GATES, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division has ruled that the Gates-Chili School District violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when it removed a service dog from a student's individual education plan.
Devyn Pereira's mother said as a result, she had to hire an expensive aide to help handle the dog when her daughter went to school.
Devyn suffers from the rare disorder called Angelman's Syndrome, which is an extreme case of autism and epilepsy. She uses a service dog named Hannah, who is trained as a seizure alert dog.
The Department of Justice found the district violated title 2 of the ADA by not changing its policies and procedures so that staff could offer assistance to Devyn and her dog. The Civil Rights Division ordered that staff must assist Devyn as needed and the district must compensate the family for damages.
The district stated it cannot offer comment at this time since it has not yet received the findings from the Department of Justice.