Service dog to help Mills Lawn student in question
- Published: September 13, 2013
The Yellow Springs school board heard a public request at the start of yesterday’s meeting from a parent who would like her son to be allowed to bring a service dog to school with him.
Judy Kintner spoke to the board on behalf of her son, Jonah, who was recently paired with a service dog, Clank, a golden retriever, from 4 Paws for Service. Jonah, 10, who is on an individualized education plan, or IEP, takes daily medication for high amounts of anxiety and stress, as well as difficulty concentrating. Last month he was paired with Clank, a service dog who is trained to give Jonah a constant companion and help him to concentrate and feel more relaxed throughout his school day. According to Kintner, the school so far has told her that her son may not have the dog in school. Because she feels it is her son’s legal right to have one, she has filed a complaint for due process with the Ohio Department of Education and started a petition in the village with about 350 signatures in favor of the service dog.
The schools did not comment during the meeting because of what Board President Benji Maruyama said was a pending lawsuit on the issue. But Maruyama said that the board was in full “receive mode” and “we absolutely value public education and will do the best we can do to educate all of our students.”
Kintner also stated that Superintendent Mario Basora had agreed to speak with her further on Monday to see if the two sides could reach an agreement. She is hopeful, she said during the meeting, that that can happen.
More on the story will appear in the next week’s News.