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BRAVE NEW SCHOOLS
Muslim threats force out disabled teacher with dog
Islamic students reportedly taunted 'unclean' animal

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Posted: May 12, 2008
9:17 pm Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily

A Muslim high school student's intolerance for a service dog needed by a student teacher with a disability has reportedly prompted the student teacher to abandon the last 10 hours of his scheduled assignment at Technical High School in St. Cloud, Minn.

The St. Cloud Times online said the situation developed with student teacher Tyler Hurd, 23, of Mahtomedi, who hopes to teach special education.

He's a student at St. Cloud State University, and was assigned to Technical High School in the St. Cloud district for his 50 hours of student teaching, and took with him his service dog, Emmitt.

The newspaper said Hurd needs a service dog because of a childhood injury that leaves him with seizures, sometimes happening as often as weekly. The black lab is trained to protect Hurd when he has a seizure



http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=64151
 

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Quote: The black lab is trained to protect Hurd when he has a seizure
Before anyone gets the wrong idea of what "Protection" by a SD is -- not aggression or protection against people. In this case protection means that the dog may be trained to lay across the handler so that the person will not try to stand up before they are aware enough to give a command word to the dog. In this manner the dog is protecting the person by not allowing the individual to stand and more than likely fall and hurt themself. Some dogs protect by placing themselves between their handler and dangers such as moving cars until the handler gives the release word to the dog.
 

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Originally Posted By: MaxGunnarwell its gutlessness on the schools part for not allowing the SD and I hope she sues their butts off and the the Fed comes in citing the ADA
For clarification, the school district DID allow the service dog at Technical High School. At Talahi Community School (in the same school district) where Mr. Hurd worked prior to that, the team worked with no problems. Here's a lengthier version of the story. It's kind of complicated.

SCSU student leaves training at Technical High School

St. Cloud State University student in a teacher-training program at Technical High School left the school in late April because he says he feared for the safety of his service dog.

The school district calls it a misunderstanding, and officials there say they hoped Tyler Hurd, a 23-year-old junior from Mahtomedi who aspires to teach special education, would continue his training in the district.

Hurd said a student threatened to kill his service dog named Emmitt. The black lab is trained to protect Hurd when he has seizures.

The seizures, which can occur weekly, are from a childhood injury.

The dog has a pouch on his side that assists those who stop to help Hurd.

Hurd said he was unable to finish his 50 hours of field training at Tech. The university waived the remaining 10 hours, he said. He plans to do his student teaching outside a high school setting.

“We came up with a solution because I felt threatened by it," Hurd said.

The school district and university are working to make sure a similar situation doesn't happen.

Kate Steffens, dean of the college of education at St. Cloud State, and Tech assistant principal Lori Lockhart met Thursday.

The threat came from a Somali student who is Muslim, according to Hurd, St. Cloud State and school district officials.

The Muslim faith, which is the dominant faith of Somali immigrants, forbids the touching of dogs.

Hurd trained at Talahi Community School and Tech. He said his experience at Talahi was good. The Somali students there warmed to the dog and eventually petted him using paper to keep their hands off his fur, Hurd said.

Things didn't go as well at Tech, Hurd said. Students there taunted his dog, and he finally felt he had to leave after he was told a student made a threat. Hurd met with Lockhart but said he did not feel comfortable continuing.

Julia Espe, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for St. Cloud school district, said the school needed to do a better job communicating.

“I think it was a misunderstanding where we didn't really prepare either side for possible implications," Espe said.

Espe said the school's investigation determined the student did not make a direct threat.

“We certainly welcome (Hurd) in our district, and we hope we can get this all resolved so he feels welcome and his dog is welcome," Espe said.

St. Cloud State places about 1,000 students in 240 schools to help prepare them for careers in education.

In St. Cloud school district, 330 are in the field training program Hurd was in and 94 are in student teaching.

Steffens said it is important to respect different cultures and the rights of disabled students.

“I think this is part of the growth process when we become more diverse," Steffens said.

Steffens called Hurd a good student and committed young man.

Gary Loch, who is the diversity coordinator for the district, said the situation was an unfortunate case of miscommunication.

“I'm not quite sure where the breakdown comes into play here," Loch said.

http://www.sctimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080512/NEWS01/105120058
 

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The Italian One
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Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom
Originally Posted By: MaxGunnarwell its gutlessness on the schools part for not allowing the SD and I hope she sues their butts off and the the Fed comes in citing the ADA
For clarification, the school district DID allow the service dog at Technical High School. At Talahi Community School (in the same school district) where Mr. Hurd worked prior to that, the team worked with no problems. Here's a lengthier version of the story. It's kind of complicated.
And this is the thought process that kind of baffles me. The school district "allowed" the service dog at the technical high school and at Talahi Community School. So they're in the clear - right?

No, not in my mind. This school district brushed off this incident and refused to protect this teacher and his service dog!!! This teacher could not return to his job out of FEAR for the life of his dog. What do they call that in other situations? A terroristic threat I believe.

It's a step backwards in MN if you ask me for service dog owners.
 

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The Italian One
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I understand your point MaxGunnar but at this point I’m more concerned about people such as this student teacher who needs a service dog. Will he have to eliminate teaching in this school district? His dream is to be a special education teacher. Will he have to rule that out now? MN has always followed a strict no-tolerance for violence policy in our schools. Will they change that now?

To me it’s not about immigrants – it’s about how service dog owners are being treated (not only by students but also by the school administration)!
 

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Originally Posted By: Vinnie
Originally Posted By: 3K9Mom
Originally Posted By: MaxGunnarwell its gutlessness on the schools part for not allowing the SD and I hope she sues their butts off and the the Fed comes in citing the ADA
For clarification, the school district DID allow the service dog at Technical High School. At Talahi Community School (in the same school district) where Mr. Hurd worked prior to that, the team worked with no problems. Here's a lengthier version of the story. It's kind of complicated.
And this is the thought process that kind of baffles me. The school district "allowed" the service dog at the technical high school and at Talahi Community School. So they're in the clear - right?

No, not in my mind. This school district brushed off this incident and refused to protect this teacher and his service dog!!! This teacher could not return to his job out of FEAR for the life of his dog. What do they call that in other situations? A terroristic threat I believe.

It's a step backwards in MN if you ask me for service dog owners.
No, Vinnie. I didn't say that. Not at all. It's just that MaxGunnar said that the SD wasn't allowed. But it was. I just tried to clarify the situation. An employer has to provide an environment free of harassment and threats. This environment, from Mr. Hurd's point of view, was not safe for his SD. If you discriminate against my service dog, you discriminate against me. So if you threaten Mr. Hurd's dog, you threaten him.

But the school district did not say the SD was not allowed. This isn't quite the same as, say, business owners refusing SDs access at all.

It's a bad situation. No doubt about it. But I wanted to clarify. And that's what I said. Nothing more.
 

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Quote:Hurd said a student threatened to kill his service dog named Emmitt.
Is the student being punished / prosecuted for threatening to kill Hurd's dog? If not, why?

Quote:The threat came from a Somali student who is Muslim, according to Hurd, St. Cloud State and school district officials. The Muslim faith, which is the dominant faith of Somali immigrants, forbids the touching of dogs.
While I am all for accommodating peoples' religious beliefs, their rights end where the rights of others begin. Their rights do not replace or supersede the rights of others. In this case, having a religious objection to dogs does not mean you can just threaten to kill a dog or ban someone from being in the class room because they have a service dog.

Incidentally, there is nothing in the Qu'ran that forbids the touching of dogs. Dogs are mentioned exactly three times in the Qu'ran: once in a parable, and twice in the context of being right there with people, both in Al-Kahf. One mentions the dog guarding the door step, the other mentions the dogs sleeping among the people.

The "rules" regarding dogs come from the Hadith, which are the oral traditions of the words and deeds of Mohammad. The different Muslim traditions, Shi'a, Sunni and Ibadi, also do not have the same Hadith. Different traditions reject different texts from the Hadith, so this varies fairly widely among the Muslim world. I don't know which type of Muslim faith the Somali Muslims follow, though.

You can search the Hadith online here http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/reference/searchhadith.html

The rules in the Hadith can be very confusing. One states, for example, that if a dog drinks from your bowl or cup, you are to wash it seven times before using it yourself. In the same text, it states that if your trained hunting dog kills game for you, it's okay to eat, even if the dog has eaten part of it.

Personally, I think many Muslims would do well to read all the Hadith, this one in particular:

Quote:Kitab As-Salam, Book 026, Number 5577:
"Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as sayings:

A person suffered from intense thirst while on a journey, when he found a well. He climbed down into it and drank (water) and then came out and saw a dog lolling its tongue on account of thirst and eating the moistened earth. The person said: This dog has suffered from thirst as I had suffered from it. He climbed down into the well, filled his shoe with water, then caught it in his mouth until he climbed up and made the dog drink it. So Allah appreciated this act of his and pardoned him.

Then (the Companions around him) said: Allah's Messenger, is there for us a reward even for (serving) such animals?

He said: Yes, there is a reward for service to every living animal.
Quote:Steffens said it is important to respect different cultures and the rights of disabled students.
Sounds to me like the only thing they've been respecting in this case has been the Somali student's culture, not the rights of the disabled student.
 

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The Italian One
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3K9Mom – thanks for clearing that up. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Chris thanks for your post.
No I don’t believe the student is being punished in anyway. The school administration is calling this is just a “misunderstanding” last I heard.
 

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Re: Muslim threats force out disabled teacher with

Mods--Thanks for cleaning up this thread. The things I read on here this morning made me think very hard about whether I wished to remain a part of this on-line community.

Perhaps instead of bashing Muslims and/or immigrants we could focus on the problem here which clearly lies with the school administration (notice he didn't have problems when working with Somali students at a different school). They needed to have a plan in place to educate the students and work together with the student teacher and his dog to make the environment a welcome and productive one for all involved.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Re: Muslim threats force out disabled teacher with

Originally Posted By: BowWowMeowMods--Thanks for cleaning up this thread. The things I read on here this morning made me think very hard about whether I wished to remain a part of this on-line community.

Perhaps instead of bashing Muslims and/or immigrants we could focus on the problem here which clearly lies with the school administration (notice he didn't have problems when working with Somali students at a different school). They needed to have a plan in place to educate the students and work together with the student teacher and his dog to make the environment a welcome and productive one for all involved.
They didn't clean it up they deleted it and I re posted it. The foreign born students communicated a threat to commit a felony and we are to place nice with them. Threaten my dog in public and you'll see how nice I'll play
 

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Re: Muslim threats force out disabled teacher with

I am hoping that we can all stay on the topic in the article and use it as an educational tool.


Quote: foreign born students communicated a threat to commit a felony and we are to place nice with them
Looking at MN State Law to harm or kill a SD is not a Felony. (Not a Felony at this time, but more and more states are changing their laws to upgrade acts like this as felonies.)

Quote: from http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/stats/343/21.htm
343.21 Subd. 8a. Harming a service animal.
In part, "No person shall intentionally and without justification cause bodily harm to a service animal while it is providing service or while it is in the custody of the person it serves." (misdemeanor)
...
Subd. 9. Penalty.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision, a person who fails to
comply with any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor. A person convicted of a
second or subsequent violation of subdivision 1 or 7 within five years of a previous violation of
subdivision 1 or 7 is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
...
e) A person who violates subdivision 8a where the violation results in substantial bodily
harm to a service animal may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than two years or to
payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.
...
(g) A person who violates subdivision 8a where the violation results in death or great bodily
harm to a service animal may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than four years or to
payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.


Ok -- the link that I posted above is no longer the correct link to go to. When I have time I will try to find the new link.
 

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Originally Posted By: Vinnie
No I don’t believe the student is being punished in anyway.
Students are entitled to privacy, and any counseling, reprimand, or other punishment would be confidential under federal law. So you, I, and the rest of the world world will never know how exactly the district handled this with the particular student, unless his parents waived his right to privacy, which I can't imagine they would do - which I can't imagine any parent would do.

http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html

Not everything that happens in the world ends up in newspapers.
 

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Re: Muslim threats force out disabled teacher with

The school district needs to clear up this "misunderstanding".

The teacher needs to continue teaching, and being respected by all, the admin, and the students, and whoever else is involved.

The student may want to consider a transfer (haven't read entire thread).

I think we need to respect that of others, but how far is that?

I am from Germany, my father side (all born in Germany), my mom (as her side, all born in Ireland).

I know our ancestors came here, worked hard, and didn't get a free pass.

I am very liberal, and conservative, however I believe that foreign people that come to this country need to respect what we already have in place
(Just like if I go to another country, I need to know the laws to somewhat of a degree, and continue to learn them, I need to learn the language-for my benefit, it's out of respect and not to be rude to learn the basics (in any country).

I know some hispanics that are here illegally, should really be sent back and then reapply (what about back taxes?).

I also know that some hispanics that are here do the jobs, and are hard workers, and do the jobs that some lazy Americans don't (and I also blame this govt for not raising the minimum wage). The money the illegals make, is big money (that they send home, so I really can't blame them), but still I want people here in a legal way (I have no issue living amognst other nationalities).

I also know there was an incident (maybe in Florida) about a muslim girl-I think) that wanted to get her DL with her her face covered-WTF, religion or no religion, if you want to drive, you need to comply.

In prisons and county jails, meals are served special to people of religion (no pork-muslim, during fast, inmate isn't fed)


Maybe this is what makes are country so great? or our we like a doormat?

I would tell this kid to stay away from the dog (and the admin) to get their
together...

LOL, do things, and do we really need people with PHD's to really solve all this
out


For me, it goes back to our ancestors and what we had to do.

Maybe we should ask the American Indians what they think, it really is their land, by right
 

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Originally Posted By: MaxGunnarone can hope his classmates talked to him about dogs and service dogs in the US
Maybe the classmates need to be of the "italian" type.

See this movie, and you will know what I mean, OMG, this movie is in my top 5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ns4vh_xAn98

Great acting cast as well.

Jack

Or a little sit down is what is needed
 
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