A local family continues to fight the Waterloo Catholic District School Board in hopes of getting a service dog into their son’s classroom.
The Fee family wants eight-year-old Kenner — a grade three student — to be able to bring his autism service dog with him when he heads to school each day.
His dad, Craig Fee, spent two days this week in front of a Ontario Human Rights Tribunal in Waterloo.
Fee tells 570 News they have been trying to get ‘Ivy’ the service dog into their son’s classroom for three years now.
The school board has cited school and student safety, and the child’s own ability to control the service dog.
This week’s hearing is now done and is expected to resume at the end of the school year, in June. A final ruling could take another six months after that.
The family continues to appeal to the Education Minister Mitzie Hunter, and has sent a letter to the Premier as well. They have not received a reply.
Fee says there are no service dogs with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board– yet, there are a dozen in the classrooms with the Waterloo Region District School Board.
The Ontario Autism Association says school board resistance to service or companion animals is not unique, and they are hopeful that this tribunal might bring some clarity to the issue.