Deaf student's dog turned away from school

VamPyroX

bloody phreak from hell
"I feel like they aren't being fair," ninth-grader John Cave of Westbury said Thursday of East Meadow School District officials, who don't believe he needs the dog to attend class. "They act like they're against me because of my dog."
Unfair? What about the students who are allergic to dogs? Won't that be fair to them? They have rights too. He can get through school without a dog. He doesn't need a dog to get his education. It's not like he's going to say, "Hey Fido, what's '2+2'? Tap me the answer!" "WOOF! WOOF! *taps table 3 times*" "Oh, 3? Thanks! *writes down 3 on test*"
 

RedheadGrrl

New Member
Premium Member
Mod -- Merge this story with other story in Current news!





{Mod Note: Thread was merged with 'this' thread as it was posted up first--~RR}
 
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Defmusicman

New Member
Does he have an interpreter? If he does, why does he need a dog to go to school with him? There are hundreds of deaf/hh kids who did fine in mainstream schools without a dog. So I have to say that the parents are being unreasonable in demanding that the school accomodate the dog. The dog can help the boy at home but is not necessary for school. There are also safety and health issues involved. I think this is a case of taking the ADA a bit too far.
 

Silentwolfdog

New Member
My high school friend who is blind had an eye guiding dog, and my public school had no problem with her dog being there. In fact principal actually love dog being there.

She just have to change her routine a little like leaving the class 5 min early to avoid the traffic and bring awareness to people about how they should behave around her and her dog.

In the end, everything went by fine. I do not see anything wrong about him having his dog with him at school. It does take person and dog long time to bond and for dog to become aware of what it is supposed to do. So it's important for the boy to have dog with him almost all the time.

I know I did not have interpreters with me all the time, so dog would have been helpful. My school does not have fire alarm for deaf nor anything that let me know what goes on if I did not have interpreter.

So I said let him have his dog with him. He can change class if there's students with allergy, it's that simple. That's my opinion, it's easier because I have seen someone with guiding dog for me to understand what the boy must have went through.
 

FeistyChick

New Member
I just noticed this thread. I am not 100% familiar with the case, but I live in the area and have heard many things from therapists, etc. From what I know, he has a full time interpretor at school, and also has bilateral implants. Now I could be wrong on these facts, but I am pretty sure this is the case. I also heard from friends who saw an interview with him that he speaks well. They had no problem understanding him, which makes me think he must hear pretty well. I am not minimizing his need for this dog, but I am not sure why he needs the dog at school. If he truly has an interpreter, then I would think that is enough. And again, he has a CI, actually 2. I think the family is concerned he will not hear fire alarms, etc.

it is necessarily not true... i am very profound deaf (with CI) but i speak very well... why? cuz i had one of the best speech therapists.. if it hadn't been for her, i would have never learned to talk... my first word was "lamb" at the age of 5... i know some profound deaf people like myself who can speak very well too... it has nothing to do with whether you can hear pretty well or not... :D - it depends on his/her upbringings... and also having speech therapist too... many people thought i would never speak... but my speech therapist proved everyone wrong by working with me around the clock ... i was very fortunate to have her.. :thumb:
 

FeistyChick

New Member
I think allergies of other students should be a major concern. You can't cater to one child in a school full of children, especially when there are other alternatives available for that one child.

that could be one of the factors too... :dunno:

i know people who are allergic to dogs other than cats...

or maybe they didn't want to distract other children with having a dog around as well? :hmm:
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
I just noticed this thread. I am not 100% familiar with the case, but I live in the area and have heard many things from therapists, etc. From what I know, he has a full time interpretor at school, and also has bilateral implants. Now I could be wrong on these facts, but I am pretty sure this is the case. I also heard from friends who saw an interview with him that he speaks well. They had no problem understanding him, which makes me think he must hear pretty well. I am not minimizing his need for this dog, but I am not sure why he needs the dog at school. If he truly has an interpreter, then I would think that is enough. And again, he has a CI, actually 2. I think the family is concerned he will not hear fire alarms, etc.

I also want to add that this school is one of the best schools to attend if you have a disability. They have an excellent reputation for giving students whatever they need. I have proof of this from therapists that deal with my daughter. I hate to say it, but I agree with the school district on this one. If it were any other school district, I would say they are being unfair. Knowing this school district has been extrememly helpful in the past, makes me think twice about this request. I hope they come to an understanding soon.

Also, the East Meadow school district has many many deaf students. I think they have the 2nd largest deaf population on all of Long Island.

No offense, but that statement "He can speak really well so he must hear really well" is not right. I had that comment made to me so many times as a child cuz I can speak so well and I am profoundly deaf without a CI. I got reprimanded many times by my parents and teachers for not understanding people as well as they expected me to and as a result, I became paranoid about understanding everyone 100% cuz I was expected to hear better than I could all because I can speak so well. One has nothing to do with the other. That has to be one of the most frustrating expectation ever put on me growing up. Now, I do not care if hearing people get upset if I cant understand them if they had made the assumption I can hear well. I do tell them that I need them to face me so I can read their lips but because they assumed I can hear well, they start talking to me without facing me and I would gently remind them and then they get frustrated. Before, that used to upset me..now I just laugh and just blow them off cuz if they are not willing to understand the fact that I dont have good hearing despite my good speech skills, then they are not worth my time talking to. It gets tiring after a while.

The point is, I cant understand everything being said to me nor I cant hear as well as I can speak. It is possible he cant hear well with his CIs and needs additional assistive devices or services.

In addition, it is not fair to assume that the child can hear well cuz he has CIs. I have about 50 students who go to my school who are unable to benefit from their CIs. Pls find out if the boy can rely on his CI first before assuming he can hear well. That is the problem with many people out there..making those kinds of assumptions and then put those expectations on deaf people and when it doesnt work, whose self esteem gets compromised? Yea, no surprise. Gotta be careful what u say.
 

Defmusicman

New Member
No offense, but that statement "He can speak really well so he must hear really well" is not right. I had that comment made to me so many times as a child cuz I can speak so well and I am profoundly deaf without a CI. I got reprimanded many times by my parents and teachers for not understanding people as well as they expected me to and as a result, I became paranoid about understanding everyone 100% cuz I was expected to hear better than I could all because I can speak so well. One has nothing to do with the other. That has to be one of the most frustrating expectation ever put on me growing up. Now, I do not care if hearing people get upset if I cant understand them if they had made the assumption I can hear well. I do tell them that I need them to face me so I can read their lips but because they assumed I can hear well, they start talking to me without facing me and I would gently remind them and then they get frustrated. Before, that used to upset me..now I just laugh and just blow them off cuz if they are not willing to understand the fact that I dont have good hearing despite my good speech skills, then they are not worth my time talking to. It gets tiring after a while.

The point is, I cant understand everything being said to me nor I cant hear as well as I can speak. It is possible he cant hear well with his CIs and needs additional assistive devices or services.

In addition, it is not fair to assume that the child can hear well cuz he has CIs. I have about 50 students who go to my school who are unable to benefit from their CIs. Pls find out if the boy can rely on his CI first before assuming he can hear well. That is the problem with many people out there..making those kinds of assumptions and then put those expectations on deaf people and when it doesnt work, whose self esteem gets compromised? Yea, no surprise. Gotta be careful what u say.

Ditto for me , Shel90 . I am in the same situation as you and I get pretty much the same response a lot. I can speak well but do not hear as well as I would like to and I get mixed reactions.
But, back to the topic at hand, I still don't understand why this boy needs a dog to help him get thru school. He has an interpreter and this whole thing really centers on his "bonding" with the dog. The quality of his education is not the issue here as has already been made clear. His academic performance is not dependent upon him having the dog at school with him so his parent's argument that he needs to have the dog at school so that he and the dog can bond will not hold water. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this case. Stay tuned.
 

RedheadGrrl

New Member
Premium Member
UPDATE


Judge: Dog Simba must stay out of school
BY CARL MACGOWAN AND JOHN VALENTI


A federal judge ruled Tuesday afternoon that as long as John Cave Jr. is a student at an East Meadow high school, his service dog, Simba, will have to remain home for now.

Saying that the 14-year-old boy and his family had "failed to exhaust" all their appeals with the East Meadow School District, U.S. District Court Judge Arthur D. Spatt said Simba is not allowed to accompany his owner to classes at W. Tresper Clarke High School because the dog could be "disruptive and counterproductive" to the educational process.

The ruling was announced by Spatt shortly after 1 p.m. in U.S. District Court, Eastern District in Central Islip.

Spatt ruled against the Caves, he said, in part because the family did not follow the appeals process in place in the school district -- instead opting to sue the district for $150 million.

John Cave Jr. is deaf and said he needs Simba to attend classes with him at Clarke, where he is a ninth-grader, because not having the dog present is destroying his training regime with Simba.

His attorney, Paul Margiotta, had argued the dog should be allowed in school and that the right to do so is guaranteed by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The canine controversy has attracted national attention since Jan. 3, when Clarke principal Timothy Voels called police after Cave attempted to bring Simba to school.

District officials argued Cave did not need the dog and expressed concern for the health and safety of other students and staff. Parents of schoolmates said they feared their children would suffer allergic reactions with the dog in class and Voels even testified in court earlier this month that allowing Simba in school was akin to playing "Russian Roulette" with the health and welfare of students and faculty.

But in his decision Tuesday, Spatt said that though two school district committees that govern the education of disabled students in the district had ruled against Cave bringing Simba to school, Cave's parent, John and Nancy, never appealed either of those decisions to the district. Instead, they opted to file the multimillion suit and sought a preliminary injunction that would force the district to allow Simba to attend school. Cave's parents argued that Simba was losing his effectiveness as a service dog because he is away from their son for at least six hours a day.

"I've had it," Nancy Cave, seated in the gallery, said quietly, as Spatt announced his decision. Her son, who uses cochlear implants in his ears to hear, had no reaction to the ruling.

Simba, who also was in court, sat quietly and was well-behaved the entire time.

The family, their lawyer and Simba immediately went into a conference room following the ruling and did not formally address reporters.

The lawyers representing the school district praised the verdict and noted that the district provides Cave with a sign-language interpreter, a note-taker and other assistance while the ninth-grader is in class.

"I think the judge did the right thing and recognized that the district is doing the right thing," said school district attorney Steve Schlesinger. Another school district attorney, Stanley Camhi, said the decision demonstrates the contention that "the district is going above and beyond their legal requirements to serve to Cave."

It is unclear if Cave and his parents can still appeal the district's previous committee rulings through the district-approved appeals process.

It also is unclear if they will appeal the court's Tuesday decision.
 

Defmusicman

New Member
It looks like common sense has prevailed in this case. I can understand a blind, visually impaired or deaf/blind student requiring a seeing-eye dog . But in this case, the parents have not offered any convincing proof that the boy cannot function without the dog. The rights of one does not supersede the rights of all so I'll score this one for the judge.
 

pek1

New Member
UPDATE


Judge: Dog Simba must stay out of school
BY CARL MACGOWAN AND JOHN VALENTI


A federal judge ruled Tuesday afternoon that as long as John Cave Jr. is a student at an East Meadow high school, his service dog, Simba, will have to remain home for now.

Saying that the 14-year-old boy and his family had "failed to exhaust" all their appeals with the East Meadow School District, U.S. District Court Judge Arthur D. Spatt said Simba is not allowed to accompany his owner to classes at W. Tresper Clarke High School because the dog could be "disruptive and counterproductive" to the educational process.

The ruling was announced by Spatt shortly after 1 p.m. in U.S. District Court, Eastern District in Central Islip.

Spatt ruled against the Caves, he said, in part because the family did not follow the appeals process in place in the school district -- instead opting to sue the district for $150 million.

John Cave Jr. is deaf and said he needs Simba to attend classes with him at Clarke, where he is a ninth-grader, because not having the dog present is destroying his training regime with Simba.

His attorney, Paul Margiotta, had argued the dog should be allowed in school and that the right to do so is guaranteed by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The canine controversy has attracted national attention since Jan. 3, when Clarke principal Timothy Voels called police after Cave attempted to bring Simba to school.

District officials argued Cave did not need the dog and expressed concern for the health and safety of other students and staff. Parents of schoolmates said they feared their children would suffer allergic reactions with the dog in class and Voels even testified in court earlier this month that allowing Simba in school was akin to playing "Russian Roulette" with the health and welfare of students and faculty.

But in his decision Tuesday, Spatt said that though two school district committees that govern the education of disabled students in the district had ruled against Cave bringing Simba to school, Cave's parent, John and Nancy, never appealed either of those decisions to the district. Instead, they opted to file the multimillion suit and sought a preliminary injunction that would force the district to allow Simba to attend school. Cave's parents argued that Simba was losing his effectiveness as a service dog because he is away from their son for at least six hours a day.

"I've had it," Nancy Cave, seated in the gallery, said quietly, as Spatt announced his decision. Her son, who uses cochlear implants in his ears to hear, had no reaction to the ruling.

Simba, who also was in court, sat quietly and was well-behaved the entire time.

The family, their lawyer and Simba immediately went into a conference room following the ruling and did not formally address reporters.

The lawyers representing the school district praised the verdict and noted that the district provides Cave with a sign-language interpreter, a note-taker and other assistance while the ninth-grader is in class.

"I think the judge did the right thing and recognized that the district is doing the right thing," said school district attorney Steve Schlesinger. Another school district attorney, Stanley Camhi, said the decision demonstrates the contention that "the district is going above and beyond their legal requirements to serve to Cave."

It is unclear if Cave and his parents can still appeal the district's previous committee rulings through the district-approved appeals process.

It also is unclear if they will appeal the court's Tuesday decision.

I haven't been watching this for a few months and have now come up to date.

It is unfortunate that the hearing dog wasn't allowed. I still stand by the parents, as well as the ACLU and the filing of the $150 million lawsuit. Keep appealing, keep appealing and hounding the judicial system. There are many high-profile attorneys that would jump at this chance. I know I would!

I would also file a lawsuit against the judge.

For the boy, I'm afraid that the school is now considered a hostile environment, which is probably going to be covered in the new lawsuit. If not, it should be. The safety of the child is now in jeapardy due to this ruling and the parents should home school him.

As for other students having allergies? Whatever.:roll:
 

SorEncarnacion

New Member
I think allergies of other students should be a major concern. You can't cater to one child in a school full of children, especially when there are other alternatives available for that one child.

Please know that I am not trying to be rude about this at all. If allergies to the dog are to be a concern for the school, then it must also remove every other type of common allergen from its campus, including every type of pollenating plant, the grass on the athletic fields, and all of the common allergens in the kitchen (almost every grain, dairy, eggs/poultry, nuts, beans of all kinds, and every seafood product, ... ) because the school just might have students allergic to one or more of these things.
I can understand why the school would not want a dog, no matter how well trained, to be roaming in crowded hallways. Though the danger is miniscule, it is not nonexistent. However, were I to argue this point in court, I would ask if a school should remove a blind person's cane because it can be used as a weapon. For this reason, the student can take paths less traveled, or move a few minutes before/after everyone else does.
I can see the interpreter point as valid, but only if the interpreter(s) would be with the student every minute from the time he showed up for school in the morning to the time he left that afternoon. If the school will not allow the dog on campus, it should replace that service in like manner. This would require that the interpreter(s) be male, so that trips to the bathroom, gym class, and so on are, at the very least, less awkward. This would mean possibly no down time at all for the interpreter(s), and the school would have to be willing to pay even more for male interpreters than a female, if that is the case where they are, not to mention housing the interpreter if he lives too far to commute. Economically, the service dog definitely costs the school a whole lot less than any other alternative.

True, if the school really insists on sticking to its own policy, it can. However, I think that the school would end up investing more energy in trying to replace the service than it would in just making a small change in its own rules.
 

ASLGAL

New Member
I do not see a doubt here.

The ADA is very clear, the child qualifies for and received the dog as a tool for his independence in life, the dog should be with him and in school, the movies, a store, or city street, anywhere the child goes the dog should go.

I can see the dependency issue that some one brought up. That is food for thought as it did not occur to me. That is something his Deaf mentors should work on with him.

Bottom line for me is the School Districts abuse of their power and discriminatory treatment of this young man.

Unfortunate but this type of arrogance toward Deaf/Deaf-Blind and their tools for life goes on all the time.

You would think an enlightened society could do better.
 

Defmusicman

New Member
The dog was trained for a purpose and that purpose is to aid the boy. Regardless.

Aid the boy in what? He's not blind nor does he have vision problems. He has interpreters and notetakers. He is not helpless without the dog and can function like any other deaf/hh kid in a mainstream school. So I do not see why the school should be forced to accomodate him. I hate to play devil's advocate here but this case does not fall into the "reasonable accomodations" category.

Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinions and I respect all opinions whether you agree with me or not.
 

jillio

New Member
I actually agree with them. Instead of a dog he should have an interpreter. They present good points to the argument as well. There's no reason why he would need a dog at school. Maybe I'm not familar with how service dogs function to help deaf people, but I fail to see how bringing a dog to school will help him.

Would someone mind telling me how taking a dog to school -will- help someone in place where an interpreter can't?

Perhaps if he has gone to the bathroom alone and the female terp can't go in with him. Should a fire alarm sound at that point the dog would be able to alert him.
 

jillio

New Member
Please know that I am not trying to be rude about this at all. If allergies to the dog are to be a concern for the school, then it must also remove every other type of common allergen from its campus, including every type of pollenating plant, the grass on the athletic fields, and all of the common allergens in the kitchen (almost every grain, dairy, eggs/poultry, nuts, beans of all kinds, and every seafood product, ... ) because the school just might have students allergic to one or more of these things.
I can understand why the school would not want a dog, no matter how well trained, to be roaming in crowded hallways. Though the danger is miniscule, it is not nonexistent. However, were I to argue this point in court, I would ask if a school should remove a blind person's cane because it can be used as a weapon. For this reason, the student can take paths less traveled, or move a few minutes before/after everyone else does.
I can see the interpreter point as valid, but only if the interpreter(s) would be with the student every minute from the time he showed up for school in the morning to the time he left that afternoon. If the school will not allow the dog on campus, it should replace that service in like manner. This would require that the interpreter(s) be male, so that trips to the bathroom, gym class, and so on are, at the very least, less awkward. This would mean possibly no down time at all for the interpreter(s), and the school would have to be willing to pay even more for male interpreters than a female, if that is the case where they are, not to mention housing the interpreter if he lives too far to commute. Economically, the service dog definitely costs the school a whole lot less than any other alternative.

True, if the school really insists on sticking to its own policy, it can. However, I think that the school would end up investing more energy in trying to replace the service than it would in just making a small change in its own rules.

What if the student were blind? Theoretically, he could use a human guide to be mobile while at school. Should they refuse to let service dogs for blind students as well? Just asking.
 

msjoi

New Member
Should deaf/Hard of Hearing (HoH) students be special ed.?

Hello, I am a special educator in training, and we're currently doing research on the fact that some feel that those with deafness or that are HoH should not be "grouped" in with students with disabilities, although special services and assistance may be necessary in the education process. What do you all feel is necessary for schools and educators to do to help?
 
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