We’ve got a service dog. We’ve got a kid who is allergic to dogs. What now?????

It’s inevitable that this would happen—the same campus where the service dog is required has the child with the allergy to dogs.  What do we do?  A federal court recently cited OCR guidance that basically says…do your best to accommodate both people.  The OCR guidance reads like this: 

Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. When a person who is allergic to dog dander and a person who uses a service animal must spend time in the same room or facility, for example, in a school classroom….they both should be accommodated by assigning them, if possible, to different locations within the room or different rooms in the facility.

Citing this guidance, the court held that the school’s accommodation plan for the student with an allergy to dogs was reasonable and adequate.  The school was not required to guarantee a dog-free school.  However, while the plan was good on paper, there was a problem with implementation.  The court held that there was enough evidence of the school’s failure to enforce its 504 plan to permit the case to go forward.

The case of Doe v. United States Secretary of Transportation was decided by the Southern District of New York on December 4, 2018.  We found it at 73 IDELR 152 (S.D.N.Y. 2018).


Tomorrow: Does Title IX work for the boys?