Girl with service dog wants US Supreme Court to take case

24 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Girl with service dog wants US Supreme Court to take case.

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to take an appeal from an 11-year-old Michigan girl with cerebral palsy who switched schools after her service dog wasn’t welcomed in a district in Jackson County. But the American Civil Liberties Union believes it’s ripe for review because federal appeals courts have given different interpretations to laws protecting the rights of children with disabilities. “To force a child to choose to between her independence and her education is not only illegal — it is heartless,” said Michael Steinberg, legal director at the ACLU in Michigan. In 2009, with support from families in the Napoleon area, Ehlena Fry’s family obtained a service dog to help her open doors, retrieve items and use the bathroom. The school district agreed to let Ehlena return with Wonder, but her parents, fearing difficulties, instead sent her to the Manchester district, which had no problem with the dog.

But an attorney for the Napoleon district, Tim Mullins, said the hearing process works well because families and schools can negotiate an education plan.

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