Justice For Jasper

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The Illinois State Board of Education handed down a decision in the Due Process Hearing between Sherrard CUSD #200 and Colin and Brandi McGuire. The McGuire's were awarded tuition reimbursement for the remainder of the 2013-14 school year and all of 2014-15 school year. They were also awarded travel costs between home and the new school. Sherrard School District was ordered to convene an IEP (Individualized Education Program) team to develop an IEP to meet 9 year old Kellsey's other health impairment needs and ordered the team to decide how to include the student's service dog in the IEP.

The McGuire's young daughter, Kellsey McGuire suffers from seizures and requires a service dog, Jasper, to notify them before one might occurre, allowing them to render life saving methods. After notifying her school, Sherrard Elementary, that Kellsey will begin bringing a service dog, the school welcomed him with open arms, even holding an assembly to educate students and staff on how to respond to Jasper.

It wasn't long until a conflict arose between the art teacher, Ms. Hillary Plog, and the service dog, Jasper. Jasper was trained by DAD (Disability Assistance Dogs). Plog also trains service dogs, unassociated with that organization. Mrs. McGuire was told by Principal Victoria Connelly repeatedly that she could not send Jasper to school with Kellsey. Due to frequent high stress and anxiety situations Kellsey continued to have seizures as a direct result of these factors. The McGuire's sought measures to remedy the situation by removing Kellsey from Hillary Plog's, once per week art class, among other things. The conflict between the art teacher and administration escalated causing the McGuire's to pull Kellsey out of Sherrard School District entirely. She began attending a private school, Jordan Catholic School, where Kellsey and Jasper have both attended with no issues to date.

Read more in next weeks edition of the Times Record.