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Deaf Child Denied entry into Westbury School

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posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 09:29 AM
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Well, I go to this school and so I decided to put it on the current events section of this website.



For the second day in a row, officials at W. Tresper Clarke High School prevented a 14-year-old deaf student from bringing his assistance dog to class.



"I feel like they aren't being fair," ninth-grader John Cave of Westbury said Thursday of East Meadow School District officials, who don't believe he needs the dog to attend class. "They act like they're against me because of my dog."



While the Caves believe Simba and John must be together constantly in order to bond, school officials say the family needs approval from the district's committee on special education.


Newsday Article about it

Now, I attend W.T. Clarke High School as a senior and for the 5 years that I have been in this school district; I have never seen anything this outlandish. I have heard all the sides that there are to this story from people, in the halls, and in my honest opinion; this kid does need the dog to 1)Hear 2)Participate in school 3)Even to bond which is the true issue why this is happening. The school day is about 6 in a half hours long. Now it is not that long that he cannot be without the dog.

The problem with this is that there are many special needs classes that he can take and be with the dog, now if he wants to attend the normal rotation as a normal student; he will be denied the dog. The School District has already done everything that it is alotted to do under the federal law and does not need to let the dog into the school. The mom just wants the publicity and the cameras and the media. This kid is fine without the dog; he doesn't even need the dog to live his life because he has the hearing aids and everything that he needs to function in society.

In fact, I've spoken with many disabled students at this school who believe that this kid should not have the dog. I wonder what the Deaf Community is going to say; and I doubt they'll be on the boy's side.

I'm all for liberty and such, but this is just abuse of the system.

Shattered OUT...




posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 09:38 AM
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Some of my classmates have dogs because they are blind when they usually need to get to school or get home. One of those dogs practically try to eat my lunch in my backpack while listening to the professor's lecture. But the rest of the time the dogs just lay on the floor with their master. The student is responsible in handling the dog and making sure the dog does not interrupt the class. However, needing a dog because of being deaf is something I do not understand. I see no reason for having a dog that can help you while deaf. I support having the dog around if helping a person that is blind, but not deaf.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 10:58 AM
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Deltaboy, you're right, if the kid was blind, I would sympathize for him and support him, but I do know blind students who do not believe in that. This kid is deaf, transportation is offered to him, he has the hearing aids, he even has interpreters that the school assigns to him. The school district has done everything that the Federal Law permits it to do. It is not required to allow a hearing dog onto the premises if the child does not require the dog to participate.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 12:26 PM
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Hearing dogs are used in a variety of way when it comes to the deaf. The allow deaf individuals to know when a phone is ringing, when a door bell is ringing, when a horn is being blow by a car, when someone has entered a house, etc. The dog becomes the ears for the individual. I don't see what all the fuse is about, if the child needs the dog in future years and the bonding of the child and the animal is crucial to the dog learning then why deny this child the opportunity to have as close to a "normal life" as possible. Any being deaf doesn't mean his mental capacity is below average. Why should this child have to be put in special education classes if there is nothing wrong with his ability to learn? The school will have to eventually allow the dog as it's against the law to refuse a "service" animal into any facility.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 12:30 PM
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I heard about this also and I think its stunning. The kid is handicapped and, for whatever reason, uses this dog to help him. Give him the effing dog.


The school district has done everything that the Federal Law permits it to do. It is not required to allow a hearing dog onto the premises if the child does not require the dog to participate.


He's frigging DEAF give the damned kid a BREAK! If he uses this dog to help him through the day LET HIM TAKE THE DOG TO SCHOOL. The damned thing is muzzled and trained. There is no reason to not allow him to use it.


[I'm all for liberty and such, but this is just abuse of the system.

A deaf kid bringing to school the thing that he normally uses to make his way through the world????? Thats abuse?????



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 12:42 PM
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Besides, it's a trained animal. It is specifically trained to avoid distractions and to not leave the master's side. And yes, if the dog is to spend the rest of it's natural life with the kid, then it needs to be with him during his daily life. Including school.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 01:55 PM
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I think a dog is fine when the person has a compelling need for the dog in that place.

But if a phone rings in class, one of his fellow students can help. If the bell rings, the other kids can help him discover what has happened. Unless the dog is transcribing class lectures for him, the kid can already interact with his environment; otherwise school is a waste of time.

Why is it society's job to endlessly accomodate individuals, and never the individual's responsibility to accomodate to society's need. I was too big for the children's desks in my homeroom when I was in school. The superintendant told me to either stand quietly at the back of the lecture, or go home. The phrase used was "adapt."


What if a fellow student is allergic to dogs?

Tough stuff for him/her; too bad allergies aren't a handicap--they're just lame. Like being too tall/fat to fit in a wraparound desk, or lefthanded or whatever.




Ask not what your country can do for you . . .


Those were the days.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 02:04 PM
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I'm sorry but this is a deaf kid who uses a specially trained dog. It does more than just let him know that the phone is ringing. It can be trained to give any number of cues to the boy in response to any number of sounds, like doors slamming shut behind him, people walking behind him, people entering a room, rummaging around in a locker in the gym locker rooms, etc.

THe school isn't even giving a rationale for not having the dog there.

Sure, it could be a bit of a distraction at first, but so would a seeing eye dog. Hell a walking stick for a blind person could be called a hazzard to other students.


And rasobasi makes a good point, the dog itself is going to need to be around the person it is trained for, to reinforce its training.

This is just a stupid move on the part of the westbury school.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 02:23 PM
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Their rationale seems fairly obvious to me; the kid can function well-enough to learn without it. If there is no lower threshold, why not have everyone bring their pets to school.

What about muslims, who consider dogs unclean? Too bad for them, huh. But then, if one of them complained, it would be a case of someone demanding special treatment, when there was no critical need, right?

Is it the case that, if you have a disability, that your special need trumps anyone else's needs, tastes, or desires?

That's the end of the end of any attempt at a class-less society.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 02:32 PM
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A specially trained dog to help a deaf kid go about in the world certainly does trump a silly beleif that dogs are dirty, or some other kid wanting his pet dog to come to school with him.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 02:33 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Their rationale seems fairly obvious to me; the kid can function well-enough to learn without it. If there is no lower threshold, why not have everyone bring their pets to school.


This isn't a pet. It's a trained guide.


What about muslims, who consider dogs unclean? Too bad for them, huh.


Then they better get another form of guide animal.



Is it the case that, if you have a disability, that your special need trumps anyone else's needs, tastes, or desires?


If their needs, tastes, or desires aren't special, then yes it does trump theirs.


That's the end of the end of any attempt at a class-less society.


And also an end to any attempt at helping the disabled.

This is rediculous. I can't believe I have to argue in favor of someone with a disability using a tool to aid said disability.

What about someone in a wheelchair? Would you ban them if the wheels were too wide, or squeeked?



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 02:41 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan
The school district has done everything that the Federal Law permits it to do. It is not required to allow a hearing dog onto the premises if the child does not require the dog to participate.


He's frigging DEAF give the damned kid a BREAK! If he uses this dog to help him through the day LET HIM TAKE THE DOG TO SCHOOL. The damned thing is muzzled and trained. There is no reason to not allow him to use it.


I could not agree more. The school district is giving out the message they do not care about those children with special needs. The dog is not deterring attention away from the teacher.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 02:42 PM
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Eden, you make Nygdan sound like a jerk in that last post. You may want to edit it.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 02:51 PM
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Originally posted by Rasobasi420

This is rediculous. I can't believe I have to argue in favor of someone with a disability using a tool to aid said disability.

What about someone in a wheelchair? Would you ban them if the wheels were too wide, or squeeked?


That "tool" is much more than a socket wrench.

It's a live animal, and carries a psychological and social weight with it. The guide dogs I've seen are not chihuahuas; they need space. They also are not motionless. I've been in lectures with companion animals, and they can be a distraction. I can imagine one being even more so with a young/immature owner. Someone else mentioned a guide dog digging into their backpack to get their lunch. (note: it wasn't a problem for me, because of my soaring intellect, and preternatural powers of concentration. But it could bother mere humans.)

In and of itself, I'd be for any "tool" that helps a person learn. But when it takes up a whole aisle; pants, whimpers and drools, and needs to pee outside, then its no longer comparable to a wheelchair.

How does the dog help the kid learn? Does the dog take notes? Does it sign for him in ASL? Does it do anything that the teacher could not do, or the kid could not do by reading lips.

My old BSA A-65 Thunderbolt helps me learn. Can I bring THAT to class? It's a tool, too. It leaks a little oil, and idles rough. But it helps me get across campus . . .

.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 02:55 PM
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These dogs are trained not to wimper and whine. They are trained to be on their game at all times. The digging a sandwich out of someone's backpack thing sounds a little far fetched for a trained guide dog. Maybe that poster was confused.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 02:59 PM
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Originally posted by Rasobasi420
The digging a sandwich out of someone's backpack thing sounds a little far fetched for a trained guide dog. Maybe that poster was confused.


Actually, that dog sounds as if it was improperly trained. A guide dog is supposed to 100% all the time be on its best behavior.

Also, I am quite annoyed with this as well. The fact of the matter is, that for this dog to properly bond with his/her master, the dog must be with him. I don't care what other deaf kids have to say with this, because that is irrelevant.

This is not the same thing as bringing a pet dog to school with you. I'm curious, if a kid has an inhaler because he has asthma, do you think he should not have it? Since other kids can't bring tylenol for when they get a headache?



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 03:14 PM
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reading from the actual article:



The Caves believe John and Simba must bond around the clock so that the dog can work most effectively as an assistance dog, trained to alert a deaf child to potential danger, such as fire or smoke alarms and cars.


But the school system doesn't share this view. More importantly, the school district's committee on special education investigated, and ruled that he doesn't does not need the dog to learn at school.



While the Caves believe Simba and John must be together constantly in order to bond . . .


but the committee has apparently concluded that a classroom environment is not an effective place to improve such a bond. Other users of guide dogs don't require 24-hour companionship with their animals.

Even the Director of the National Institute for People with disabilities admits that the arguement that the boy needs the dog around the clock is unrealistic:



. . said Thomas Dern, associate executive director of YAI/National Institute for People With Disabilities. While the Caves face an uphill battle arguing that John and Simba cannot be separated, . . .



In sum, the article was written in a way to elicit the maximum emotional response from readers, and downplay the fact that the family's claims have been investigated, and found to be without sufficient merit.

Here's what I found on a bulletin board about this topic, from a user using the name "Student of Clarke"

www.topix.net...



News vans and reporters keep showing up at our school..i dont see what the fuss was about... he walks back and forth to school everyday & has a full time interpreter. Clarke has a whole BOCES program for deaf students.... and they dont need and dog, but most of their hearing losses are worse. . . .You must look at all sides of this story. He is the ONE of the ONLY ones with his own intrepreter. His intrepreter goes to track meets with him and every else.. what more can a dog do that his intrepreter cant... he is safe in school and is aware of his surroundings. and the other day i saw him walking around 40 minutes after school ended and no dog. If it was that important to you when school ended you would of went striaght home and picked him up before you went out!



But I will say, the article cited is written with a great amount of hand-wringing edited into it. It's how you sell stories, after all.
.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 03:15 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
I've been in lectures with companion animals, and they can be a distraction.

I imagine being deaf is a helluva distraction too. If a kid can get used to having to rely on a dog to do his hearing for him, then the rest of the class can get used to 'a doggy being in class'.


How does the dog help the kid learn?

It helps him from getting run over by a car comming up from behind him. It helps him know that a fire alarm is going off when he is by himself. It helps him not open a door that has a huge brawl or fight going on, or collapsing bookcases and shelfs or ceilings. It lets him know when someone yells across the room "hey kid!" for any number of reasons.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 03:21 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Here's what I found on a bulletin board about this topic, from a user using the name "Student of Clarke"

www.topix.net...


First of all, this is second-hand information coming from someone that cannot be verified on an internet forum. This would be just like someone reading about UFO's on ATS and how they came down and grilled Filet for his mom, and acting as if this is a valid proof of alien existence. I'm not saying you aren't trustworthy, I just don't trust searching for someone who could be pretending to be a student in the first place on some other web forum.

My high school without a doubt would have allowed this to happen. It would not have been a distraction to other students, because we weren't to be distracted in the first place. I am not going to place the inattention and lack of concern for the student's learning on a dog, I'm going to place it on the students.

[edit on 1/9/07 by niteboy82]



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by Nygdan

It helps him from getting run over by a car comming up from behind him. It helps him know that a fire alarm is going off when he is by himself. It helps him not open a door that has a huge brawl or fight going on, or collapsing bookcases and shelfs or ceilings. It lets him know when someone yells across the room "hey kid!" for any number of reasons.




Again, the school has investigated, and reached its conclusion. They haven't ruled that dogs for the deaf are uneccesary.

They have merely concluded that this student doesn't require this dog to be able to function effectively at their school.

And since they are actually present, and I assume none of us are . . . it stands to reason that they have some special insight into the situation that we lack. The article said the committee has an appeals process in place. And of course, a lawsuit will settle everything eventually.

.



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