The practice of service animals accompanying children and young adults to school has increased in recent years, as the animals help monitor health conditions, keep their companions calm, and even from wandering off. But not all schools are sold on the idea.
John McDonald, a 7-year old with Autism, attends Middleton Elementary School in Sherwood. A community volunteer (and district employee) served as a handler for free the last two months of the 2014-15 school year so that John’s service dog Kai could attend school with him after the Sherwood School District demanded that John’s family provide a handler. On May 5, 2015, the Department of Justice launched an investigation into the matter, and the family retained Diane Wiscarson of Wiscarson Law. What will happen to John and Kai when school starts in September is uncertain at this time, says Wiscarson, whose practice is Oregon's only firm solely focused on special education family law.