A high school in South Texas is forcing a young autistic student to leave her service dog at home. . .even though Colleen Molohon has been bringing Chili to school without incident for two years:
Colleen has had Chili for 4 years. The George West High School senior spent her freshmen and sophomore years with Chili by her side, but when her junior year began, the school told her Chili had to go.
The school district said that Chili didn’t meet the standards for a service dog as laid out by the American Disability Act. They determined that Chili was really only there for emotional support, and according to a 2011 rule change in ADA guidelines, that isn’t enough to classify Chili as a service dog.
As the above news report makes clear, Chili performs vital tasks that reduce stress and help Colleen interact with others. Heck, even the principal of the school thinks Colleen should be able to bring the dog to class!
The school district claims that Chili does not meet the legal definition of a service dog according to the American with Disabilities Act. What do you think?