Athens District Tells Autistic Child To Change Schools

Aug 23, 2013

The mother of an autistic first-grader who uses a service dog is challenging a decision by the Athens City Schools, which says the girl must change schools because her special-education teacher is allergic to dog dander.

Superintendent Carl Martin calls it a reasonable solution to balance the rights of the teacher and the student. Charla Gretz says the change would disturb her 6-year-old daughter. She also says the bus ride would be significantly longer, a claim Martin disputes. Gretz plans to take the issue to the school board. An attorney with the Ohio School Boards Association says districts are legally obligated to accommodate the student and teacher. But that might be difficult for a smaller district like Athens with fewer special-education teachers.