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Special education teacher allergic to autistic girl's service dog

Aug. 23, 2013 at 3:28 PM

ATHENS, Ohio, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- An Ohio woman says she is appealing a ruling that her autistic daughter must switch schools because a teacher is allergic to the girl's service dog.

Charla Gretz, 27, said she and her husband were shocked when Athens school district administrators told them their daughter, Shyanna Gretz, 6, would have to transfer from Morrison-Gordon Elementary School to East Elementary School because the special education teacher assigned to the girl is severely allergic to Shyanna's black Labrador retriever, Spring, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reported Friday.

Gretz said she does not understand why the school can't assign a different teacher instead of transferring Shyanna to a different school, which she said will mean a longer bus ride for her daughter.

"She does not do well with buses," Gretz said.

District Superintendent Carl Martin said the accommodations made for Shyanna and Spring have to be balanced against the allergic teacher's rights. He said administrators found transferring the girl to be the most reasonable option.

Gretz said she and her husband are appealing the decision to the school board and will keep Shyanna at home until the matter is resolved.

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