Service Dog Insanity

May 14, 2008 at 2:00 am 2 comments

From yesterday’s St. Cloud, Minnesota Times:

A St. Cloud State University student in a teacher-training program at Technical High School left the school in late April because he says he feared for the safety of his service dog.

The school district calls it a misunderstanding, and officials there say they hoped Tyler Hurd, a 23-year-old junior from Mahtomedi who aspires to teach special education, would continue his training in the district.

Hurd said a high school student threatened to kill his service dog named Emmitt. The black lab is trained to protect Hurd when he has seizures.

Hurd said he was unable to finish his 50 hours of field training at Tech. The university waived the remaining 10 hours, he said. He plans to do his student teaching outside a high school setting.

The threat came from a Somali high school student who is Muslim, according to Hurd, St. Cloud State and school district officials.

Hurd trained at Talahi Community School and Tech. He said his experience at Talahi was good. The Somali students there warmed to the dog and eventually petted him using paper to keep their hands off his fur, Hurd said.

Things didn’t go as well at Tech, Hurd said. Students there taunted his dog, and he finally felt he had to leave after he was told a student made a threat. Hurd met with Lockhart but said he did not feel comfortable continuing.

Who, wait a minute here.  Are you telling me that a high school student threatens a student teacher’s service dog — and instead of dealing with the issue internally, the school district (most likely in the interest of political correctness) opts to prematurely release the student teacher from valuable field training experience rather than risk a direct confrontation with a minority student?

In the Spring 2000 edition of the City Journal Kay Hymowitz wrote an interesting piece titled “Who Killed School Discipline?” where she says:

Though fortunately only a small percentage of schools will ever experience real violence, the public’s sense that something has gone drastically wrong with school discipline isn’t mistaken. Over the past 30 years or so, the courts and the federal government have hacked away at the power of educators to maintain a safe and civil school environment. Rigid school bureaucracies and psychobabble-spouting “experts” have twisted such authority as remains into alien—and alienating—shapes, so that kids today are more likely than ever to go to disorderly schools, whose only answers to the disorder are ham-fisted rules and therapeutic techniques designed to manipulate students’ behavior, rather than to initiate them into a genuine civil and moral order. What’s been lost is educators’ crucial role of passing on cultural values to the young and instructing them in how to behave through innumerable small daily lessons and examples. If the children become disruptive and disengaged, who can be surprised?

Who indeed.  After the death of Common Courtesy and her lovely sister, Common Sense, society is now burdened with the Frankenstein monster of Political Correctness.  Tolerance, kindness and responsibility have been replaced by The Rules; and while tolerance, kindness and responsibilty promote flexible and open systems of interaction; The Rules are utterly rigid and must be followed to the letter by all parties with absolutely no exceptions.

This is insane.

The Minnesota Muslim community (Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations) issued a press release today in support of Hurd and his dog.  According to Earthtimes:

“The moral and legal need to accommodate individuals using service dogs far outweighs the discomfort an individual Muslim might feel about coming into contact with a dog, which is one of God’s creatures,” said CAIR-MN Communications Director Valerie Shirley.

Sanity apparently prevails in the Minnesota Muslim community, why can’t it be found in the school system — where it should be respected, revered and passed on to future generations?

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
     — Friedrich Nietzsche

Entry filed under: cynicism, dog, dog training, dogs, minnesota. Tags: , .

Pet Food, Pork and Tampons Your Mother was Right!

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Andrew  |  May 15, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Sadly, I think you’re right. It is a genuine shame that public entities like school districts side-step the difficult conversations about race, ethnicity, religion, and immigration that might actually make this country even stronger.

    I have to admit that I just spent 20mins trying to erase some of my own ignorance about why strict Muslims have a very different relationship with dogs — about why dogs themselves are not actually ‘haram’ (dirty), but that they are regarded as animals (with specific tasks to do) and not as pets (that blur domestic boundaries).

    Thanks for making me scratch my head.


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