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Deaf Child Denied entry into Westbury School

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posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 03:28 PM
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Forget the distractions the dog could or will create, what about students that are allergic to dogs? Should the deaf student's alleged need to have a dog by his side in the classroom, that is not directly necessary for the deaf student to participate in classroom activities, trump the rights of any students who are allergic to dogs?




posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 03:37 PM
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Front left side of the class to back right.



And what about students who are allergic to perfume? Chalk dust? Allergies are much more easily dealt with than deafness. Besides, if this kid is with the dog at all other times, the hair and allergins would follow him around anyway.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 03:40 PM
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This school district is definitely not complying with the service animal provisions of the ADA. It sounds like the administration has some lack of understanding of his needs and feel that a guide dog is only for blind children. Under ADA they are not allowed to compel a disabled person to produce proof of a disability or see certifications of the service animal ... they are allowed to ask what tasks that animal performs and that is it.

Requiring him to get approval from a special education committee makes no sense ... are they going to require him to attend special ed classes? He's deaf not mentally disabled. Also requiring him to be in limited parts of campus oand not allowing him access everywhere with the guide dog that he would be allowed without it is another violation of ADA.

In short if he can go to the park, library, dinner at a restaurant or movie with his guide dog why is it being prevented from attending school with him.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 03:42 PM
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Now superficially it's very easy to sympathise with the boy, I thank God that this is a disability I do not have to face, but there is another side to this story and blind adherance to the principle of giving the disabled everything they ask for all of the time does have to be questioned when such provision could compromise the education of others. That is why the decision rests with the local authorities and is made by those who should understand disabilities in education.

In this case it appears that the district's committee on special education don't believe he should have the dog in school, presumably the teaching staff agree with them, at least some of the students don't believe it's necessary and even the associate executive director of YAI/National Institute for People With Disabilities does not appear to have been persuaded to offer any condemnation of the decision.

In fact, the only people who are making a meal of this seem to be the boy's family and even they only want it to be allowed so that the boy and the dog can bond and not for educational reasons.

Finally we see something of the character of the argument when, (in the presence of the local press you'll note), the boy is presented at school with the dog by his family in the full and certain knowledge that he will be refused entry and his mother makes the utterly fatuous comment that her son was subjected to child abuse by being made to wait in the cold for half an hour, (despite the fact that the only reason he was not admitted to the school was that he had deliberately arrived with the banned dog). She then goes on to complain that he has missed two days school but omits to mention that he has missed those days due to her intransigence and obstinacy.

There are always those who believe that rules of society apply to everyone except themselves.

Edit: I should add that as a Brit my comments are based on the apparent determination of the parents to flout rules and decisions but I do not have the knowledge of the federal rules personally so my apologies if I have missed the critical technical elements of the debate.

[edit on 9-1-2007 by timeless test]



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 03:49 PM
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Why does a def person need an assistance dog?

Is that not for the blind?

The kid should just leave the dog at home.. he can cope. I have never seen a def person with a dog, seriously.. do they do that now?

Also they did not ban the kid, just his dog. Your title is misleading, though blatently reflects your views, and that is always good before clicking on a thread.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by SmallMindsBigIdeas

This school district is definitely not complying with the service animal provisions of the ADA. . . Under ADA they are not allowed to compel a disabled person to produce proof of a disability or see certifications of the service animal



The ADA only applies to public places. And courts have ruled that the interior of a school is not a "public place." While paid for by public funds, the school district has a responsibility to oversee the learning environment, and so schools are not legally treated as "public places."

This gives the schools rights to require ID, limit access for persons with no reason for being present, to outlaw certain weapons (concealed carry weapons) and material (pornography) that they otherwise couldn't control.

But not to senslessly oppress Americans with Disabilities, they hav a committee set up to check and make sure that these students and others have acces to school, insofar as it doesn't obstruct the school's mission.

watch the parents not file a lawsuit, since their complaint is without merit.

.

[edit on 9-1-2007 by dr_strangecraft]



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 04:13 PM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
Why does a def person need an assistance dog?

Is that not for the blind?

The kid should just leave the dog at home.. he can cope. I have never seen a def person with a dog, seriously.. do they do that now?


There have been guide dogs for the deaf for awhile ... although it is true that the more commonly seen guide dog is for blind people.

Below is a quote from the US DOJ on ADA on service animal requirements ... the link for the full service animal document if below the quoted text.



2. Q: What is a service animal?


A: The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.


Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. "Seeing eye dogs" are one type of service animal, used by some individuals who are blind. This is the type of service animal with which most people are familiar. But there are service animals that assist persons with other kinds of disabilities in their day-to-day activities. Some examples include:


_ Alerting persons with hearing impairments to sounds.


_ Pulling wheelchairs or carrying and picking up things for persons with mobility impairments.


_ Assisting persons with mobility impairments with balance.


A service animal is not a pet.


3. Q: How can I tell if an animal is really a service animal and not just a pet?


A: Some, but not all, service animals wear special collars and harnesses. Some, but not all, are licensed or certified and have identification papers. If you are not certain that an animal is a service animal, you may ask the person who has the animal if it is a service animal required because of a disability. However, an individual who is going to a restaurant or theater is not likely to be carrying documentation of his or her medical condition or disability. Therefore, such documentation generally may not be required as a condition for providing service to an individual accompanied by a service animal. Although a number of states have programs to certify service animals, you may not insist on proof of state certification before permitting the service animal to accompany the person with a disability.


ADA Service Animals FAQ's

This kids dog clearly meets the requirements and they are not allowed to ask him for proof or certification of his dog ... they are allowed to ask him what tasks the dog performs.

There are some exceptions to the rule of having to allow service animals and that is only in the case of aggresive or out of control animals. But they can't disallow the animal out of worry for that only after it exhibits those behaviors.

I think the mom is a little over the top ... appears she has chosen to butt heads with th school principal ... saying things like making the kid wait outside for 30 mins is "child abuse" is a little much. I wonder if she's had run ins with the staff at this school or with this district before over reasonable accomodation issues. I've seen, first hand, plenty of school districts that can make some real head in the sand decisions and then stand by them steadfast.

Either way they're wrong here and the longer they draw this out the more culpability for the school district. I have no idea what the "bonding" process is for the dog/owner but if they interrupt or alter that and the dog doesn't become cohesive with the owner the school district may end up poneying up some $$'s for a replacement guide dog.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 04:16 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft

Originally posted by SmallMindsBigIdeas

This school district is definitely not complying with the service animal provisions of the ADA. . . Under ADA they are not allowed to compel a disabled person to produce proof of a disability or see certifications of the service animal



The ADA only applies to public places. And courts have ruled that the interior of a school is not a "public place." While paid for by public funds, the school district has a responsibility to oversee the learning environment, and so schools are not legally treated as "public places."

[edit on 9-1-2007 by dr_strangecraft]



Didn't know that ... kinda wish I saw that before I added my last info on the ADA. I wonder why the ADA applies to every other publicly owned facility (ie the library, police station, etc) and not to a school? I guess it's another example of schools being seperate from the rest of society (the only place you can be randomly searched with no probable cause).

Thanks for the info.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 04:46 PM
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I've been looking around on the web, and have found a whole bunch of schools in different parts of the country that require a specific service animal to be certified before being in classrooms; i.e., a visitor can have a dog leading down a hallway to attend a band concert or something. most districts seem to say that kids who are bringing service animals must get approval beforehand, with both training certification and liability insurance.

This probably fits in with the school's liability for the other students, and making sure that someone isn't bringing an untrained animal into the classroom.

A number of them specifically provide for other parents to be inforrmed regarding their children's allergies, fear of animals. Sounds like those issues have come up before.

Here's a very specific set of guidelines from north-central indiana:

link to guidelines

their policy specifically provides for hearing dogs.

Again, we can't research the veracity of comments on bulletin boards, but I've read several people saying the mother was on CNN, and admitted that she had refused to meet with the committee at the school for getting the dog approved--she insists its her son's civil right to take an animal wherever he wants, with no questions asked.

That is true in public areas. Just like I have the right in my state (tx) to carry a concealed gun with my license in public areas---but schools are specifically excluded, as not being public areas. Hospitals, too. They are allowed to lock their doors, and restrict access in some areas, over your "rights" on that property.

.
.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 04:51 PM
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Nygdan, I don't think you are fully aware of the situation. I go to the school, I actually saw the kid in school today, he does not need the dog to participate in school.

The school gives him interpretters, he has hearing aids, he's made it this far in school without the dog. He got the dog over christmas break for whatever reason that his parents decided he needed it. Heck, he had a full conversation with the news correspondant without the use of the dog or the need of the dog to communicate. I don't think the dog is going to speak for him or hear for him and translate.

The kid has only had the dog for 2-3 weeks at most. He doesn't need the dog to be in school or operate in society normally. He already has a hearing aid that permits him to communicate on a normal level with people.

It's not as easy as "let him have his dog" because he doesn't need it, the dog is simply a pet not even an aid for his disability.

Granted, his mother wants to "take advantage of all services that she can provide her son with" but I just feel like the dog would not go well in the environment if he doesn't need it. It's like saying a cop can have an assault rifle for his job when really he only needs a handgun and the assault rifle would get in the way of his job just as the dog would get in the way of his pursuit of education, if not him directly then others around him.

He can have the dog, but take special classes that the school can provide, I don't think he should attend the regular classes with the aid of something that extreme. Even the disabled community here has pretty bad things to say about the situation.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 05:53 PM
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I dont exactly know where I stand on this, on one side, we has a deaf kid who uses a dog as a tool to help him function in the world (by no means does this dog help him learn, it only helps him function), and on the other side we have the school that doesnt quite understand.

Putting a student in a special education class would probably be worse, think about it, you have several other students who have ACTUAL learning disabilitys, and you want to put a dog in that environment? I dont think it would harm the dogs bonding with the kid, but it would definatly harm the attention of the other students, so that fact that that was even an option is just absurd.

Now, I can understand that, no, he doesnt exactly NEED the dog, but wheres the problem in letting him have the dog, if the dog becomes a problem, well then he clearly cant have the dog there because its a problem, but at the moment, it doesnt seem like anyone knows for sure if the dog will be a problem. The dog isnt a danger to anyone, the only danger it serves is possibly distracting students, and if a student is going to be distracted by a dog, then I am certain they are going to be distraced by a number of things that the school brings in. And this whole allergy thing, thats just a pointless arguement, get some sort of medication to deal with your allergies, or just live with it, I have certain allergies that only recently are being delt with on a large scale, but before then, I delt with it myself (not getting into that though, just an example)

So wheres the problem, if the school can give a real reason to why he shouldnt have the dog, then the family should accept it, but for the most part it doesnt seem like the school nor the family have an actually reason either was, the only good reason is the bonding.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 05:53 PM
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Double post, please delete this message if possible.

[edit on 9-1-2007 by pshkwamy]



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 06:03 PM
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Originally posted by pshkwamy

So wheres the problem, if the school can give a real reason to why he shouldnt have the dog . . .


I don't know about that particular school, but the district I linked to thinks the "school traffic safety officer" should be consulted before a wheel chair or service animal is allowed to block an aisle or row of desks, or the aisle on a school bus.

The source I linke seems more interested in finding solutions for students' disabilities, rather than a mere "yes/no" answer.

.



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 06:31 PM
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psh, I'm almost positively sure he does not need the dog to learn or function in school.

When I said special classes, I didn't mean the stereotypical Special Ed mentally retarded classes that everyone thinks of when it comes to special ed, I meant a class that teaches kids on the normal level; only it woulds specialize with kids who are deaf and would require something like a dog. Because the dog is a foreign entity in the regular classroom at our school(something never seen before here), a special environment would most likely be required. If he needs the dog; then the administration will accomodate.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 09:07 PM
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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?



This isn't out of the question. My son is being kept from attending school due to being in a wheelchair. He had orthopedic surgery over Christmas break and they do not want to deal with him.

I am so HOT over this today, as our IEP meeting was this morning. They actually had the gall to say "I know he is probably driving you crazy but..." At that point I snapped around and said "No, he isn't, he also isn't receiving an education. If I wanted to homeschool, I would, but I do not. There is more to school than books".

Their solution was a homebound teacher for 3 hours per week.

So, if you think it is farfetched to say you have a wheelchair you cannot go to school, I am hear to tell ya it isn't. They also balked at making a handicapped accessible toilet for him. I just asked for bars on the walls so he could use the restroom without help.

I am so glad I have paid taxes since I was 14 to deal with having an appropriate education made so difficult. I even offered to shadow him through the day to help with pushing the wheelchair and going to the restroom. (that was in regards to no one available to push his chair)

Live a day with life not being as easy and your tune changes



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 09:23 PM
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llpoolej, I sympathize for you and your son has every right to a wheelchair if it assists him in everyday life, however the situation with the child in question is that he doesn't need the hearing dog to function regularly like any other regular little boy and girl. So if this is the case, why can't we just let all the other kids who may feel like their outcasts who can also function normally in every day life bring dogs to school?

I hope you get the situation with you and your son worked out, because your son needs the wheelchair(I am correct in assuming so?) and denying him an education because of something he NEEDS in order to still access his regular life.

Shattered OUT...

[edit on 9-1-2007 by ShatteredSkies]



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 09:54 PM
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He will need it until he recovers from his surgery(on both legs) They don't want to pay for an aide, which is what he would need for the time being

I am quite certain that if he were permanently disabled, they would accomodate him. I don't want to see him homebound for months because they don't want to accomodate him in school

It is frustrating and truly unfair

And the more I read into the deaf dog thing, the more I agree it isn't necessary but the parents being jerks. Great lesson to teach the kid... you are above the rules!



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 10:16 PM
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Originally posted by ShatteredSkies
psh, I'm almost positively sure he does not need the dog to learn or function in school.

When I said special classes, I didn't mean the stereotypical Special Ed mentally retarded classes that everyone thinks of when it comes to special ed, I meant a class that teaches kids on the normal level; only it woulds specialize with kids who are deaf and would require something like a dog. Because the dog is a foreign entity in the regular classroom at our school(something never seen before here), a special environment would most likely be required. If he needs the dog; then the administration will accomodate.

Shattered OUT...


I did say he didnt need the dog to learn, maybe it would help him function, maybe not, I think it might help him a little bit.

And trust me when I say I know what a special ed class is, I know that there are actuall schools to assist with the actuall mentaly handicaped, when you say special ed class, all I think about is small disabilitys and kids who have certain learning disabilitys, trust me, I got asked at least asked once a month if I would rather be moved into a special ed class, the last time they actually wouldnt let me in the school unless I weant into the special ed class or took their full program the way they intend it. So I home school now, and that might be an option that this family wants to look into, because honestly, school is very unfair, I have learning disabilitys coming out the ying yang, and it took me the longest time fo them to allow me to have a labtop in the class, so I dont think its about them not wanting a dog, its about them wanting power, of course thats my opinion, because I have experienced many many many school hardships, their answer always seems to be "well we have a special education class to acomidate your needs", I want to where his special ed class would be, mine would have been in the basement with know windows and no natural light, and I know for sure that my old school was the only one like that, so after looking back, I think that not allowing him to have a dog in the class is just sick, hes going to have to deal with being deaf for his entire life, why not give him some special leeway in one of the most stressful environments people ever have to be in, school is not a fun place, this person is required to bond with their dog, whats next, taking away a hearing aid because its an unfair advantage?
(I make that last comment, because I have very low motor skills, slowly throught the past years I have strengthened them, but in the beggining, my writting was terrible, they didnt allow me to have a labtop until the end of grade 7 because they told me it was an unfair advantage, and I was required to close it and keep it in my bag unless I was writting notes, which I understand but they made a point of saying it everyday, so maybe anyone who has no problems what-so-ever and has never needed special treetment shouldnt really have that much of a say, because you never had to deal with it)



posted on Jan, 9 2007 @ 10:55 PM
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What a fuss, the deaf boy has to learn an extraordinary amount of tolerance and patience in coping with with his lack of hearing. His character will be strengthened by the demands his disability will place on his life 24 hours a day 7 days a week. But ask a few healthy bodied people to tolerate a little difference in their routine for 6 hours a day and a raucous over the inconvenience of it all ensues.

Disabled kids are more prone to bullying, a dog would certainly help to offset that. What about the next columbine - a dog would hear that coming before all of them.

As for the muslim comment. Guide dogs aren't supposed to be petted while they're working.

Who cares if he walks around without the dog for an hour after school. That's not the point. The point is why is there such an uproar to go two inches out of one's way for someone who'll spend a lifetime doing just that.

Uniformity breeds intolerance.



posted on Jan, 10 2007 @ 01:24 AM
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Originally posted by ShatteredSkies
When I said special classes, I didn't mean the stereotypical Special Ed mentally retarded classes that everyone thinks of when it comes to special ed, I meant a class that teaches kids on the normal level; only it woulds specialize with kids who are deaf and would require something like a dog. Because the dog is a foreign entity in the regular classroom at our school(something never seen before here), a special environment would most likely be required.


A situation like this is the exact reason why ADA laws were made and are pretty decently enforced. Unfortunately I guess this kid doesn't have the same rights at his school as he would at McDonalds or the city library.

When you isolate people, epsecially children, with a physical disability you create a stigma about them that is not healthy for them or people who don't understand them. When you do it with children the damage is much more. How do you think a kid who attends classes with only other deaf children will be able to merge into mainstream outside of classes? What message are we sending to a child who is quietly placed away from the "normal" kids and attends classes with only "special" kids. How do we expect the other children to interact with disabled individuals later in life if throught 12 years of eductation they are kept off the side?

On the flip side when we have classes that cater solely to these disabilities ... meaning classes specifically taught for deaf children only are going to be setup to fully accomodate them and as such they will have less struggle than in a normal, typical classroom. Sounds good, right? Not really ... how do we expect someone who spends years in that environment to get out of school and continue onto college or get a job where some accomodations will be made but everything won't be structured around them.

I can attest "second-hand" that feelings that children with physical disabilities face when they are kept out of the mainstream. We moved alot as a family when I was growing up. I have a sister who is physically disable, paralized from waist down and unable to control bowels/bladder due to being born with spina bifida. Her mental state is completely normal and she always tested gifted if anyone bothered to give her the tests. Several school districts we moved to would automatically place into her into special education classes ... the ones that were made for mentally disabled. When my parents would find out my mom would be down raising hell with school administration until she was placed into normal classes with her peers.

At one particularly mean elementary school after they allowed her into mainstream they kept her off the playground. On the concept that she could get injured. Unfortunately my sister didn't tell anyone in the family for several months. The effect it had on her was fairly profound ... my mom actually discovered because she had become depressed/withdrawn and my mom knew something was up. She felt "less" than the other children because she was made to sit aside during normal recesses at a school where she was already the "new kid" and the "disabled kid".



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