This Petition is to support access for my son's service dog, so that he can accompany my son to school. I have worked withthe school for over a year, and their position is that they do not have to permit access to the dog because the dog mitigates a disability, but does not directly enhance Jonah's educational experience. I disagree, and respectfully ask that Board officials carefully consider the ADAA, the best interests of the child, and best practices for inclusion in reaching a positive decision in this matter. Below is an open letter to potential supporters.
This rally is to quietly, positively and powerfully let the Yellow Springs School Board
know that while it may be POSSIBLE to deny Jonah the right to have his Service
Dog accompany him to school, it is both RIGHT and JUST to find a way to make this
happen for a child who has STRUGGLED and WORKED SO HARD to be a student, and
who will CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE for much of his life just to do what the rest of us
consider normal: sit still. Read. Think in a linear and logical manner. Follow and
understand social interactions and learn from experience—this list could go on for a
A Service Dog is required to be accommodated in ANY PUBLIC SETTING. A school,
unlike all other settings, can WRITE THE CHILD’S IEP IN SUCH A WAY that the
Service Dog is considered unnecessary because his function is superseded by other
In Jonah’s case, this means that fidgets, a yoga ball, a weighted vest, an intervention
specialist who will let him rest while she reads to him are, in part, in the opinion of
the IEP team, things that make the dog unnecessary.
My stance for over a year since the conversation with the IEP team, Principal and
Superintendent (and their lawyer, I am to understand) began, has been this: Every
study done regarding the use of Service Dogs in school has shown a highly positive
outcome not only for the child being directly served, but for the classroom as a
My argument to the IEP team has been this: the dog provides an interactive, mobile
sensory diet to Jonah. He is able with the dog to determine what his sensory needs
are at any given moment (deep pressure, a comforting paw, a transitional object)
and to engage the dog accordingly. This is less stigmatizing than an adult aide who
might provide the weighted vest or the comfort.
Will Jonah still benefit from the excellent intervention services he now receives?
Of course he will. Jonah has consistently received outstanding services at Mills
Lawn School, and I in NO WAY question the integrity or professional capacity of
his teachers or intervention professionals. I simply request the ability to ADD TO
JONAH’S TOOLBOX OF SUPPORTS this highly trained Service Dog.
Problem: Jonah and Clank’s bond suffers from a 7 hour a day, 5 day a week
separation. They need to spend as much time as possible together for Clank to best
interpret and anticipate and respond to Jonah’s needs. This dog and this boy need
to be together. Please make a sign, sign the online petition, write a letter to the YS News or the School Board or show up at 6:30 on Thursday and help this boy and his dog open Mills Lawn’s doors to TRULY FEARLESS THINKING.