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Parents file response to Sherrard School District appeal in service dog case

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The parents of a little girl involved in a legal dispute over her service dog have filed a response in federal court, after the Sherrard School District decided to appeal the case.

Colin and Brandi McGuire are asking the federal court to stick with a state hearing officer's original ruling, which found the district failed to  provide a fair and free education for their daughter Kelsey, who has epilepsy.

The district filed an appeal in February. The McGuires filed a 32 page response in federal court  yesterday, April 20th.

They are asking a federal judge to award damages, pay their daughter's tuition at a private school for two years, and all attorneys fees.

The school district has said it wants to settle the matter, but the McGuires took everything off the table.

They say the district needs to pay up what is owed and follow the law.

"They did make an offer to us, it wasn't necessarily an offer. It was what the court ordered them to do. But they refuse to pay any attorney fees", said Brandi McGuire.

Their attorney John Doak says federal disability law requires the district to pay the McGuire's legal fees, as long as they are fair and reasonable.

Right now, the McGuire's legal fees are about $60,000 and counting.

The district's are believed to be around $100,000.

An appeal could take up to a year.

5 comments

  • Artyom

    The district was willing to pay…it just needed to be dropped there. But no, the parents got greedy and now want a lot more. You’re both amazing parents, continue dragging your child through the mud for this just so you can get richer.

    • James Rocker

      Yes because the family should be out 60k when the school district blatantly violated the law in regards to the treatment of this little girl. The school district not willing to pay the 60k will probably wind up costing them 100k more.

    • Mary

      Artyom, since you obviously can’t read…let me spell it out for you.
      1. The SCHOOL is filing the appeal, not the family.
      2. The family only asked for what they were awarded, which should include attorney and legal fees. The school is the one refusing to pay these. That doesn’t make them greedy…it makes them human. If I were involved in a lawsuit and racked up $60k in legal fees and won my case, yet the defendant refused to pay, I would seek out justice as well.

  • carmapoodale

    I am happy the school is standing up to fight this. Seems strange that the parents didn’t meet with the school board to work something out but instead pulled their child out of school and put her in a private school. Also strange that when the private school shared photos of the student with the dog in their classroom , the dog was laying in a crate. Yet when so many noticed the photo of the crated dog, the private school edited the article to take that photo out.
    I am for Sherrard School.

    • lin171

      I’m also for the school. What’s never mentioned in these articles is the dog acted aggressively towards other students and a teacher. The teacher was the last straw and the school requested to speak to the parents about the matter and the dog not be allowed in the meantime. Instead they pulled their daughter out of school. The original hearing should not have gone their way, I’m saddened for the future of service dogs with this case. As a SD handler and advocate, the school did everything right and is being punished. Not every dog has what it takes to be a service dog. At the very LEAST this dog needs further training to be safe. It’s the only dog currently placed by the training organization, and I’m told the mother is on the board of the organization as well. So big red flag and possible conflict of interest.

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