Florida school district bans service dog for autistic student

This story contains what we might call double-edged stupid. Florida’s Collier County School District doesn’t understand the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or what great companions services dogs are for kids with disabilities.

Pepsi, a golden retriever, is a service dog for 6-year-old J.C. Bowen, a boy with autism. According to the story posted on Change.org, Pepsi has “learned to respond to J.C.’s seizures by keeping him from falling, alerting people when J.C. needs help, and keeping him calm before, during and after an episode.”

But despite all of these facts and the very important ADA regulations, the Collier County School District has told the Bowen family that JC’s service dog must stay home.

School officials even tried to deny a representative of Florida Service Dogs, Inc. access to the building where a hearing was being held because she had her service dog with her. Another clear violation of the ADA.

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