Quantcast
Connect with us

A girl and her service dog: top US court mulls discrimination claim

Published

on

Not for the first time, a pooch named Wonder was left out in the cold on Monday, waiting outside the U.S. Supreme Court as the justices considered whether a Michigan school district can be sued for not letting a disabled girl take the service dog to class.

The court on Monday heard arguments in a case involving Ehlena Fry, a 12-year-old with cerebral palsy, that explores the circumstances under which people can sue for damages arising from discrimination against the disabled.

ADVERTISEMENT

Several justices indicated that lawsuits like the one brought by the girl’s parents might be allowed in certain circumstances.

The girl, from Manchester, Michigan, was born with the condition that affects body movement, muscle coordination and balance. Her pediatrician prescribed a service dog to help her live independently.

Wonder, a goldendoodle, was trained to help her balance, retrieve dropped items, open and close doors, turn on lights, take off her coat and other tasks. Her medical condition imposes no cognitive impairment.

The case arose in 2009 when Ezra Eby Elementary School, which Ehlena attended, refused after a trial period to allow the girl, who was 5 at the time, to continue to bring Wonder to school. The family withdrew Ehlena and home-schooled her for two years. She is now enrolled in middle school and no longer needs canine assistance, though Wonder still lives with the family.

ADVERTISEMENT

The family filed a lawsuit in 2012, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, claiming the school violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation and other areas.

A judge threw out the lawsuit, saying the family had failed to follow all the administrative procedures available before filing the suit in federal court. The Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2015 upheld that decision, prompting the family to appeal to the Supreme Court.

ADVERTISEMENT

The legal issue is whether the family was required under a separate U.S. law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to try all alternative state remedies before filing a federal lawsuit.

A number of justices indicated that because the family sought monetary damages for emotional distress, not an agreement to allow her to continue attending the school, it would make little sense to require them to undertake the administrative process.

To do so would be “kind of a charade,” Chief Justice John Roberts said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ehlena attended the argument. Wonder waited outside.

A ruling is due by the end of June.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

John Oliver cites Donald Trump’s final offer for Greenland: ‘$200 and I’ll throw in Don Jr.’

Published

on

"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's favorite highlight of the week was, of course, President Donald Trump's decision that he wanted to buy Greenland.

In his opener Sunday, the HBO host said that he wasn't all that surprised given Trump's track record.

"Of course, he f*cking did. Of course, he did. Greenland is icy, distant and autonomous is exactly Trump's type," Oliver said, showing a photo of Trump with the first lady.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Florida teacher removed after bizarre rant about students not standing for the pledge

Published

on

Students were faced with a white-board rant in a classroom attacking anyone not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The moment went viral locally on Thursday after students posted Daniel Goodman‘s “inappropriate” message to students at First Coast High School in Duval County, Florida, The Atlanta Black Star reported.

“THINK: We had about a half million Americans die in our Civil War, which was largely to get rid of slavery. There are no longer separate water fountains and bathrooms in Jacksonville for ‘white’ and ‘colored,’ as Mr. Goodman remembers from the 1960?s. We had an amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing women the right to vote. We have had a Black president. The superintendent of Duval Schools is a Black woman. Mr. Fluent, our principal, replaced a Black man. Mr. Simmons, who now is a DC PS admninistrator.”

Continue Reading
 

CNN

Angry Minnesota farmer bashes ‘insulting’ Trump comments that ‘we’re great patriots’ during his trade war

Published

on

President Donald Trump has insulted at least one Minnesota farmer by his claim that farmers are "great patriots" who want him to continue his trade fight against China.

"This wound is self-inflicted, by our president," said Gary Wertish, who is the Minnesota Farm Bureau president. "We definitely agreed with it in the beginning. But it doesn’t appear that there’s a plan B. Some of the callous comments come, especially from the president, you know, that farmers are 'winning,' we’re 'great patriots,' that’s very insulting. That’s coming from someone who never has faced the challenges of a family farmer. I go into the bank and tell the lender I can’t make the payment because we lost our market? The banker is going to tell me you don’t have to make your payment because you’re a patriot."

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image