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Judge denies Arkansas teen’s request for school service dog

January 3, 2019

CONWAY, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge has rejected a plea by a 16-year-old Arkansas girl who sought to bring her service dog to school to help ease panic attacks that can debilitate her.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that federal Judge Brian Miller ruled Wednesday that the Conway School District can’t be compelled under the Americans with Disabilities Act to allow the dog.

The girl and her mother had argued the district’s refusal to allow Dobbie, a miniature Australian shepherd, violated federal disability law.

The girl, a senior, receives psychiatric treatment for anxiety and Dobbie is trained to do things like block her from crowds, which sometimes trigger attacks.

Miller determined the federal disabilities act requires the district to make “reasonable modifications” to avoid disability discrimination. But he ruled the act doesn’t require the district to provide the specific modifications the girl sought.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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