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Muslims Run Off MN Student With Service Dog

You have probably heard about this preposterous situation already. But here are some further details from the Minnesota St. Cloud Times:

SCSU student leaves training at Technical High School

A 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.

Yes, the Religion Of Peace (and Tolerance) strikes again.

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

Mr. Steffens is an ass.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, May 13th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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