Child With Disability Fights For Rights: 12-Year-Old Girl With Cerebral Palsy Heads To Supreme Court For Service Dog Case

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald November 02, 12:00 am

A 12-year-old girl, who has cerebral palsy, made her appearance at the Supreme Court in Washington to fight for her right. Ehlena Fry, her parents and her service dog, Wonder, a Golden Retriever and Poodle mix, are the petitioners in a disability rights case that they have lodged against her school in Napoleon, Michigan.

The civil case originaly stemmed from a Michigan court, according to the Supreme Court records. Ehlena Fry's parents, Stacy and Brent Fry, sued the school district for disallowing their daughter to have Wonder assisting her in school.

The Fry family acquired Wonder when Ehlena was only 5-years-old to specifically assist her in some tasks. The pediatrician that prescribed the service dog said that that it would help Ehlena become more independent as she grows older and despite dealing with cerebral palsy.

The school district, however, said that having the service dog was not necessary because the child has a school aide assisting her in between classes. The school also disallowed Wonder because the dog could be a distraction and might trigger allergies with the other kids.

According to Miami Herald, Ehlena Fry's parents homeschooled their daughter due to the prohibition and then later moved Ehlena to a different school where Wonder was permitted to be with her. They insisted on keeping the dog because a school aide would defeat the purpose of making Ehlena independent.

Citing emotional damage, however, the Fry family sued Ehlena's former school, which was dismissed. That is, until the family appealed their case to the Supreme Court and the justices first deliberated on it on Monday, Oct. 30.

"The injury my client experienced is not a denial of education, but, for example, the humiliation that she experienced," Ehlena Fry's lawyer Samuel Bagenstos said, per Huffington Post. The young girl is confident that they would win the case against the school district.

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