Home > Article from newspaper > Federal Judge Sides With School on Deaf Boy’s Service Dog

Federal Judge Sides With School on Deaf Boy’s Service Dog

February 27, 2007

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (1010 WINS)  — A federal judge refused to order a Long Island school to allow a hearing-impaired teenager’s service dog to school.

A lawsuit was brought by 14-year-old John Cave, Jr. and his parents after the East Meadow School District stopped him from taking his dog, Simba, to class. The boy uses cochlear implants. The lawsuit says the dog is less effective if it is not with the teenager all day.

The Westbury family also is seeking $150 million in damages, alleging discrimination.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court said the school district’s decision is keeping the teen from attending school and violates the Americans With Disabilities Act.

School District Superintendent Robert Dillon said service dogs are barred from schools “to foster a safe and effective school environment.” School district officials have also said the boy doesn’t need the dog to access school resources.