After Dispute, Service Dog Brings Positive Benefits To Classroom
A service dog who sparked a protracted fight between an Illinois boy’s parents and his school district turned out to be a good addition to his classroom, the boy’s teachers say.
Melissa and Chris Kalbfleisch took their school district in Columbia, Ill. to court so that their son Carter, 6, who has autism, could bring his service dog to school. Both a local judge and an appeals court sided with the family, but ultimately the boy’s school district opted to send him to a private school rather than allow the dog in one of their classrooms.
Now teachers at the Illinois Center for Autism where Carter attends classes say his dog, Corbin, has helped the boy become more social and has led to fewer behavior problems with other students in Carter’s class who have autism as well.
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School district officials were opposed to welcoming the service dog for fear that he would be a disruption or that students would be bothered by allergies. They also suggested the dog might relieve himself inside the school building.
Instead, the principal at Carter’s current school says she would welcome more trained dogs like Corbin who has blended well, needing no accommodation and enhancing the school experience for all students, reports the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat.