"So... I imagine that his dog DOES provide him with at least 2 much needed services... 1) he is a friend - someone to communicate with, someone to "be" with - so he doesn't have to be alone. 2) security - the dog can alert him to anything going on around him that perhaps he can't see."
His FULL TIME aid that is provided by the school does this also, and probably better. He is not completely deaf. His hearing in a school hallway is probably similar to the chaos that your son sees when he looks at a page in a fine print book, its just that, chaotic, and confusing. But, just like there are tools and techniques that help your son sort through the visual chaos and be able to read, I'm sure there are tools that assist this boy in sorting through the audible chaos that he hears in a crowded halllway or restaurant. I don't see how this dog helps him in that. I get the idea of a "life tool", but I just don't believe this story at all, especially the mom. Sure the dog offers comfort and can be an icebreaker, but thats not exclusive to hearing impaired children. Some kids feel better when they have the comfort of their blankie or teddy bear, but parents don't allow them to bring them to school, well most parents don't. If anything, I think security blankets like this impede the child from much needed social development. What happens when the dog is retired?
From the video, its made out that the school is walking on thin ice, but I assure you, that's not the whole story.
Heather - The difference is that my son is not going to reading a book and have the words just pop out of the book and smack him in the head... the boy in the story however, COULD be walking down the hallway or playing a game in gym and be injured if someone throws something from behind -because he can't HEAR someone say "head's up" or hear the approach of footsteps. Furthermore - when my son starts to feel frustrated or panicky because the words on a page are swimming - he looks away from the book. The boy in the story can't "look away" from the hallway... he's there, he's stuck - he's living in a world where he can't turn up the volume.
The boy has a service dog... it's a life tool. His full time interpreter is not his friend, his companion, his security... he's an interpreter. To compare a SERVICE DOG to a security blanket is ignorant and ridiculous. Who are you or anyone else to tell him whether or not he needs a service dog - he is disabled, he is profoundly deaf. I know the panic and frustration that I feel when I am in a loud, noisy bar... feeling like I could scream and no one could hear me - knowing someone is trying to talk to me and I can't hear them... I can't imagine feeling like that all the time.
A service dog does not impede social development - they allow the owner to feel comfortable and independent. Let me give another example of why a service dog is a good idea for a deaf person like John...
John needs to go to the bathroom... he needs to go poop. He doesn't want his interpreter to go in with him... thanks a little privacy would be great... The fire alarm goes off... how does John know? With all the commotion going on - the interpreter could be banging on the door trying to get John's attention and John wouldn't know. A service dog however would alert John to danger and would help him get out.
Regardless of what anyone wants to argue - John is covered by the ADA - and by not allowing his dog into the school, John is being discriminated against.
"The boy has a service dog... it's a life tool. His full time interpreter is not his friend, his companion, his security... he's an interpreter. To compare a SERVICE DOG to a security blanket is ignorant and ridiculous. Who are you or anyone else to tell him whether or not he needs a service dog[?]"
Because he himself, as well as his mother, can't explain why he needs the dog!
If either one of them could say "John needs Simba at school with him because __________." Fine! So be it! They can't! That's the problem. That and her BODY language, no not her sign language, her body language, shows deception.
And how exactly is comparing his "helper" dog to a security blanket ignorant and ridiculous? Didn't you say that the dog is a security tool? Yep, you did:
"2) security - the dog can alert him to anything going on around him that perhaps he can't see."
I was being nice and not pointing out how lame your comparison of Simba to a wheelchair was. John can obviously go to school without Simba. A child confined to a wheelchair can not go to school without their wheelchair! And lets not forget that Simba IS NOT a service dog! And your example of him in the restroom is equally weak. John IS NOT completely deaf. If he's sitting alone in the crapper, he CAN hear the fire alarm, he can smell the smoke, he can see the smoke, he can feel the smoke, and depending on the toxicity level of his pooh, he may be able to taste the smoke. When one is lacking in one of the body's five senses, they are typically more attuned to the other four. If he's walking down a hallway and there is a football flying at the back of his head, what's the dog gonna do to save him? Alert him so he turns around and gets hit in the face instead? His IA would pull him down out of the way if he was any sort of decent human being, and if there were any time to do anything at all. If there is whispering going on in the background that confuses John, he can request to test in a separate room, as I have in the past and never been argued with. I could go on and on...
But, the fact remains that John and his mom have not provided reason that John needs the dog in school, or at all for that matter, with him. All they have said is that John thinks about dog while he is at school. Who doesn't? On the days that I don't take my dog to work with me, I think about him. Does that mean that, if I had a boss, that my boss should allow me to bring my dog to work with me? No! I have his picture on my desk and can rest assured that he is safely at home or in day care. Then they go on to blame his failing grades on not being able to have the dog at school? Maybe they should invest less time and effort on this case, and find John a tutor. Dogs don't do math, at least not high school level. Furthermore, the dog is not an actual Service dog and they have not followed protocol to certify the dog as a service dog, nor have they respected the schools policy regarding service dogs, or helper dogs. If they had done any of these things, and THEN were turned away, then I would jump on your wagon and say the dog should be allowed in school. He deserves fair treatment and to recieve an education equivalent to those students who are non-hearing impaired. He DOES NOT deserve SPECIAL treatment because he is hearing impaired.
Have to jump on the wagon and play Devil's advocate. I haven't read anything or heard anything saying that the dog actually helps in any way or keeps the boy safe in school. In fact, I believe I heard the mother say that the dog was to help the boy become "more independent" because of his hearing disability. Now stretch this some - or a lot. If that's the reason, and lawyers get involved, this is going to open up a major can of worms. Does that mean that now - a business that have disabled owners can break labor laws because it makes them "more independent"? Can a disabled person rob a bank and not be prosecuted, because it makes them "more independent"? I know that these are really extreme examples, but someone will try this as a defense. I'm sure thare are a multitude of ADHP people that would love this one. I can see it now - playing Guns and Roses full blast in their cubicle "helps" them concentrate (yes, another extreme). But you can see where I'm going.
I think even if he does not really need the dog he should be aloud in school. He IS a worker dog so he is protected by law. the school could get in alot of troble for 1 boy and his dog.
People that have service dogs HAVE to form a strong bond with the person they are with. The bond helps keep both safe. When he is at school he can't be with the dog. Now i go to school and it takes almost my whole day. He would never be able to see him dog.
One thing i was thinking why does she not just home school. Then everyone would be happy and her son would not have to go throught this.Well i think he should be aloud to bring the dog in school.
If he doesn't deserve special treatment for being hearing impaired ,why is he allowed an interpreter, the teacher works iwth a microphone/headset thing specially for this boy so he can learn.... he IS getting special treatment, because he is not just 'hearing impaired', he is profoundly deaf.
It doesn't matter what we think, what matters is the law. And by the ADA the dog would be allowe din the school.
Heather - last post to you - and then I'm done discussing this with you because you are obviously incapable of understanding that he is protected under the Law. You are obviously incapable of putting yourself in someone elses shoes and understanding what they might be going through.
You mention that neither he nor his mother explain WHY he needs the dog. Under the ADA - he is not required to explain WHY he needs the dog. The school is not permitted to ask why and the family does not owe anyone an explanation.
Security Blanket - Security blankets don't warn you of danger.
Comparing the dog to a wheelchair - both are "life tools", both allow a person with a disability to be more independent. The dog will allow him more independence in everyday life not only in school - but after he graduates. By bonding with the dog now and learning to to trust that the dog will assist him - it will help him as he prepares for the future. He will not have an interpreter with him for the rest of his life... when he gets a job - he will not have a someone with him at all times to help him... but it is possible for him to have a service dog with him at all times. It's possible because the law states that he can.
Where did you read that Simba is not a service dog? My understanding is that he is in the last part of his training which includes bonding with his handler. My understanding is that this dog was purchased as a service dog.
Also - you keep saying "John is not COMPLETELY deaf". Who cares? He is PROFOUNDLY deaf. At times he can hear more than at others... I'd venture to say that until either one of us have been in his shoes - we don't know what life is like for him. But it doesn't matter what either one of thinks or feels about it... according to the law - he is disabled and therefor allowed to bring his service dog with him into ANY public place - including schools.
There is not protocol or procedure for the Caves to have followed other than to let the school know of their intent to have a service dog - which they did, a year ago. They do not need to ask permission - simply tell them that he is getting a service dog. That should have been the end of the story.
Allowing a disabled person to use the tools available to them to make their lives easier is not providing "Special Treatment" - it's complying them with the law. It is an attempt to even a playing field that can never be even.
The bathroom scenario that I gave is very realistic... By the time that he would smell smoke - it could be too late. Have you been in a school when there is a fire drill? Have you heard the commotion in the hallways? It can be deafening - or in John's case - could hinder his ability to hear any one particular sound. The dog would be there to alert him that he needs to get out. Teaching him to depend on a dog who is going to be around for the next 8-10 years is better than teaching him to depend on an interpreter who is only with him 7 horus out of the day for the next 3 years.
As for her body language - whatever. Where you saw a woman who is being deceptive... I saw a woman who is fighting for the rights of her son. I saw a woman who is defending her son and trying to make sure that he has the tools that he needs to succeed. I saw a mother - a mother who loves her son and is outraged that anyone would question her ability to determine what her son needs. Whether you like her methods or not... at the end of the day - she's right.
Rescuepup - she probably could homeschool or send him to a school for the deaf - but she doesn't HAVE to. Many parents of disable children choose to homeschool their children because they get tired of having to fight for every little thing that their child needs and is entitled to under the law... but they should have to. In the US - ALL children are entitled to a free education.
I guess the law's the law, but, even after reading all the posts on this thread, I still don't understand how having this dog by his side helps John [in school] at all. Seems to me that the dog causing an attractive distraction (for John and the other kids (who also deserve a good education, let's don't forget)) outweighs the alleged benefits to John. JMHO, of course.
I am curious has anyone looked up the ADA and its rules/regs about service/guide dogs?
School districts spend lots of money on legal representation. They don't willy nilly say whats permissible and not permissible on a whim. I am positive that this topic was researched either by inside or outside counsel and that is how their decision was reached.
Lastly, this family in my opinion is alot like other families, families that want what they want and don't want to be told no. They run around w/chips on their shoulders playing the victimhood card. What better way to advance their position then to get on TV. Hey, and if a few bucks fly there way, all the better.
I had another thought about this issue. The people that are saying the mother seems to be up to something and out for some kind of payday, if the school had followed the law, there would be no issue. How is this mom trying to score?
I don't have the severity of impairment of this boy, but I know I answer questions wrong and it makes it seem like I'm an idiot, and I think that might be what happened in the CNN interview. Also, have any of you ever been interviewed on national tv? Don't you think you might be nervous and not come off just right?
Hearing impairments are a "hidden" disability. People never consider that you might be deaf and make fun of your mistakes. My husband has had people tell him, your wife is a stuck up witch, I said something to her and she just walked off. He let them go on, and then said, she is hearing impaired and reads lips, if you don't get her attention and look right at her, she probably won't hear you. And yes, I tell people, but guess what, something they can't see and have no concept of, they forget.
As for distractions, life is full of them. These kids need to learn sometime. I think nose piercings, green hair, pants to the knees, untied shoes, etc. are more annoying than a well behaved service dog. But that's just me. :)
Barligirl: "As for distractions, life is full of them. These kids need to learn sometime. I think nose piercings, green hair, pants to the knees, untied shoes, etc. are more annoying than a well behaved service dog. But that's just me. :)"
I disagree, Barligirl, the things you mentioned are part of everyday school life in this day and age. A dog in school, however, is not, and wouldn't be for a long time. Who said anything about annoying? I said distracting. Much different.
I personally think they're, unintentionally, setting the boy up for a fall. The other kids aren't going to understand why he gets to have his dog in school, who seems to fulfill no useful purpose, and they don't. They'll come to resent him and, resenting him, make him even more uncomfortable in a school situation, dog or no.
I meant to type distracting, sorry. If the dog is there everyday, the novelty will wear off, just like green hair and nose piercings.
I don't see anything wrong with these kids learning a little compassion and having some empathy for someone who is struggling to function in the world. Just because everyone else can't see the value of this dog for this kid, doesn't mean there isn't any. And if the kids become resentful and narrow minded about it, all the more reason for him to have his service dog with him for support in the chaotic, hateful world of public school.
Bottom line is if the law allows the dog to be there, then his parents have the right to insist on it.
It really doesn't matter what any of you say. This is a violation of this boys rights. Someone mention the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The school has to provide a safe environment for EVERYONE and they must allow all provisions that do this.
The school district will be sued for discriminating and the family WILL win.
I'm a teacher on Long Island and I was just discussing this with my prinicipal this morning.
Play devil's advocate or whatever you want. Everyone has a right to their opinion and that includes opinions on our laws.
However, a violation of a right...is a violation.
Not just anyone can get a service dog. If this boy has one, than it's for a really good reason.
Sometimes people make decisions on a whim without thinking them through. I'm sure other parents complained about the dog being there and that is why the school banned the dog.
***Edited By: puppylove519 on 1/10/2007 10:14:52 PM*** Reason: Add
Barligirl: "Bottom line is if the law allows the dog to be there, then his parents have the right to insist on it."
I agree with that, regardless of whether the law is "right" or "wrong," so to speak. Of course, the school's governing body has the right to take issue with the law, but should use the proper avenues to try and get the law changed, if they feel the law is unfair or unreasonable.
I see points in that he likely has enough help at school and doesn't need a dog as well, but it is his right to take his service dog with him. ADA has some loose rules on what makes a service dog one. Canada is stricter on this. Only possible thing is if your service dog behaves inappropriately it can be asked to leave by a store owner, presumably the school as well, but they'd have to prove it has poor manners.
Plain and simple to me law say dog can be here then dog can go there :) I would just have to go with the law as it was said weather it is right or wrong and as my dad says when i saw thinks arent fair he will go "everything isn't always fair"
Minniyar, an interpreter and speakers are not special treatment, they grant him access to an education equal to that of a non-hearing impaired child.
I've researched this a bit more. Simba was a christmas gift, so Johnny boy's had him just 2 weeks. There have only been 5 school days since, each day John's showed up to school with the dog and has been turned away. After day 2, he showed up with his mommy and daddy, sister and two friends (trying to intimidate them?). I'm sure a HS freshman showing up to school with his parents makes a good impression with fellow students! Now his mommy's pulling the child abuse card because John sat outside for 30 minutes when they wouldn't allow him in one day--speaks wonders for her character eh? School officials have turned him away because Simba is not an educational tool and is not needed for school...what did Johnny do before christmas? How did the poor boy manage? The school IS willing to discuss the matter and give serious consideration to allowing the dog in school, but MOMMY has refused to talk to them--there's that character again, she'd rather talk trash about the school knowing that they can't say much because they are forced to protect John's privacy in the matter. In the link provided by sonja, it does say that you ARE allowed to ask what purpose a service dog serves...in this case, NONE (mother's words). In one interview I've read the mom states that she IS NOT EVER worried about John's safety at school. In the same interview, different question, she goes on to state that she DOES worry about John's safety in school quite often. Hmm, can't even keep her story straight?
I don't think home schools the answer and he shouldn't have to go to homeschool. Hopefully, he'll learn more in school and fall under the influence of someone NOT like his mother, and learn a bit of integrity.
And Sonja, I am very capable of understanding that John is protected under the law, but possibly not in this case, as Simba is not a service dog, nor is he needed for school. I am very capable of putting myself in other people's shoes and seeing things from other people's point of view...my job requires that of me on a daily basis. I will admit that it is too difficult for me to see things from your point of view, because I refuse to stand in your shoes, as your responses, petty and far-fetched scenarios, inconsistent comparisons, and prior posts, strike me as the kind of person that makes excuses for yourself, and your son, which is probably why you relate so well to this mother. I refuse to make excuses, even when they are valid, I'm better than that. Your own link states that one can in fact ask why the person needs a service dog. This mother has stated that John does not need the dog for school. Despite your poo-poo scenario, John's own mother has stated that the dog is not for safety, and, except for when it juicens up her story, she does not even worry about John's safety at school. Yes, security blankets don't warn you of danger, but neither does Simba, or at least that's not what Simba's purpose is. Again, Simba is a "helper" dog, not a service dog, that's a term Johnny's mommy gave the dog, not me. The dog provides no service, so I would assume that may be why. John is profoundly deaf, yes. But who cares? I agree with you, John is protected under the law, and would be allowed to bring his service dog to school with him, IF HE HAD ONE! Again, the school is willing to work with them to allow John's helper dog in, but the mother is not willing to work with them. The school has provided tools to assist John, an aid, speakers and so on, that's not special treatment. Allowing John to bring his non-service-providing dog to school just because John wants him there, now that is special treatment. I live in So Cal where temperatures can get into the 100's and 110's...during these times I would be more comfortable being naked. Should I be allowed to go to school naked? I could dream up some excuse and say that my clothes were distracting me, and because of dyslexia, it makes it impossible for me to concentrate and now I have failed my math test. Sounds silly huh? So does John's defense! "I need the dog at school because I think about him when I'm at school." Any kid that got a new puppy two weeks ago would be thinking about him while at school. Only a parent trying to take advantage of the system would let the kid take a pet to school. Realistic or not, your bathroom scenario is irrelevant, as according to John's mother, the dog is not needed to keep John safe. And yes, I've been to a school fire drill or two, as I've spent about 25 years of my life in school. As a matter of fact, I've administered fire drills with a class of handicapped children, some of them being all or partially deaf (none of them had service dogs or helper dogs). But your second to last paragraph is quite enlightening, and explains a lot! I don't relate to this deceptive, fraudulent, excuse wielding mother, but you do. That's where our differences lie.
Gbroxon, that's a good point about why should other kids be distracted because John wants to bring his pet to school? Why jeopardize the educations of the other 30 students in class because one kid has a parent with a chip on her shoulder? I had dinner with 15 other school teachers tonight who were all complaining about ONE student in one of their classes that is taking away so much from the other kids in class, all because the mother is too prideful to admit that her daughter needs to be in a special ed class where she can recieve one-on-one care for her problems. Yes, that mom has that right, but don't other children have a right to education free from nonsense distractions too? In this particular case, the one teacher had parents pulling their non-behavior-problemed child from their school (which causes the school to lose money) and go to private school because they were tired of their kid talking about the other girls tantrums, constant disruptions, and other kids being hit by the girl. This teacher has found the only resolution is to suspend the girl from class every day, and she goes and sits in the principals office. How bright is that? Anyway, sorry to go off on a tangent. I'm sure this post is long enough.
Irishacres, you hit the nail on the head, this mom wants something and doesn't want her precious son to be told no. She then creates a "need" and now he is a "victim". That's sad.
Unfortunately, Johnny and his mommy will get their way. They will sue the school, be awarded a ton of money, which John will never see. John will be allowed to take his non-service-providing dog to school, he will be ridiculed by his peers because of his mother's overbearing, and we'll create another loser who uses unfortunate circumstances for personal gain. The only person who really wins is mommy. Sad.
HeatherFeather, I have only caught bits and pieces of the boy and the dog. So, I can't comment much on that. But on the girl that you think should be in "special ed" (which is normally called FMD class, now) you can thank the president for the the "No Child left behind act". One of the things it includes is placing children with disabilities in regular classes. Which I don't think is always a good idea, depending on each child, I think it should be. Anyways, I didn't see how the mother acted, but I know I get tired of fighting with the schools over things. For example my son is autistic and acts up sometimes on the evening bus. So for awhile I did bring him home from school. But the school has to legally provide transprotation for the handicap, regardless of behavior. So he is back on the bus now.
I don't remember who mentioned about the boy's hearing loss or being deaf. I am sure there are different levels of being deaf, just like someone blind isn't always totally blind. Husband lost his vision (due to diabetic retinopathy and gluacoma) in the last year and some days he can see only light and other days he can see some shadows. But before that he could only see a couple feet in front of him. No he don't have a service dog, but he does use a cane.