Boy With Cerebral Palsy Will Take Service Dog to School

A boy who suffers from seizures has been cleared to attend school Monday with his service dog.

A 5-year-old with cerebral palsy has been cleared to take his service dog to school after the Broward County School Board initially said the animal would require additional insurance.

Mother Monica Alboniga said service dog Stevie joined the family in January, after a doctor recommended him for her son Anthony, who suffers from seizures and respiratory problems.

"He lets me know when Anthony has the seizures," Alboniga said. "A lot of times when Anthony has the seizures, he comes to my bed and lets me know."

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She said she told Nob Hill Elementary School in Sunrise, where Anthony is set to start kindergarten, about the dog in March, but they told her approval would have to come from the school board.

While the school board originally told her she needed a certificate of liability insurance covering the service animal, Stevie is now good accompany Anthony to his classes.

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The Broward School Board reminds paretns that, in order for service animals to be allowed to go to school, they must:

  • Be properly vaccinated.
  • Be under the control of a handler who is not a school board employee. If the handler is not the student, the handler must meet the requirements of the Jessica Lunsford Act (Level II Background Screening).
  • Be trained to perform a specific service for the student which cannot be accommodated in the education setting.

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