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Mom Fighting For Her Son's Service Dog To Be Allowed At School

GOLDEN GATE, Fla. – A Golden Gate mom is fighting the Collier School District so her autistic son can bring his service dog to school.

Six-year-old JC Bowen’s service dog can be something of a lifeline, according to his mom. Not only does the dog carry his medication, but he has an important roll in keeping Bowen safe during a seizure.

“If he’s standing up he can fall, he can hurt himself, and if somebody’s not paying attention it can be potentially very damaging,” Bowen’s mother Elizabeth Lasanta explains.

Pepsi, their service dog, has specific commands to keep little JC on the ground during a seizure, which his mom says teachers may not even notice he’s having.

“His absent seizures aren’t seen, you can’t see them. It’s kind of just like he’s daydreaming.”

Lasanta has been fighting for more than a year to let JC bring his dog to Estates Elementary, but after several meetings she says they’ve been denied.

Now, Lasanta is taking her case to an Administrative Law Judge to make the final decision for something she says is her son’s right.

WINK News tried to get the school district’s stance on this case, however it was too late in the day to get a response. In the past, the district has denied service dogs in school for certain cases.

The hearing starts Tuesday and is expected to take two days. A decision may come as soon as this week.

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10 years ago

THATS ABSOLUTE BS! Service dogs have the same rights as you and I do! I have a cerified service dog myself! She detects my high/low blood sugar

10 years ago

Another prime example of the ignorance of the poorly equipped and trained administrators of the “educational system” in Florida. I hold great respect for the few talented teachers in this state that have been able to remain sane here–they have to fight for the right to use common sense and to provide an education in a state that is more concerned about college football and theme parks than its children.

That service dog is a part of the child’s life! Would they take away crutches or a wheelchair? No! Then the school district has no choice: it is now obligated to provide that child with an education in a place where his dog will be accepted–a private school with teachers trained to handle students with his needs. At least there he could also get a real education that will alter their teaching strategies to meet his abilities.

10 years ago

are children exempt from the regulations that apply to adults? I know that no facility may refuse a service dog, and no proof or certification of the dog’s status is required.

btw Pawsranch7: it’s not the DOGS that have rights.. it’s the people


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