Well Being

Banned: Newman, Wally’s Dog

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A St. Paul family is suing after the school district decided to bar Newman, their son's service dog, from his public school, Como Park Elementary. Newman, a Golden Retriever, is connected to 8-year-old Wally LaBerge throughout the day via a harness, yesterday's WCCO notes. While service dogs have been more and more widely used to assist autistic children, there's been more than a little disagreement about their presence in public places, from schools to airplanes to apartments. It's noted that the dogs are calming and help to allay anxieties: Until it's widely understood how much a service dog can help an autistic child, they'll be more of these sorts of disputes, and more anxiety, and antagonism.

And not enough learning on either side.