In 2014, eight year old Kellsey McGuire attended Sherrard Grade School in Sherrard, Illinois, a small rural community about 15 to 20 miles sound of Davenport, Iowa. Jasper, a service dog, accompanied Kellsey to school every day to help her with her epilepsy. According to Kellsey’s parents, a teacher had several ‘confrontations’ with Jasper and Kellsey and ordered the service dog banned from the school.
Leaving Jasper at home would endanger Kelsey’s health due to her epilepsy, so her parents had no alternative but to withdraw her from the school and put her into Jordan Catholic School. Consequently, the McGuires filed a lawsuit against the school, asking them to pay for two years of tuition at the private school.
After the lawsuit was filed, officials at the Sherrard School district said that they were not given enough time to resolve the problem with Kellsey’s parents. They also claim that Jasper was never banned from school and have spent around $100,000 of taxpayer money fighting the lawsuit.
According to Alissa Mack with EAGNews:
“Late last year a state hearing officer agreed that the school did in fact provide a hostile environment, and the district was ordered to pay two years tuition for Kellsey to attend private school.”
“Superintendent Dr. Samuel Light is defending the appeal claiming since the McGuires did not accept the settlement reached as per a state hearing officer’s ruling, the district has no other option.”
“‘If they don’t accept the offer, then we have to appeal. We totally agreed to pay what we were told to pay by the hearing officer, and that was denied’, said Dr. Light, according to the news site.”
“The McGuires want more than the ordered district-covered two years tuition for their daughter to attend private school. They want to make sure there is a policy protecting children and service dogs in place so this does not happen to other children.”
“They would also like the district to cover their $65,000 legal bill, which is only about two-thirds of the $100,000 legal bill the district has racked up.”
“‘While the litigation is likely not concluded, this is an important step toward achieving justice not only for their daughter and Jasper, but for all children dealing with disabilities who seek unfettered public access with service animals’, John Doak, the attorney representing the McGuire family, said in a statement after the December 2014 ruling, according to WQAD news.”
The battle continues on between the school district and the McGuires and I am rooting for the McGuires to come out on top. Service dogs are not disruptive unless someone tries to do something to their owners. You have to wonder what the teacher did in order to provoke any kind of confrontation with Jasper that would warrant the teacher to take the action she did?
But in today’s totalitarian mindset found in many public schools, it’s not surprising. I’ve recently written about a teacher who forced a young student to unclog a feces filled toilet with his bare hands because he used too much toilet paper. Examples of teachers abusing children and violating their rights have been increasing lately. This is another reason why I advocate homeschooling and private schooling if at all possible.