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Should this Student be allowed to attend School with her Service Dog?

Posted by on Sep. 7, 2013 at 8:23 PM
  • 180 Replies

What do you think of this School District NOT ALLOWING a student to attend school with her Service Dog?  

It's not a pet, it's not for fun, it's to sense her rapidly fluctuating blood sugar levels to help her control her diabetes.   

Do you think the district is justified?  They are providing her with FREE TURTORING, but only FOR 10 HOURS A WEEK.   Do you think that's is equivalent to attending 7 hours of classes a day, for 5 days a week?   

What are your opinions on this?

Duke the service dog not allowed at Roth Middle School

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The Rush-Henrietta School District did what it said it was going to do and did not allow a student's service dog into her school. News10NBC was outside Roth Middle School in Henrietta as the 11-year- old student tried to go to school with her diabetic alert dog. 
Madyson is a Type 1 diabetic. Duke is trained to detect when her blood sugar levels are high or low. The family paid $20,000 for the dog. 
Does a student with an illness and his or her parents have the right to do whatever they need to protect the student when at school? Like with a dog? Does the school have the right to protect every other student who might be afraid of a dog or allergic to it?
The issue came driving down East Henrietta Road Friday morning in a white SUV. Inside was a diabetic student, her new diabetic alert dog and her parents. After meeting with the principal for more than an hour, the SUV left the school with the student and her dog. 
Madyson is a Type 1 diabetic and her parents say her blood sugar levels fluctuate rapidly. Duke is trained to detect a problem early. Madyson swabs her fingers with a substance that mimics a high blood sugar level. When she comes back into the room, Duke smells it and reacts by pushing into Madyson and jumping on her. 
Madyson's family bought the dog thinking that the law allowed Madyson to take Duke to school. 
But last week, a letter came from the Rush-Henrietta School District saying there is no medical support or doctor who says the dog is necessary. The letter also said the dog will be a distraction and problem for allergies. So Madyson's parents knew what to expect Friday.
Anthony Siragusa, Madyson's father, said, “However, I was hoping that they would be a little more lenient or willing to at least try it.”
For now, Madyson will stay home with Duke and a personal tutor, a tutor that the school will provide and pay for.
The district sent us a statement explaining its position. The Rush-Henrietta released a statement saying, “The Rush-Henrietta Central School District makes every effort to remove barriers so students can participate fully in our educational programs. In a case where a service animal is deemed necessary for a student to attend school, accommodations would be made.
The New York State Association of School Attorneys instructs school districts to examine on a case-by-case basis whether a student will receive a free appropriate public education if a service dog is not allowed at school. After this specific request was made, the district consulted with medical professionals who advised us the service animal is not medically necessary. The district denied a request for a dog trained to monitor blood glucose levels.
The New York State Association of School Attorneys also tells districts to “consider the effects that the service animals will have on others, as well as the effects on the school environment as a whole.” We know some students who are fond of animals will find the dog to be an attractive distraction. For others, the dog may trigger anxiety, distress, or allergies. The district has determined that the family’s wish to have a dog accompany their student does not justify the inevitable disruption to the school environment.
We are confident our student will continue to receive a free appropriate public education without the aid of a dog, and we know she will be well cared for by our staff. Our schools are staffed by a school nurse and supported by a district nurse practitioner. They use long-established, well-tested protocols – including the prudent monitoring of blood glucose levels – to safeguard the health and well being of students. The presence of a service animal trained to monitor these levels is redundant.
Because the family has indicated it intends to litigate this issue, the district can have no further comment.” 

Madyson's family is trying to find a doctor who will say the dog is medically necessary. In the meantime, Madyson will get at least 10 hours of tutoring a week. 

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by on Sep. 7, 2013 at 8:23 PM
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by Silver Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 8:39 PM
They shouldn't make exceptions that will put other children at risk.

It's the same as a peanut allergy. And offering home bound for the girl is great. She gets personal schooling that lets her work at her own pace and she is safe in a controlled environment.
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by Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 8:40 PM
I dont really know what to think. I work in public education and i agree that the dog will be a distraction (at least in the beginning) and a problem for allergy sufferers. Also students home schooled in our district get 2 hours of instruction a day.
Its undivided attention from the tutor that she wouldnt get in class with other students in the room.
On the other hand, shes going to miss out on socializing with her peers in school.
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by Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 8:46 PM
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I wonder how she was able to get a medical service dog without one doctor signing off on it?

I LOVE that we are able to provide service pets to those who need them, however I see issues with some abusing it.  For example, ankle biter dogs in purses have them here because all you have to do is register the dog as a medical service dog.  No other training or regulations required.  Service dogs are very trained and well mannered.  Your little dog in a purse that barks aggressively at passerbys is NOT a service dog because you just don't want to leave it at home.

by Silver Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 8:54 PM
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I don't think she should be able to have the dog in school. What puts her medical needs before another students? I know someone with severe asthma and just being near a dog can send her to the hospital.
by on Sep. 7, 2013 at 8:55 PM
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Is it known that there is another student with an allergy?

by Anonymous 1 on Sep. 7, 2013 at 8:56 PM
The dog should be able to come. A girl in my dd's class got one her sophomore year of hs. At graduation the dog had a morter board on too. If you are that allergic you stay home. My younger dd is allergic to some dogs. She just stays away.
Afraid of a dog, stay home from school. This district is wrong.
by Bronze Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 8:56 PM
My mom has trained her dog to not only be a service dog for me I have epilepsy, because T also my deaf brother. She (the dog) knows signs for when I am in trouble and sign language. She is currently not in use but we do maintain her status so that when we do need her she can be of use.

But a diabetic service dog is a bit of a stretch.
by on Sep. 7, 2013 at 8:57 PM
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I think they violated federal law and are gonna lose their ass in a lawsuit.
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by on Sep. 7, 2013 at 9:01 PM
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Technically, they aren't allowed to deny her to have her service dog.  It is against the law.  My fiance is in the process of being allowed a service dog.  When we spoke to the apartment office about it, they tried telling him they wouldn't allow him to have one.  However, he spoke to the VA about that and they provided him a legitimate website, paperwork, and other materials stating that anywhere he goes, the dog goes...unless it is somewhere like a hospital operating room or someplace needing to be 100% sterile, etc.

by Member on Sep. 7, 2013 at 9:07 PM
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Yeah, I was thinking that they're violating Americas with Disabilities Act, too.

Quoting kitty8199:

I think they violated federal law and are gonna lose their ass in a lawsuit.

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