus, on the train, subway et c..I couldn't imagine disallowing a helper dog
- I saw that this morning on the Today show. Baffles me why a trained dog is disallowed. This poor boy has multiple seizures in a day and how amazing this german shepard cutie can help him when it happens.
With all the press it is getting i hope it is overturned.
- They do not have good reason at all, i have never heard anything that ever had something bad to do with a service dog, infact only good things have been spoken, it was reported a few years back "children were more interested in learning" even to the extend of saying, "children had more compassion and mannerism" having a service dog in their classroom.. what they take away really hurts sometimes.. you know what i mean?
- I think, but not sure, that that is incredibly illegal. Every state or federal building, including schools, have to be completely handicapped accessable, even if that means letting in a foreign dog. If that were my child I would have someone at the school by their asshairs.
- Replied by
- Feelin froggy
- at January 06, 2011, 14:09:06
- last active 3 hrs ago
I agree that it's appalling and it's totally against the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) here in the UK. There must be something like that in the US?
It's the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) in the US.
This is unbelievable!
I agree wmmeden, bout the asshairs.
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