Diversity, School Discipline and a Service Dog
June 03, 2008, 03:44 AM
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Mix diversity and the failure of a school to enforce discipline and you have the situation in Minnesota which was recently reported by World Net Daily:
A Muslim high school student`s intolerance for a service dog needed by a student teacher with a disability has reportedly prompted the student teacher to abandon the last 10 hours of his scheduled assignment at Technical High School in St. Cloud, Minn.
Here's some background :
The St. Cloud Times online said the situation developed with student teacher Tyler Hurd, 23, of Mahtomedi, who hopes to teach special education. He`s a student at St. Cloud State University, and was assigned to Technical High School in the St. Cloud district for his 50 hours of student teaching, and took with him his service dog, Emmitt.The newspaper said Hurd needs a service dog because of a childhood injury that leaves him with seizures, sometimes happening as often as weekly. The black lab is trained to protect Hurd when he has a seizure.
Here`s what happened :
Hurd, however, reported a student threatened to kill his dog. He said the threat came from a Somali student who is Muslim. Minnesota has a large Somali population, mostly Muslim, and they have been involved in issues over their religion in the past.
Apparently, at a previous assignment though, Somali students had been a little more tolerant of the dog:
Hurd earlier spent some time student teaching at Talahi Community School, where he said his experience was good. He told the newspaper Somali students there even petted his dog, although they used paper to keep their hands from actually making physical contact.
But not at Tech, where
Hurd reported, students taunted his dog, and he left when he was told a student threatened the animal.
The school, however, was playing it down:
The school district told the newspaper it wasn`t really a threat.
Here`s the part that indicates the attitude that is the read problem :
"I think it was a misunderstanding where we didn`t really prepare either side for possible implications," Julia Espe, curriculum director for the public schools, said.
"Prepare either side for possible implications"? ? What a cop-out ! Why couldn`t the school have just told the Somali students to leave the dog alone?