Man’s best friend doesn’t always equal school superintendent’s best friend, as we’ve discovered in the Kaleb Drew case in Villa Grove, a tiny town outside of Champaign [see “School bars autistic child and his service dog,” by Amanda Robert, July 23].
Last week a Douglas County circuit judge extended a temporary restraining order, first granted on July 14, to allow Kaleb, a 6-year-old with autism, and Chewey, his service dog, to attend summer school. Villa Grove Elementary School had refused to allow the specially trained Labrador retriever in the classroom, because as superintendent Dr. Steven Poznic told IT, school officials don’t believe that Chewey is needed.
The restraining order is in place until the final hearing on Nov. 10, when the judge decides if Kaleb and Chewey can permanently attend school together. Nichelle Drew, Kaleb’s mom, hopes school officials change their minds before then: “We hope this gives them the opportunity to see how beneficial Chewey is and the tasks he does perform for Kaleb.”