Parents battling Cabot School District over child's service dog
By Elicia Dover
(KATV)-The Office of Civil Rights is investigating the Cabot School District after a complaint from a family over their child's service dog. Majesty, the Sorrells family Golden Retriever service dog must stay with Zachary Sorrells, 7, at all times because the dog can detect seizures before he has them. Zachary suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy. The family moved to Arkansas so that he could get the help he needs at children's hospital."Majesty was placed with us in June. When we began to return to school in august, they initially said she could not attend. They later decided she could attend, but we have to send a private adult handler with her," said Michelle Sorrells, Zachary's mother. The private handler costs the family $500 a month, a cost they say has become a burden. However, the family says that the Cabot School District is actually the responsible party for paying for the handler for the dog under the American Disabilities Act."Once we started paying for a handler, we reached out to the disabilities rights coalition because under section 504 and ADA, they're responsible for providing accommodations free of charge for parents," said Sorrells.The Cabot School District told Channel 7 News they did have a phone discussion with the Office of Civil Rights, but haven't been notified of any decision or recommendation."We are in full compliance according to ADA guidelines and by our district attorney," said Cabot superintendent Dr. Tony Thurman, "We have been consistent in following policy and ADA guidelines with staff and other students requesting service animals in our schools."
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