This kid and his parents and his dog I’m sure are good people. I’m sure the superintendent has the capacity to be a good person as well. I even believe that the Human Rights Division Commissioner is probably a good person.
But the dog isn’t the damn issue here. And oddly enough, neither is the one hundred and fifty million dollar lawsuit.
The issue is that we have one — ONE — student here who is affecting the ‘learning environment’ of fifteen hundred other students, because at some point in the past, someone else probably sued about being allergic to animals.
The super can’t win for losing. If he lets the dog on campus without being forced into it, he would be held responsible if for any reason the dog EVER bit anyone, someone slipped in doggy pee or doggy doo, or claimed that they couldn’t be in any classroom the dog had been in because it made their allergies act up. If he doesn’t let the dog on campus, the parents of this ONE kid will sue the budget out of the system for a hundred years, and he will still be held responsible if any of the above happen.
But school officials think the Labrador Retriever could aggravate or serve as a distraction to students with severe allergies and would pose a danger during fire and emergency lockdown drills. Cave’s family countered that the 1,500-student school could be outfitted with air filters.
The lawsuit-happy parents say that the school should just get better air filters. They do actually let this dog into their house, right? Do they not notice that dog hair has a way of eluding even the best high powered vacuum cleaners, let alone their A/C filter?
Leaving aside for the moment that there have been some horrid comments left on the site where I found this story, there seems to be more actual data from the local coverage area. For example, the Human Rights Division Commish (dang, almost typed kommisar) is apparently brand spanking new to the job, the rulings of her Commission do not necessarily carry the weight of a court or legislative act, the kid needs the dog because he doesn’t always wear his implants, and gee darnit, some folks are really rude about their need to actually, y’know, breathe.
This is the crap I mean when I say that frivolous lawsuits create bad precedent. On the other hand, the parents of this ONE kid are totally gunning for a fight.
But, let it not be said that I offer no solutions, because I have one for this case:
Leave the damn dog at home and have an actual person who can translate speech to sign language (the dog can’t do that, can he? no? good, I’m still on safe ground here then) accompany this kid throughout his day. Make it be an education major from whatever the local university is and it would give that person a useful resume enhancement and/or course credit or work/study paycheck. That solves the problem of this ONE KID screwing with every other special snowflake’s chances of getting an education while still letting his parents get their Munchausen’s on.
Because that’s all this is: these parents want to not only make sure that poor deaf (sometimes) son knows that they wuv him vewwy mush but wants all of us to know it too; even it that means placing unreasonable demands on a school system that I’m sure struggles just to make sure that kids even come to class or that parents give a crap in the first place.