by ADN

January 27, 2015

CC BY by Calsidyrose
CC BY by Calsidyrose

Sherwood, Ore -The family of a young boy with autism has filed a federal complaint following the school’s refusal to allow their son’s autism service dog to attend classes with him without a handler.

Scott and Jennifer Mcdonald opted to file the complaint with the Department of Justice as a result of an ongoing dispute with their son John’s school board regarding his dog Kai. According to Mcdonald,  staff had initially given them permission to send the youngster to school without any conditions however later, administrators informed the couple that the canine would require a handler on school premises.  Mcdonald argues that in order to do so, she would have to pay  a handler to accompany  John and Kai to class every day which she does not have the financial means to do.

Ultimately the school board refused to relent, prompting Mcdonald to take the case to the federal court system in hopes of resolving the matter. Meanwhile, the exasperated mother remains adamant regarding the issue arguing that the dog has been beneficial not only for her son but for staff members and other students as well. She states:

“It’s easier for (John). It’s easier for the staff. It’s easier on the rest of the kids. We don’t understand why they’re doing it.”

Source: Kerry Tomlinson on the KATU new website: Family files federal complaint to keep autistic son & service dog together

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