Teacher's allergy, autistic first-grader's service dog at odds

Published on Friday, 23 August 2013 11:02 - Written by

ATHENS, Ohio (AP) — The mother of an autistic first-grader in Ohio who uses a service dog is challenging a decision that the girl must change schools because her teacher is allergic to dog dander.

Athens superintendent Carl Martin calls it a reasonable solution to balance the rights of the teacher and the student.

But the girl's mother, Charla Gretz, tells The Columbus Dispatch it would disturb her 6-year-old daughter. She also says the bus ride would be significantly longer from their home in The Plains. Martin disputes that.

An attorney with the Ohio School Boards Association says schools are legally obligated to accommodate the student and teacher. She says that might be harder for a smaller district like Athens with fewer special-education teachers.

Gretz plans to take the issue to the school board.

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