Taking a hard line stance, a Long Island, NY school district has told a hearing-impaired teenager that he is not allowed to bring his service dog to school, despite a ruling that the district's policy violates state law.
According to Times Wire Reports, 15-year-old John Cave of Westbury is being told that his trained dog Simba may pose a safety threat to other students. The wire service quotes East Meadow school district Supt. Leon Campo as disagreeing with a court's contention that disabled students have an "absolute right" to bring service animals to school.
The East Meadow school district will appeal the decision of the state Division of Human Rights, which said that John Cave, 15, of Westbury must be allowed to bring his dog, Simba, to school.
East Meadow Superintendent Leon Campo said the district disagreed with the order's contention that disabled students have an "absolute right" to bring service animals to school. The district has argued that animals pose a safety threat to other students.
Describing a rather tense moment, Newsday reports that Cave, his mother, twin sister and their attorney were met at the school's entrance of W. Tresper Clarke High Scool by the principal, who refused to let the youth in with Simba. Cave did not attend school that day.
Cave and his family have battled the school over this issue for a year, and recently won support from the state's Division of Human Rights, which ruled that the school district is being discriminatory. The district will reportedly appeal that decision.
The outcome of this battle remains to be seen, and it may prove significant in wider policy.
As of this posting a call to Supt. Campo seeking comment has yet to be returned.
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